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(OT) Promo tips, was: Re: Cyberarts special...

At 11:55 AM 4/28/00 -0400, Larry T. wrote:
>Did you send a press release to the local papers?
>This actually works, you know. Also, try contacting
>the 'city desk' person and talk to them personally.
>Sometimes your one-on-one enthusiasm for the event
>will motivate a major paper to send someone down.

I agree 100% that maintaining contact with local press is a great way to
get some free promo for gigs and recorded releases. However, rather than
asking for the city desk person, you'd usually get better results talking
to the arts and entertainment editor(s). The problem with going through a
"regular" newsroom editor is that entertainment stories are considered
"soft news" and even if they're keen to print it, it's unfortunately
usually the first thing to get bumped when something more sensational
breaks, like a fire, an accident, an armed seizure of a six-year-old Cuban
boy, or a photo of the publisher's wife's sister's bridge club's bake sale
raffle winner. Building a rapport with the arts & entertainment editor
you'll more likely get better play and a much better chance of being
mentioned repeatedly as other events happen. And it's often worthwhile to
find out if a paper has more than one Arts editor, as it's common for there
to be a separate one for a paper's ROP pages (the regular ones in the paper
with the movie ads on 'em), the Arts magazine that a lot of papers run on
Thursdays so we can sell more ads, AND the Sunday Arts section, and it can
be amazing how little these three people can communicate with each other

Also, apart from the editors, make an effort to meet the people who
actually write the reviews, as it's been my experience that many of them
are themselves active participants in local music scenes, and you might
pick up some shows that way.

 Play up the angle that your music is not the same as that being done by
most of the artists who're sending them press materials. Send the editors
gifts! (Passes/invites to your event, well-written, concise press releases
that can be used almost verbatim, good clear photos, review copies of your
releases...) Include good contact info and follow up on it (when they're
NOT on deadline, or they won't want to talk to you), impressing the editor
with your cool and friendly charm and non-pushy persistance. 

Tim (who's a graphic artist for, yes, a newspaper...)