Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo...

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo...
by Kenny Love


Recently, I was in a public park enjoying a sunny afternoon, 
while intently contemplating this month's subject matter.  
As is so often with heavy concentration and indecisiveness, 
I began, unknowingly, mumbling to myself.  I was not aware 
that I was exercising my options verbally until I noticed 
several concerned onlookers.  Needless to say, I decided 
this decision would be best made in privacy as people are so 
quickly to attribute such solo musings to alcohol (or worse).

Subsequently, I decided that the most appropriate subject matter for independent labels and recording artists was one addressing steps for successfully promoting their recordings, while eliminating financial waste. What finally brought me to this idea was that I recently began a national promotion and publicity firm for independents.
Much of the product that we receive arrives daily at our office as a last ditch desperate attempt to salvage finances already wasted. By that, I mean many artists, in the interest of saving themselves money through not utilizing the services of a professional promotion service, play the game of "Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo." To explain, they blindly delve into the marketing arena.
In other words, they can't figure out whether the horse comes before the cart, whether the chicken comes before the egg, or just what comes first. And, while I wholeheartedly endorse the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) approach to the music business, I also believe that one should also be the first to recognize and admit his or her weaknesses, as well as strengths.
Even though the music genres are varied, what these particular artists have in common is that they have located every radio station that they can find and simply forwarded copies of their recording to the stations. Most times, they have not even made initial contacts to learn the names of either the Program Director, or the Music Director.
Often, the station count to which they have submitted their product ranges close to 200, or more. When very little response, or worse, no response at all, is forthcoming, they become perplexed and can't understand where they went wrong in the process (especially when Uncle Bob and Aunt Lilly assured them that they were a sure-shot for the Number 1 Rock spot on Billboard). As a last ditch effort, they forward their product to promotion services, often throwing good money after bad, so to speak.
I have some simple advice: If you are not familiar with the specifics of marketing, promoting, or publicizing a recording, DON'T…I repeat…DON'T attempt to do-it-yourself. That regrettable action will be akin to a doctor who treats himself for a terminal illness, or a lawyer who represents herself in a bank robbery witnessed by twenty customers.
In this area of the music industry, terms such as "objectivity," "timing,", "contacts," or "relationships," weigh heavily in attaining desired success. And, without at least one of these elements, a failed promotional campaign is, practically, inevitable.
A further downside to marketing a recording without expertise, or the required know-how, is that once an artist has submitted a recording to radio in great numbers, there is very little, if anything, for a radio promoter to salvage.
Certainly one shouldn't expect radio station personnel to re-add the recording to its play list, or put it into rotation again, if it ever was in rotation to begin with (you would be surprised that the artist expects this miracle to be created by the promotion service).
Therefore, this campaign on behalf of the artist would amount to the "lost cause" syndrome. The same goes doubly true with the print media. This is even further compounded for the most part by a lack of consistent follow-up, or the lack of any method being in place for follow-up by the do-it-yourself artist.
The ultimate loss is a lack of pre-arranged product distribution in the geographical areas of the radio airplay and/or print media coverage.
So, all in all, please do yourself a favor: Either learn the promotion game extremely well, or get yourself a competent service that can perform professionally and proactively for you. Above all, don't subscribe to the "Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo" game. It not only is a means to certain early financial ruin, but also a game best left on the children's playground.
Editor's Note: Kenny Love is President/CEO of Sachja Productions, a national record promotion and press publicity firm. Sachja Productions accepts unsolicited recordings for review. You can contact the company at P. O. Box 701231, Dallas, Texas 75370. Or, call them at (972)390-0529, Fax to (209)755-8329, or Email them at sachja@yahoo.com.
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