A Thin Line (Between Pro & Show)
A Thin Line (Between Pro & Show)
by Kenny Love
At some point in time, you have probably heard the adage,
"Less is More." What this term generally refers to is the
idea of a few elements having a more powerful impact, as
opposed to an over saturation of elements for the same
desired effect. In other words, "overkill."
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We will apply this adage to the music industry and what
works best in regard to press kits created to obtain
successful results…with those results being radio airplay,
press coverage and distribution.
Through having worked for some time in the music industry,
I have witnessed a gamut of differing quality in the "press
kit"…from the press kit that appeared to have been
assembled via the "origami" process with much less
attractive results, to the press kit that seemingly only Bill
Gates could afford to assemble.
And, after having seen such a "variety," my conclusion is
that while a "trashed-out" appearance will likely earn a
package a speedy trip to File 13, a glitzy kit without the main
ingredient (the recording) will not get an artist much farther
down the hallway to the radio station Program Director's office
either. So, the ideal is to establish common ground
somewhere between these two negative and positive
If a press kit comes to radio personnel (music directors and
disk jockeys) "packed to the hilt," they will normally chuck
the entire thing. Their reasoning is that they simply do not
have the time or personnel to sift through tons of information,
much of it often duplicated unnecessarily.
Likewise, print media, or press contacts, will dispose of it
just as quickly and in much the same manner if it appears
that too much "glitz" has been incorporated in a "hypey"
fashion so as to detract attention from the product (again, the
recording). They often believe that such unwarranted visual
gloss is an attempt to compensate for inferior product.
In today's music industry, as with other industries, press kits
should be streamlined somewhat and compacted in terms of
paper bulk. And, yes…there is an art to affecting this in
order to successfully achieve the desired results of radio
airplay, video airplay, press coverage, or even distribution.
Radio personnel are, primarily, concerned with the sound
quality of the recording and its format, along with a bit of
biographical information on the recording and the artist (in
your cover letter, do not hesitate to inform them that you
would like for them to consider "adding" your lead single to
their regular rotation play list).
If you've also received a strong, favorable review from a
recognized trade or major consumer publication, you should
also include it as well. But, above all, radio wants to be
assured that if they do decide to air your recording, it is
readily available at retail stores for their listeners.
Print media personnel also want "just the facts" with some
additives allowed. They seek compelling details about you
and your recording of which they can cultivate an interesting
story for their readership. Thus, you will need to provide them
with a news release, bio, and other supporting background
materials. If you can accomplish this, the chance is great
that they will choose to grant you an interview or review.
But again, as with radio personnel, do not assume that the
most unique story will even begin to stand up if the recording
is below par, or not deemed by the reporter, writer, or reviewer
to be of competent quality in terms of artistry and production.
If so, you may simply have not only wasted your time and
money, but the media source's as well. Ultimately, you could,
lose a future needed resource forever.
So, in order to save any future grief through rejection, learn
what you must do (and what you must NOT do) professionally
in all aspects, and at every stage. In order to realize your
desired success, remember…it's a thin line between pro and
"show," so don't break it. The business of music is an area
where often less is more…more or less.
Editor's Note: Kenny Love is President/CEO of Sachja
Productions, a combined national radio promotion and press
publicity firm. Sachja Productions accepts unsolicited
recordings (compact disc only) in all music genres for review
and consideration. Contact the organization at P. O. Box
701231, Dallas, Texas 75370. You can also telephone the
company at (972)390-0529, Fax to (209)755-8329, or Email
them at email@example.com. Likewise, you can
receive complete automated information on the company by
sending an Email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.