Touring and Radio Work Together
By Bryan Farrish
The first area we like to see artists use radio for
is gigs/touring. This is because the majority of money
made by an indie artist (even if they have distro)
is going to be at live gigs via CD and merch sales,
and club payment. It is also because the number one
thing a station would like to see is the artist playing
in their market. So here is how to help one, using
you are playing a tour yet or not, you should start
with small market commercial regular rotation
(or mix/specialty or college), and see what areas you
are getting support from, and using that to book additional
gigs. You do NOT want to do it the other way around...
trying to work radio only in areas that you are gigging...
because you will not get enough mass support by working
just those areas (even though you are playing there.)
This point seems to be difficult for many artists to
understand, so I'll repeat: It's great that you are
playing in a certain town, but that alone is not enough
reason to only work the stations in that town, while
leaving out the rest of the stations in that format.
It is true that gigging a market is the single best
thing you can do to help your radio there, just like
gas is the best thing you can get to make your car
run. But you first have to have a car, and likewise,
you first have to get your radio marketing lined up.
This means working radio the way radio works: Getting
spins on many stations of the same format/type at the
same time, across the country, so as to build a "hit".
you have starting working the stations, you do two
things: Go to the clubs in the markets where
you are getting radio support, and, ask all the stations
(or have your promoter ask) what clubs/venues or other
places the stations might recommend for you to be booked
at. If it's a commercial station, they might recommend
a client club (a club that advertises on the station).
This is very useful because the station wants the club
to advertise more; by recommending that you gig there,
and by giving you some spins, the station is providing
what the club needs... an artist that the community
will know about. Combine this with the ads that the
club will hopefully run, and you have what is needed
for a nice turnout. If the station is a college station,
the referral-to-clubs is still of use because a club
is going to respect the fact that someone at the station
respects the artist, and felt that the artist would
suitable for his club (after all, "a station knows
what music is being played in what clubs".) And
the spins on the college station won't hurt, either.
Some other things you can offer clubs... You or a
pre-arranged intern in the club's market can arrive
a day early and flyer appropriate retail locations.
Also offer (or have an inter offer) to find and post
club info on pertinent websites local to the market.
You can even just offer to find interns who will work
for the club. Keep in mind you have to do these things
while you are on the road, so portable web access is
Farrish Radio Promotion is an independent radio airplay
promotion company. 818-905-8038 www.radio-media.com.
If you live in Los Angeles and want to be informed
of any events, seminars or parties we do, email firstname.lastname@example.org
and tell us what town you are in.