Here are some tips that come directly from Radio Personnel on using the Internet to promote airplay and
on submitting your music to Radio Program Directors and Music Directors.
"When contacting a radio station, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. For the most part, the
Program Director makes the decisions regarding airplay, so this should be your contact. It goes without
saying that a polite, well-written letter of introduction goes a long way toward establishing a good rapport
with your contact. And, of course, you want to be sure to promptly and enthusiastically thank anyone
who has played your material.
With so many different artists; ranging from independents to major label artists, stations seem to prefer to
deal with independent bands and musicians because they have to work a lot harder and their efforts tend
to be a little more sincere. Having been a musician myself, I understand how hard it is to do all your own
work. If you are looking to get airplay for your music, here are a few things I suggest you do:
Look for free-format stations first. They are a lot more likely to air music from an independent artist that
not everyone has heard of. Also, look for stations that might be formatted for your particular music, or
that might have specialty shows where your music might get played.
Contact the Music Director of the radio station. Describe your music and ask him/her if they think it is
something that would get played. If so, mail it off! Most likely, you do not have unlimited promo copies
of your record, so this step helps to prevent you from sending your record to a station where it's going to
get tossed in the "bin of no return". Include in your mailing a letter asking a few basic questions you might
have (Have you listened to the records? What do you think? Is it getting any airplay? If so, how often?
etc...) Be sure to use a postage paid postcard or include a SASE for this, because it will most likely get
tossed if you don't. Give them a few weeks to respond. Things tend to get hectic.
When (if) you get the replay card/letter back, follow it up with a phone call to the Music Director - make
sure it's during their office hours! Thank him/her for taking the time to return the card and ask them if
your record is still getting played.
From here, you can do whatever you like. If you have the time to pursue it, you can keep up with the
phone calls. If you like to play out, you may want to ask if there is a club in the area that you could play.
If your record is getting played on their station, their listeners would probably like to see you live!
A final note: you can find a TON of stations on the Web. E-mail is king. If you have it, use it. It's a lot
quicker (and cheaper) than making all those phone calls."
One station manager we talked with said: "Community/Campus Radio is becoming quite popular
throughout Canada, and in the West, where small stations like ours are making the transition from Closed
Circuit, Cable, or Carrier Content to FM. In the East, these Campus/Community Stations have been quite
prominent for a long time and have quite a listenership... this is our future goal as well, to make those
connections with our campuses and communities and give an alternative voice to those who would not
normally have a voice on commercial FM or AM stations."
If you are a program or music director and have additional info to offer, please send an email to us at
Sojourn so that we can relay the info. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Copyright by Angela Hobbs
Originally written and published in 1999
Editors Note: All articles written by Angela Hobbs are under copyright laws and their use is strictly forbidden without prior knowledge and written agreement of the author.