On the Culture Bully blog, Chris DeLine takes whack at almost every indie band, label and publicist that ever tried to get the attention of a music journalist. "How to Fail at Promoting Music Online" is both a chronicle of bad behavior and a roadmap to more successful pitches. Here is a summary of Deline's beefs:
- Assume Interest - "So, you’ve found an email address? Perhaps you traded contact lists with another artist, blindly harvested information from sites indexed by The Hype Machine or were passed down contact information an employee who previously had your job. One of the biggest mistakes you can make, however, is to assume that simply because you have an email address, that you should use it."
- Overlook Account Management - "You’ve done it! You’ve trudged through every last blog indexed by The Hype Machine & Elbo.ws, you’ve collaborated with other artists & publicists, you’ve combed through blog directories until the dead of night, and you’ve finally gathered the ultimate physical & digital contact list. Now it’s as easy as BCC-ing them all on your next email blast and you’re off to the races. But what happens if contact information changes or the recipient simply does not want to be on your mailing list? You’re actively working address that, right? "
- Feign Sincerity - "Of all the how-to-market-to-bloggers tutorials I’ve read over the years, one of the most consistent inclusions is some sort of mention of how you should “personalize” emails so that they leave a better impression on the recipient. Every last one of these tutorials is correct: you should personalize emails. However, this doesn’t mean slipping the email recipient’s name into a template that you’re sending to hundreds of people. It means actually personalizing emails."
- Neglect Reciprocation - "If a music blogger/journalist/whatever takes the time to write something worthwhile about your music (let’s say an article about a music video that you’ve just released on YouTube), then why not direct readers to the article rather than directly to the YouTube page?"
- Actually Believe That Music Bloggers Are Key To Your Success - "As amusing as the above tweet might be, I cannot stress enough how important its message is. These words come from Wil Loesel, who began his “media career in 2000 with SFX/Clear Channel Entertainment as a client liaison” and now runs the Culture VI Experience blog. This remains one of my favorite tweets because of its direct contradiction to what countless workshops, publicists and music marketing 2.0 websites will tell you. And it’s true.
- Why Me? - Deline goes into far more detail on #1 - 5 above, and it's a worthy read. But before you check it out, let me add my own pet peeve to his list which expands upon his first peeve: WHY ME? Hypebot is about the music industry and yet I get 20-30 emails a day asking for reviews of a new release. We have NEVER reviewed music, anymore than a death metal blogger is likely to write positively about Belle & Sebastian.