When reading the post on how to love, honour and cherish blogs, you may have noticed that there are some crossover brands that have blogs and physical magazines. A good relationship with the NME, CMJ or Rolling Stone blog gives you a massive lead on getting into the physical magazine, with all the legitimacy and endorsement that implies.
Online media are relatively easy to exploit compared to old media channels like TV, radio, magazines and newspapers, but you can’t ignore the old methods. College radion stations in the states, and local radio stations in the UK and Europe actively look for new acts to feature in their shows, especially from their own neighbourhoods. It’s worth making a similar effort to butter up DJ’s as you should be making with the bloggers – work with them; they need people like you feeding them content in order to do their jobs.
Figure out who is doing the new music or local music show on your local station, who is writing about music in your local paper, and get in touch with them directly. As with bloggers, it’s important to make yourself stand out a little to these guys. Make the contact personal and offer them something unusual, a reason to take an interest in you. Make the effort to read their articles or listen to their show – this will reveal to you their own biases, what their audience like, and are like, and it will give you ammunition for making that first contact impossible to ignore. Comment on their work – make suggestions about their show, anything to make it significant and personal. You’re asking them to invest time in you; show that you’re willing to do the same for them.
You ought also to be taking advantage of old media channels when you’re announcing gigs. Most local stations and publications will have a slot for publishing upcoming gigs in their area, get a mailing list of people that compile these gig listings together and mail them every time something comes up. If you use a webmail programme like Gmail, or a desktop one like Outlook it’s easy to create groups of people that you can mail in one shot with information like this.
If you do manage to strike up a positive association with a radio DJ or journalist, then your gig announcements will come with an endorsement every time you’re mentioned. Stick it in your scrapbook – you never know when a good quote will come in handy.