Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On Promotion- A Club Booker/Publicist/Promoter talks about promoting

On Promotion-
A Club Booker/Publicist/Promoter talks about promoting

For every musician who misguidingly thinks that posting on Facebook the day of their gig is promotion- here are a few tips.
The real trick to promotion, and I've been Publicist for various events over the years- is a person needs to be REMINDED SEVEN TIMES for it to stick. Proven statistical fact. So lets’ say you have a gig in Mid-September. Over the next month, if you and EACH performer in the band (don’t let the sidemen  pull the old- “It’s his band” bull- they’re part of the team) that night called and e-mailed ALL their contacts repeatedly and posted 2 or so times a week on their various websites and social networks that this show is going to be great, it'll stick in people’s minds. And, of course, promote a NIGHT of music (as there are other bands on bill) as it'll have added appeal rather than just “come out for my set.”
Plus every human being in the word statistically knows an average of 33 people and being you’re involved in the arts, that # is probably higher. A portion of those friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. WILL come out when reminded sufficiently.
Playing the artist role, “My job is just to play,” in this economy when most people don’t come out to clubs, lands you a one and only night in said venue. Promotion IS part of the job whether you like it or not. And the old, “Nobody comes out anymore so I don’t bother publicizing” shtick is admitting defeat in advance and does nobody any good.
Another trick is fliers. Every flier given out statistically has a 1-2% success rate. If  EACH band member gives out a ton of fliers (and friends/family of the singers can too), particularly at other gigs where people enjoyed you, if you’re a quality act who is attentive to your supporters, you'll draw just from that.
Build your band’s mailing list- that’s gold. At each gig get e-mails and let your fans know you’re playing.
Update your websites and social networks. “No shows are scheduled” when there IS a show scheduled is lazy and self-defeating. Sorry.
And if the gig is no cover and/or no minimum hype that as well. Money’s tight and that could be a selling point.
Easily accessible by mass transit, etc. is also a selling point worth noting.
In short, promotion is living and breathing an event 24/7. If the gig does well, you can probably do something regularly in a venue and build a bigger following. It all builds off of each other. But the problem with most bands is when it's a low or non-paying gig, they kind of stroll in the night of because they're "busy," play in front of a small crowd (or horribly none at all) and it becomes meaningless. When a band- an entire band doesn’t draw a single human being, it doesn’t matter how good, very good or great you are. Owners have no desire or need to have you back. In fact, they can’t afford to have you back. They’ve already lost money on staffing while you’re there.
But if they promote the Hell out of it, assuming they’re worth hearing, they will have a larger crowd, which leads to a buzz, sells CDs and gets more tips, more gigs, and more networking opportunities, etc. In short it's never a bad thing to play because you don't know what it'll lead to. But it is a bad thing to play in front of nobody or just the bar staff.
If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it fall? Well, if you play in front of nobody, did it really count?
Hope this helps. Pass it along to an artist who it may do some good for.

--Evan Ginzburg is Associate Producer of The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke
Producer of the new film Theresa Sareo Alive Again
Producer/Director of the upcoming film The Stage is an Altar
Host of Legends Radio
Booker at Gizzi’s in NYC
He is Publicist for Wrestling Reunion and various other events

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