To show that there are no hard feelings between myself and Chris Unthank, with whom I’ve had a little vigorous banter on some recent posts about songwriting, I’m spotlighting an article of his for Absolutely Gospel called “Record Label Woes.” Chris offers four simple tips for how record labels can interact better with the promotional arm of this industry: Be proactive. Be current. Be available. Be courteous.
1. Proactive: I don’t need to drop hints in Ernie’s inbox that I’m waiting around for StowTown’s latest. I get an e-card for every project, and what’s more, I get it well in advance of the release date. That is what we call proactive promotion.
2. Current: Chris comments that while it’s nice to have publishing info, musician info, and the other little perks that come with a physical copy, labels desperately need to move into the digital age when it comes to getting their artists’ music out there. I myself prefer digital copies because my room is messy enough as it is, and I don’t relish the idea of dragging hundreds of physical CDs everywhere I move in my life. And if I listen to a project where it turns out there were really only about three tracks that I loved to spin over and over, I’m especially glad that I didn’t make the extra spatial investment. But here’s the cool thing about StowTown: Not only do they provide CD-quality mp3 downloads of the music for reviewers, they also include complete copyright info in the digital package. So the music is provided conveniently, but at the same time they aren’t skimping on info for reviewers. They understand that we like to know who actually wrote the song we’re reviewing, so that we know who to praise or critique by name.
4. Courteous: When I wrote with a question about the timing of Stowtown Radio’s live special the other week, Ernie’s assistant instantly responded thanking me for the question, and actually saying that my writing had led them to correct an error in the schedule. There was no delay or irritation. StowTown took my request and took care of the issue with humility and graciousness.
So, there you go, for those who might be wondering whether I just sit around looking like Grumpy Cat all day.