Get your music played on college radio.
Estimated Cost: Low
Estimated Time: 1 day preparation with results in 2 months.
What Do You Need to Do This
- CDs of your music
- A press kit
1. Compile a list of targeted college radio stations and shows.
Click here for a list of college and indie radio stations. Go to each station’s website to research the shows that play your style and genre of music and get the station’s music submission guidelines.
2. Set up a tracking system.
You’ll need to keep track of who, where, and when you sent your CDs and press kits. If you don’t have your own system or database software, a simple spreadsheet is fine. You can even use the one we created — click here to learn how to track a college radio campaign with a spreadsheet.
3. Call in advance and establish a relationship with the music director or show host.
When your list is finalized, call all of the stations to:
- double check the contact information
- find out exactly what materials they expect to receive
Also, you will want to talk up your band and music. This is what professional independent radio promoters do for labels — and you’re up against them. The key to getting your CD played and in rotation is to build a personal relationship with the music director of the radio station or host of the show you’re targeting. If you’re going to be on tour in their area, tell them the date and venue to spark additional interest.
4. Prepare your CD.
For best results, send your CD in a standard jewel case (most stations use CD shelves sized for jewel cases). Take off the shrink wrap. Add a note to the cover of the CD listing 2 or 3 songs that are “radio-ready” and that you want them to listen to first. You don’t want them dumping the disc after the first song if the best radio track is later in the album.
5. Prepare your press kit.
Click here to learn how to create a press kit. Radio stations are not the press — they only need the most basic information. So, save money on postage and keep it simple for radio. Also, pay attention to their submission guidelines and tweak your press kit accordingly.
5. Mail it in.
If you contacted the station and they told you to send in your CD, then write “SOLICITED MATERIAL” on the outside of the envelope so they know it was requested by them. If you are touring in the station’s area, write the date of your show on the envelope because this gives them another reason to consider your CD sooner rather than later. It also tells them when you will be in their area so they can announce your show, schedule an interview, or get you to play live on-air.
6. Call and verify delivery.
After a few days, call your contact at the station to verify that they received your CD. This is another opportunity to talk more about your music and upcoming shows. Ask when they’ll listen to it and consider it for rotation. Note this date in your tracking system. If they didn’t receive your CD, resend the materials.
7. Follow up to verifiy it was added to the rotation.
Call your contact again a few days after they said they’d listen to it and find out if your music was added to the rotation. Note that being added to the rotation does not necessarily mean you will get played — it’s usually up to the DJs to decide when to play the songs. It’s likely you won’t know if your music was played unless you listen to each station or they keep a log at their website.
8. Keep calling back to verifiy it was added to the rotation until you get an answer.
Polite persistence works.
College radio is the easiest place to get play! Include them in your promo campaign today!
The Hit Music Academy | 2010
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