Good and bad promotion


I was having a
cup of coffee this afternoon with Andres,
one of the members of Bullfrog Brown,
the most internationally recognized Estonian blues band. Andres belongs to that
selected and admiring group of people with a very good background and
journalistic and musical knowledge, but difficulties to find a good job that
really could reward his skills. Even though, he dedicates a lot of effort
and
 even his own money to his passion:
his band and the music.


A
s one of the
creators of FREE! Magazine, a
publication that walks on the thin line of the professionalism (by studies and
background of the editors) and amateurism (since we do not get basically any
economical reward for doing this, neither any official support), I find a
special pleasure and connection when chatting with another person who shares a
similar vision of life and circumstances. There is almost a special kind of
guilty pleasure in putting all the efforts in something that maybe will never
bring recognition (at least in economical terms).

The point is
that we go through many topics and stories, and one that comes is the lack of
professionalism of some promoters. I don´t want to give any particular names,
but sometimes you must really make an effort to understand how bands so much
needed of promotiong and help by the journalists ignore the basic rules of the
game. Few weeks ago I was denied by a promoter the possibility to meet for a
face to face interview with a band that was exceptionally geographically very
near me , while some days later their label company, whose responsible is
usually more accurate and effective professional, offered me the chance to meet
them, writing me… from far England. Well, too late, I had just sent a
questionnarie, the basic solution in these cases…that was sent back by the
promoter quite late, giving some vague exuses and provoked more than one
problem for the editorial team. A perfect example of throwing stones against
your own house.

If something I
learn day after day, is that you should show respect and interest for
everybody, no matters the first impression that can give to you, since you
never know whom you can offend with a non right atittude. Baltic or
Scandinavian countries are not so big, and often you meet the same people from
the same industry sooner or later. But well, I want to believe that it is a
question of time that attitudes will improve. My advice for the so many new
bands trying to find their space in the market: if you have a promoter or
manager, try that he gets the shit properly done. And a nice relation with the
media is essential. Sometimes a couple of nicely sentences in an email can make
the difference for a future business and promotion relation.

Another issue
that I discussed with Andres is that I do not understand the attitude of some
DVD distributors in Finland, with their “palautus” (return) policy for the film
sample copies. That means you have to review a film and send it back to the
house in a few days. FREE! Magazine cannot track or send the dvds back, since
the collaborators take care of them, and even though keeping the copies is
needed in most of the cases for future articles. But I wonder : what is the big
deal for companies that spend thousand of euros in promotion, not making the
little effort to give some more copies of dvds that can cost 10-15 euro per
unit? For me, it is an awesome good deal for those companies, that get
promotion and potential customers for that minimum cost. The record companies,
thanks god, do not follow the same trend. A good digipak edition of a cd can
cost perfectly around 20-25 euro in any shop, more than many dvds, but so far,
the film companies are the only ones following that policy. Once more, I just
advice the people to invest a bit of time and energy in good relations and
smooth communication with the new media, instead of  the silence for an answer.