The new year is here and now would be a good time to take a look around and see what needs updating in the world of the electronic promotion environment in the bluegrass music community. Virtually every bluegrass artist uses social networking, the web and more when it comes to promoting their art. Some artists are wonders at it but others may want to review the image they present to the world. This article will take a look at some of those things that may get overlooked in the chaos of earning a living.
The past year has seen a lot of new innovation in the promotional domain and lots of people are not only paying attention but, they are also taking advantage of the new outlets for promotion. The issue is made difficult because of the rapid changes, new innovation and products available to use.
AirPlay Direct really took off in 2012. Artists, broadcasters, labels, educators and more found AirPlay Direct to be an easy way to distribute media in a controlled manner. Artists can release a new song or album to the entire world through a single source.
Unfortunately, some of the material on AirPlay Direct didn't change at all for the entire year. There are artists still announcing an "upcoming Spring release" and the year is already over. Another artist has used the exact same wording for every press release they've issued regardless of the headline changing.
These things don't help the artist. If there is an event coming up and a promoter goes to AirPlay Direct for "current" information and encounters year old material, they probably won't use it and they will remember it was a waste of their time. When the next press release comes along, they will probably not even take the time to look.
Press materials should also be current. Festival promoters, news sources and a host of others regularly look at the content. If the photos are still of the old band lineup or the text refers to a previous year, then, it is probably time to update it all.
News items on an artists web site that are not current are not news. I've encountered 3 or more year old current news on an artist's site. The first thing I consider is that maybe they now have a new site and I go in search only to discover, their site was basically abandoned years ago and hasn't been updated for an eternity in Internet time.
It's a good idea to also have at least one official band photo that can be freely used for festival flyers, news articles or concert posters on a site. Many artist sites don't have any usable photos. If I need one today, I don't have time to write and get one later. I either use an old file image or do without all together. An artist should want their face out there in front of the buying public. Making this a difficult task certainly can't be helping.
Speaking of web sites, here is probably the most important exposure for a band or artist. It should be alive, dynamic and informational. Current events, awards, tour information and anything new should be there. Rhonda Vincent could be the model of doing it right. It's all there in one place for those in the business and fans alike to have immediate access to. At least one artist website has no usable professional photos, no current album information, the band lineup is old and no longer accurate, and the tour information is months out of date. Again, what is the image and initial impression created by this? Is it favorable? Is it what the artist really wants? Probably not.
This is a small list meant to create awareness and to get artists to start thinking of how they can do better during the new year. Consider how others may use your material to further your careers. Is it easy to cut & paste from? Are the photos usable for a variety of situations? Turn a new leaf and hopefully make even more in this crazy economy. The time invested to update your exposure should pay off in many ways. Hopefully, it will make your new year even happier by next January.
Nobody knows a band better than the band itself and if everybody pitches in just a little, everybody wins. So, have a wonderful year and keep these little things in mind as you waltz your way through the next twelve months.