Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Daily Riff: Is Your Promoter/Publicist A Spammer?

How would you ever know if the promoter or publicist who promised to get your music in front of thousands of people, is just a scammer/spammer?

If you aren't sure, exactly sure, about how you're being promoted, your publicist may just be pissing people off in your name.

Did it ever occur to you that you can actually be throwing roadblocks in your own way by choosing the wrong type of way to promote your music?

Bottom line? Finding out about you and your music must be an ENJOYABLE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE for the peeps you’re trying to reach. If not, you’re wasting your time.

You may also be damaging your reputation unknowingly.

The Media is People

I think we make a mistake when we assume that “the media” is not people. So we go ahead and compile lists of agencies, magazines, websites, event planners, media people, writers, music journalists, etc.

Or, worse still, we go to some scammer/spammer who is pretending to be a “promoter” and who claims to have direct access and contact with x number of media outlets. I have come to the conclusion that this is a scam game in many cases. When these “promoters” talk about having direct access, all they mean is that they have an email list that has dubious origins.

Where Is Their List From?

We all know (or should know) that there are scraper bots that scour the internet, looking for websites with emails on them. One company that deals with this (Distil Networks) claims that up to 60% of a company’s web traffic could be bots! What these bots can do is create lists of email contacts that associate the email with the content of the website from whence it came.

Then, the email lists are put up for sale. Seriously. And people use these lists. I know it because I’m on a few of them!

Here’s What Happened To Me

Let me cite my own experience as an example. My business email is clearly embedded on my hamiltonmusician website. It’s on the About page, and it appears at the bottom of every page in the footer area. Easy target for a scraper bot. (I’ve experimented with web forms and I don’t deny they can stop a bot from accessing an email address. However, I also know that many people are very reluctant to fill in a form on a website. Out of comfort and familiarity they would rather use their own email to send a message. So that’s why my email is in plain view.)

My site is designed for humans. For the humans who use my site, they will quickly learn that I deal almost entirely with local music events and local/regional musicians. But my website is “out there” on the World Wide Web. The bots roam, gather meta-data bits like “music writer,” “promoting,” “boosting,” “reviews,” “festivals,” and my email gets added to the scraped lists. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that those lists are being used (maybe even created) by unscrupulous promoters.

I’m getting spammed more and more by them.

Annoying People In The Name Of Serving You

They boast to their clients -- the musicians and bands -- about how many media contacts they’ve got, and then they blast away their spam into the anonymous thousands of email boxes. Like mine.

Such promoters don’t have a clue who they’re sending to.

They don’t know who I am.

They don’t care anything about Hamilton.

And they sure don’t care about serving their clients properly.

Pity those musicians who think they’re getting a good deal and getting some real publicity.

Pity them if they paid even a nickel to such an outfit.

I get announcements all the time about such-and-such a band that has just released it’s amazing first track! They’re appearing across the country and planning their first tour! They’ve done this, that, and the other thing to gain credit! I should check them out! Here's a URL to check out their mp3!!

Can you hear me CLICKING TRASH faster than swatting a mosquito?

Musicians, do you want to be associated with the low-life scumbags who bother you on the telephone at the dummest possible moment? That’s what some of the promotional companies are like. Not all, but some. I mean the ones who send emails to people they don’t know. Those few are giving the good publicists a bad name. They don’t care a single bit about helping you be successful.

In fact, they’re annoying people in your name.

How To Avoid This Problem

Make sure you know explicitly how your promoter or publicist will work on your behalf. Don’t accept implicitly that you’ll be promoted well. Find out exactly how you’ll be promoted. Don’t waste your time or be complicit in sending your information to people who you haven’t met personally in some way, or who knows and have a deep trust in the publicist who serves you.

Don’t spam people, and don’t be a part of sending useless, out-of-context news that people will simply chuck in the trash. You aren’t trash, so don’t behave that way.

End of sermon.


Share your experiences in the comments section. Have you experienced publicity spamming?


robert marcano said...

Great artical Gled your sooooo right good job on the point's made about an artist hurting there career in music by using the wrong promoter/spamer! good stuff!

Glen T Brown said...

Thanks for the feedback RM - cheers