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Author Topic:   Cover Letter for Radio Station Submissions
Chris1
Casual Observer

Posts: 5
From: Portland, Oregon USA
Registered: May 2005

posted 04-24-2006 19:46     Click Here to See the Profile for Chris1   Click Here to Email Chris1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey all,
I'm sending out copies of my initial cd 'Chris Harris (self-titled)' to radio stations for airplay consideration, and was interested in how to construct an introductory cover letter. I have a bio to include in my promo kit, but was gonna skip the pictures for radio. I don't really have much in the way of 'reviews' currently, so my 'one sheet' is a bit thin. Any ideas or examples? Any ideas as to content for a cover letter?
Thank you,
Chris
(and thanks Lafe for your previous reply to my post)
www.chrisharrismusic.com
chris@chrisharrismusic.com

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Christine
Lord of this Board

Posts: 453
From: Cape Cod MA USA
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 04-28-2006 13:03     Click Here to See the Profile for Christine   Click Here to Email Christine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Chris,

In general a cover letter just needs to introduce yourself and explain clearly and briefly why you are contacting them and sending them your material.

Format it correctly with dates and addresses according to any standard business letter format.

Something like this...not refined... but you get the idea


Dear Mr. Programming Director,

My name is Joe Artist and I am sending you my new CD release, HOT TUNES for possible addition to your playlist.

HOTTUNES is a collection of original rock/funk songs, recorded at Super Local Music Studio that would fit perfectly into your LOCAL MUSIC PROGRAM's format.

You can find additonal information about Joe Artist and HOTTUNES at www.joeartist.com/presskit

Thanks for your consideration.

Regards,
Joe Artist

Hope this helps,
Christine

[This message has been edited by Christine (edited 04-28-2006).]

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Chris1
Casual Observer

Posts: 5
From: Portland, Oregon USA
Registered: May 2005

posted 04-29-2006 00:47     Click Here to See the Profile for Chris1   Click Here to Email Chris1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you very much, Christine

It sounds very much like the one I've created (and have sent a few)...I was concerned that I wasn't being 'colorful' enough, or that I was being too direct. It's nice to know my approach was in the ballpark. Thanks again.

Chris

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Mike Dunbar
Lord of this Board

Posts: 2813
From: Nashville Tennessee
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 04-29-2006 10:58     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dunbar   Click Here to Email Mike Dunbar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good advice from Christine, Chris.

Rather than being "colorful" with your cover letter, I'd make sure that your logo, picture, and cd cover are very attractive and unique. Also, I'd make sure that your music matches the format of the radio station.

What you are doing here goes beyond sending a radio station your cd. You are trying to develop a long-term relationship with the radio station. If you send, for example, a hip-hop station your latest bluegrass song, that station and that station manager may be disinclined to listen to anything else you send them. If, however, it is indeed something that fits a stations format and will appeal to its audience, then, even if they decide not to play your first submission, they'll be more inclined to take a listen to further submissions.

Also, if you are sending out your entire album, I'd include a sheet that describes the songs accurately. "Up tempo jazz waltz," "Brooding metal ballad," "Medium country honky-tonk pickup truck redneck song" or, as in my case, "Over-reaching, cutsily cloying, obviously manipulative, commercial country-folk-pop-blues-americana pap." I know it is hard for many artists to describe their music. Artists are often, by nature, a rather independant lot and hate to be categorized, but categorization is the bread and butter of music sales. Look at the way CDBaby lists their artists, they recommend categorizing and even suggesting other artists whose music is similar. Powerful sales tools.

On this sheet, I'd even highlight a particular song with a short handwritten note recommending this song for their station. Music business people don't want to listen to an entire album in the hopes of finding a gem. Think of a radio station as a jewelry store. You wouldn't bring a sack full of uncut unpolished gems to one of their buyers saying, "I'm sure there's one in there you'll like."

Let me say, Chris, that you may already be doing this and more. I like to stretch my two cents as far as it will go (also I write my answers knowing many others with similar questions will read this.)

So good luck, and keep us posted.

All the Best,
Mike


------------------
You have to practice improvisation. -Art Tatum

Mike Dunbar Music

[This message has been edited by Mike Dunbar (edited 04-29-2006).]

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Christine
Lord of this Board

Posts: 453
From: Cape Cod MA USA
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 04-29-2006 15:25     Click Here to See the Profile for Christine   Click Here to Email Christine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Dunbar:
[B. On this sheet, I'd even highlight a particular song with a short handwritten note recommending this song for their station. [/B]

Mike's right... you should tell the station what single(s) to play

One of the things I do to indicate which tracks I think are the best for radio is print up a professional looking small label (think return address label size - any shape) that I attach to the CD packaging saying "featuring the singles: 'Best Tune' (hard rock, 3:59) and 'Second Best Tune' (folk rock, 3:25)....somthing like that.

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Chris1
Casual Observer

Posts: 5
From: Portland, Oregon USA
Registered: May 2005

posted 04-29-2006 20:29     Click Here to See the Profile for Chris1   Click Here to Email Chris1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Mike and Christine,

As you mention Mike, I have spent considerable time identifying appropriate radio stations with formats where my music is likely to get be heard. Also, on my cover sheet I have the track listing with asterisks identifying "go-to" tracks, to hopefully allow the music programmer/DJ to cut to the stuff they'd most likely play. I haven't spent much space on describing any particular song, but I will...it sounds like a real good idea. Also, Christine's comment about placing a label on the cd identifying the first and second singles I think would work well. Thanks so much...very informative.

Chris

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