Planning to call a major music publisher or record label to pitch your artist or songs? If you have ever tried calling in to speak and an a&r or music supervisor you know how difficult it is sometimes to actually speak with the person you want.
Before calling in, do some homework on the company first. Use the search engines to find and write down names and positions. You should know the names of the a&r, the music supervisor and the ceo. Next you need to make sure that the companies you’re contacting currently represent your style of music, other wise it is a waste of time.
Now that you know a little bit about the company it is time for a cold call check. Try calling the first time, as a fan of one of their artist, you can get a lot more information the first time around this way. Make sure you greet whoever ever answers the phone. If they say something like “Melody Records this is Carrie”.Then you say “good morning (Carrie how are you?)”. Now you have made the call more personal by restating her name.
Verify the physical address, and ask about an artist on the roster, mention that you would like to send a gift or letter. She may give you a website link, and hang up on you, but that’s okay say thank you and slide in your name before you go.
Let’s look at what you have established so far with one phone call. You now know the company. You know the name of one of the staff, and the style of music they accept. You have verified the physical address. Good Job!
Now let’s put the information we’ve got into action. You have the right address and you know the name of someone whoever works there. Carrie answered the phone when you called, but I’d be willing to bet that she does more than just answer phones, and Carrie is working at a record label for a reason (hint). So… what if you sent Carrie a thank you card, with a piece of candy. That’s called making an impression or kissing up which ever works best for you.
This is a good way to have your name and business, in the door again. It is all about impressions the more times you may be mentioned, heard or read about the better. Now give it a week and make the call for a second time. If Carrie answer the phone your in the money, all you need to do is remind her that she was so nice to you when you called that you had to send a thank you card.
It doesn’t matter if she remembers you can present your reason for calling and get a good honest response. Keep your ears open and note pad handy at all times in case you get more information regarding the a&r or music supervisor. If Carrie doesn’t answer the phone you can still play off the fact that you spoke with her concerning the a&r you’re trying to reach. That usually works when you know the name of someone there that’s not a&r.
Now believe it or not you have built a small relationship with the company, it is your job to maintain the relationship. Don’t be a pest calling everyday asking the same questions, but you can check once a week to see if they’re taking demos, what projects the company plans to launch etc..
When you send your package, send one to the a&r, and please don’t forget your good friend Carrie. She more than likely gets the mail anyway and will listen to many cd’s everyday. Hope this helps someone and thanks for reading.
Copyright (c) 2008 Carlton Richard