Radio promo tours and building relationships
At the beginning of this month I had the privilege of taking Jason Gray on a radio promo trip. A radio promo trip is a trip routed to visit several different radio stations within a certain region. It’s very important for an artist and radio promoter to spend time building relationships face to face with people. Connecting on the phones and through email are both great things, but there is nothing more meaningful than spending time with people in their own environment.
The preparation for a trip like this begins several weeks before the trip. The first thing you do is decide a region you want to visit, then route the trip. Once you have an idea about the routing, you have to begin reaching out to the people you want to visit. At this time you work out the details of each visit, will it be a morning show interview on air, a concert for the station’s staff, a lunch, a dinner, coffee, etc.? After confirming each visit you then purchase the plane tickets, book the hotels and the rental car, then hit the road! (To learn more about the in’s and out’s of radio promo tours see Jennifer Allen’s last blog post! Radio Promo Tours)
Here are some important things to consider when you visit with someone in the industry you work in, for me it’s radio. It’s important as an agent of the artist and the company to represent both well, especially during an appointment. At each visit, guide the conversation and be engaged in it. The conversation is the most important part of the visit; it’s where the relationship is built, so be kind and serve those you are visiting well. Know whom you are visiting and what you will be doing on the visit. You need to be on time and organized. Also, Remember to relax, be yourself and have fun.
Meeting face to face with people, in my opinion, is the best thing you can do to build a relationship. It’s much easier to forget or overlook an email or a phone call than it is to forget a meeting you once had with someone. Although, emailing and phone calls are great to continue the growth of the relationship because you can’t always meet face to face. Spending time with someone over coffee or lunch is engaging, memorable, and significant. It is focused on the present and shows whomever you are meeting with that you care.
The other aspect of a promo trip is that most of the time is spent in the car with the artist so it’s also important that you represent the company well in front of the artist. Know where you are going, what time you need to be there, and inform the artist about each station visit. Be willing to get to know the artist and become friends. Be a good hang to make the time more enjoyable. Most of all serve the artist as best as you can.
My trip with Jason was a weeklong and by the end we traveled 2500 miles. At the end of the trip Jason and I were exhausted, but we knew that the trip was well worth it because we were building better relationships with every station we visited and we made many new friends. So go out and meet with some people!