Running Effective Songwriter Workshops
How To Gain Local Radio Station Support For Your Workshop
As a coordinator for the local Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) workshop in Charlotte , NC, for six years, we were fortunate to have the local country radio station very involved in our workshop.
Our workshop had WKKT 96.9 Kat Country as a sponsor of "Music Row To Charlotte" in 2001 and 2002, with a total of over 250 60-second radio commercials for the events, 400 15-second live promotional commercials, 10 on-air interviews, web site presence, sponsorship to have the stations client provide lunch at No Charge for 125 seminar attendees at MR2C 2002, and host for the event.
The radio station has also helped promote local NSAI songwriting seminars over the past six years, with live interviews with the hit songwriters in town for songwriting seminars. They also supplied tickets and backstage passes for me and the hit songwriters from Nashville at concerts in Charlotte.
WKKT 96.9 Kat Country worked to promote a local open mic that was part of a national NSAI open mic night this past fall, supplying judges, prizes, and having the contest winner play his song on the radio a couple days later on the morning show.
Local songwriters have performed original songs at several of the stations events in the past couple of years.
The station is currently running a five month open mic contest with the local NSAI workshop, promoting, judging and hosting the events at the station's client, The Alabama Grill in the Concord Mills Mall, located in Concord , NC . WKKT 96.9 is also supplying several prizes for the winners and attendees of the monthly events.
All of the above is at NO CHARGE to the local workshop.
How did this happen?
It starts with building a relationship with the station program director and music director. Invite the program director and/or the music director to speak to your songwriting workshop. Once the date is confirmed, call everyone that has ever attended your meetings and their friends. Send information to the local newspapers and entertainment newspapers, with the announcement that _____ _____ from Wxxx or Kxxx radio station is your guest speaker of the next workshop meeting - this is VERY important!!! Have the largest meeting turnout possible for the workshop event.
You need to build relationships with local media, in advance of your events when you need them. That article is coming in the near future!
Ask them to talk about "How Songs Get On The Radio."
Ask questions such as:
How many songs do you listen to on an average week?
How many songs do you usually add to your playlist every week?
What determines if a song is added or not?
What can a local artist do to make it in the business?
How can a songwriter or artist from our market hope to have airplay in the future?
Ask the speaker to talk about themselves, how they got involved in radio and the challenges of their job.
Do a question and answer session with the workshop.
Ask the program director how the local workshop (you may want to do this in private) can be involved with the radio station events, or how can the radio station be involved in the workshop on future events.
Follow-up is very important. After the guest speaker leaves, have a "Thank You" card signed by everyone attending the event. Send this the very next day to the program director. Enclose YOUR songwriting business card. THIS IS A MUST!!
If the program director speaks, ask if they can have the music director at a future workshop. DO NOT hand the radio station guest ANY CDs from your workshop. STRESS to your workshop members in advance: Do NOT hand out CDs to the radio station (This is worth repeating).
Stay in touch with the radio station. Attend their live events, support the station, meet other people at the station. Do not ask them for anything, other than maybe, "Do you need help with anything" at the events. Casually mention that a couple of your workshop members are available to play at station events in the future. If that happens, send your best 3 or 4 members to perform original songs.
If you send newsletters from your workshop, include the program and music director on your list. Let them know what your workshop is doing in the community.
If your station has a website, ask, then include the radio station as a link from your site. Ask them to do the same. If your songwriting workshop has merchandise, send it to your friend at the radio station. If you are an NSAI workshop, as the NSAI office to send you a nice NSAI T-Shirt to give to your friends at the station.
Send your radio friends holiday cards signed by workshop members. If you find out their birthday, do the same! Advise them of upcoming songwriting seminars and ask if they would like to attend, or if they have a friend that would like to be your guest at the seminar.
Your local songwriting workshop will benefit tremendously by making friends with your local radio station. Please e-mail me your questions – you can contact me by clicking on my name above.
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