I remember years ago, when I first began dabbling in record promotion, I contacted a veteran disc jockey to get inside "goods" on my craft from a DJ's angle. I expressed to her that I was new in my field, and would soon be promoting an independent band, but already realized tremendous amount of competition that was in store.
I then asked her a question, which I was not aware at time, would generate an answer that would set stage for every artist, product, or service that I would ever market from that point forward. And, while I believed my question was original, I learned it was actually already being done by "big boys" (major labels), and had been for quite some time.
I asked her what value of a pre-promotion campaign was for recording artists, in sending out advance tape or CD samplers of upcoming songs, in interest of persuading radio personnel to add recordings when they were officially released and made available?
She answered, "Oh, pre-promotion increases an artists' chances of getting added to a station's roster by up to 80%!" Trying for a self-imposed backpat, and with one eyebrow raised a la Mr. Spock, I then asked, "Is this a unique idea I have?" She chuckled (I hate it when they do that), then answered, "No! Major labels do that all time!"
Wow! 80%! Just from taking a small amount of time to pre-promote! Let me explain it a little further. What most businesses do when seeking attention for their products or services, mainly media coverage, is to create traditional news release and/or press kit.
Next, they locate as many press publications as they can find, then send press kit off with their blessings. And, if they're REALLY feeling brave that day, they will also approach radio and television contacts.
Okay, this is great, normal, and nothing wrong with it. We have put proverbial horse before carriage, and not other way around. But! In most cases, we have not checked proverbial reins to insure they are tight and secure, which in this scenario, represents pre-promotion campaign. And, in not doing so, we otherwise might just end up with an uncontrollable runaway.