pr release
Image by Brian Solis

I get sent a lot of press releases. I have a really good filtering system for them too. I glance at them, see if there’s anything I need to know anything about, and then I bin them. But although I must be one of the hardest (or at least one of the most pointless) people to send stuff too, every now and then something cuts through.

So… what follows is not a sponsored post. This is essentially a clever piece of public relations from someone who clearly knows what they are doing, and I am walking into the trap of simply republishing press releases with both eyes open.

I’m going to let you read this one and see if you can figure out what attracted me to it – and what has led me to reprint it, verbatim, onto New Music Strategies. Answers at the end.

Kia ora Andrew :)

Greetings from your home land. My name is Che and I manage one of New Zealand’s most talented rappers David Dallas (from Frontline).

I have to say thanks first of all for your 20 things ebook, I’ve taken a few pointers from it and it’s been particularly helpful in constructing Dave’s website in between working and studying. We’re releasing the new David Dallas album in New Zealand and Australia in mid 2008 and the reason why I’m contacting you is because I thought I’d tell you about a creative and cost-effective way that we’ve created some buzz for this album that you may find interesting.

We recorded a 12 track mixtape that we released for free online via a series of podcasts, beginning in late January we released one track every second day until the mixtape concluded on Monday.

Being that our fans were not familiar with podcasting we had to educate them a little about the benefits and I produced a help page on Dave’s website to explain podcasting and encourage fans to subscribe, it paid off because the podcast became a featured music podcast on iTunes NZ and reached as high as #3 on the top 100 music podcasts just behind Radiohead and Ministry of Sound.

It’s also generated chatter amongst a few of NZ and Australia’s hip hop blogs and websites and a few general music blogs and websites. Also a few industry heads have contacted me and asked me how to create a podcast because they want to use one to promote their music or record label.

The purpose of the mixtape was to reintroduce Dave as a solo artist and clear up any confusion about his recent stage name change (he used to go by the stage name of Con Psy), this was done through Dave’s raps and the use of audio tags throughout the mixtape.

The mixtape had a 90’s New York rap theme to it and featured Dave rapping over his favourite 90’s New York rap beats, the final track however was a full-length song taken from his forthcoming album to give fans a taste of what to expect. The final track is not a single but what we’re referring to as our “leaked” track, one that we’ve encouraged fans to share amongst their friends that will attract new fans and hopefully generate traffic to Dave’s website, which is one of our most important marketing tools.

We’ve made it clear to Dave’s fans that the podcast will continue after the mixtape and we will podcast exclusive content on a regular basis such as interviews and exclusive songs etc. to maintain interest in “David Dallas”.

Most of our traffic is currently within New Zealand which is a very small market as you know, but we’re hoping to drum up some international interest through blogs and the like because of the novel way that we are marketing David Dallas through podcast and simply because the music is good :)

Here’s a couple of links about the mixtape and exclusive song:

The Artist Formerly Known As
Get Out Of The Way – Exclusive

I hope you find this interesting :)

Can you spot what Che did right? Here’s the list:

1) It appealed to me personally

I’m a New Zealander and I like to see New Zealanders doing well – particularly in the music arena. I’m interested in this kind of music. I actually know Con Psy as a rapper, so this is something I find relevant and interesting to me because I have context.

2) It was aware of what I do

He mentioned the e-book, and that it was interesting and helpful. Whether that’s true or not, those are the two things I’m trying to be.

3) It pushed the right buttons

Che talks about the fact that it’s hard to educate people into using podcasts and RSS feeds, which is not only true, it’s something that’s important to me. Likewise with the whole ‘in between working and studying’ underdog thing.

4) He gave me a reason to read it

This is not just ‘new album coming out’ – this is ‘new album coming out – and the reason that I’m telling you that is this‘.

5) He gave me a reason to share it

This is useful information for my readers, I think. It’s a clever way of using the available technology to get this music into the hands of people who might not otherwise have found it – and to promote it more strongly. It’s a helpful strategy to share, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.

This is good stuff, and you should not only steal Che’s ideas about promotion – you should pay attention to his wisdom about getting the information out there, in those five key points.