Centricity Blog

Radio Promo Tours

Posted October 18, 2010 by in Other, Radio

I’ve been putting off writing this blog for a few days now in hopes the right idea would just magically pop into my head, the clouds would part, sun would shine down on my face and I’d hear the choir of angels sing a harmonious chord. Alas, no such thing has happened. I’m now sitting in a hotel room in Walla Walla, WA. The Tennessee Titans just killed the Jacksonville Jaguars in Monday Night Football and I can’t go to bed until I write and post my blog.
Why am I in Walla Walla so far away from my home in Nashville? I’m actually on a radio promo tour and I decided I’d fill you in on what these types of tours entail. We do radio promo tours with artists and also we go out solo, which is what I’m doing this week – traveling solo and spreading Centricity love and good cheer to my friends on the West Coast. A radio promo tour usually consists of a week of visits to radio stations to help promote our artist and music. It’s a way to continue the friendship we have with stations, as well as begin new friendships between our artists and stations, or continue to strengthen the friendships our artists already have with stations.
The goal is to pick a region and hit as many radio stations in a 4-5 day period of time as possible. This can easily mean up to 3 visits a day with driving the distance in between times. Do the math – 3 visits (lasting anywhere from 1-3 hours each) plus 6-8 hours of driving a day (if not more) for a week. That’s a lot of hours! However, it’s well worth it! I talk to radio stations for a living and I get to know the great guys and gals at these stations pretty well so when I actually get to travel to their city and visit them on their own turf it’s like the cherry on top of a sundae. I love getting to see my buds in their element and there really is something special about making a face-to-face connection rather than just only talking to them on the phone every week. It’s also a great way for me to experience the different radio markets and see how each work with similarities and differences. It helps make me a better promoter when I understand a station’s market and the idiosyncrasies that are special to that market.
I’m sure you’re now wondering what happens at a station visit. When I go to a station with an artist we arrive at the station at a pre-determined time. Most of the time the artist will do an interview on air and will play some songs live. These interviews can be done live and also recorded for play back at a later time (usually the next day). We also hang out and chat with the folks at the station. We find out what’s going on at the station, what’s new in our friends’ lives, and let them know what’s going on in our artists lives. Since I’m doing this trip solo this week (no artist) it’s basically the same thing without the performance and interview.
It’s a difficult schedule but I really do enjoy the time I have with my radio friends – and that’s what they are. It’s just an added blessing that I get to “work” with them daily. I have some really deep friendships with folks all over the country that I might not have otherwise had if it hadn’t been for this job that I do. I think our artists would tell you the same thing. They’ve really gotten to have some great friendships that were started because of station visits.
I feel very fortunate that I get to visit these great folks I talk to on the phone every week. Do I miss a lot of sleep during these promo tours? Yeah, but what’s a little missed sleep among friends?

About The Author: Jennifer Allen

By day, Jennifer Allen is Centricity's mild mannered director of national promotions, helping our artists' singles get heard on the radio. By night, Jen is a guitar-slinging blues and rock singer, playing regularly around Nashville. Her musical influences cover a lot of ground, from Stevie Ray Vaughn and Led Zeppelin to Diana Krall and classic jazz artists you'd know by one name: Monk, Coltrane, Miles, and Ella. The east Tennessee native came to Centricity with 10 years of industry experience accumulated in promotions at EMI and INO. Her favorite quote is from Judy Garland: "It is better to be a first-class version of yourself than a second-class version of someone else."

  1. Branden Camp said

    Really great post Jennifer!!!! My dad has been in the radio station biz for the past 30 years. It’s funny because he is just now starting to see fruit from 30 years of networking, connecting and relationship building it the radio station business! It just shows how important it is to build and maintain those connections!!!!! Go Jets!!!!!!!

  2. Radio promo tours and building relationships « Centricity Music's Blog said

    [...] 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) [...]

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