Programs and Ideas I

Thanks for joining the ZED Street Team! If you’ve just signed up, be sure to check your email for a welcome message from us. If you have not received your welcome message, be sure you’ve clicked the link in the confirmation email you received after joining (you must click the confirmation link to complete your registration).

Ready to get started? Let’s rock!

EMAIL SIGNATURE FILES

One of the first, easiest and most effective things you can do to help gain more exposure for ZED is to add a ZED link to your email signature file. Imagine being able to send streaming audio files of ZED with every email you send! Imagine the distribution and exposure that can be achieved when everyone you give a copy to also gives copies to their friends and family!

This also works great with viral videos and emails. We all get funny email cartoons, jokes and videos from our friends on occasion. When you forward these emails on to your friends (who in turn forward them to their friends) we can “hitch a ride” on these emails and get ZED’s music in front of a lot of new people.

The URL to add to your signature file is http://www.zedisded.com or http://www.zedheads.org/videos (or both).

You might add something like, “Discover ZED!” or “ZED Rocks!” or “Check This Out!” or some other comment with your link that creates curiosity, or encourages the person to click the link.

If you’re not familiar with email signature files, or need help setting yours set up, feel free to drop me a line at stu@zedheads.org and I’ll get you going.

One last thought on signature files. Depending on the mail program you are using (Outlook, Outlook Express, Gmail, Windows Mail, etc) you have the option to select whether or not your signature file is included on email replies or forwards. By default, they usually are not included.

I would recommend you go into your options menu and (in this example, Outlook Express) check the box that says, “Add signatures to all outgoing messages” and uncheck the box that says, “Don’t add signatures to Replies and Forwards.”

Again, any questions or problems feel free to contact me!

CONTACTING RADIO STATIONS

Contacting radio stations can be a fun and very effective way to help promote ZED. While it’s true that Clear Channel and their contemporaries seem to have a stranglehold on mainstream radio programming, a lot of great opportunities still exist when we use the right approach.

Take for example college radio startions. At last count there were some 663 college radio stations in the United States, 34 of which are in ZED’s home state of California. A listing of these stations can be found here on Wiki. On this page you can click on each state, and from there you can click on each individual station. After that you will be taken to the station’s Wiki page, which contains information about the station’s format and a link to the radio station’s website. On the radio station’s website you will find their contact info.

While 663 college radio stations are enough to keep a lot of us busy for a long time, opportunities do still exist with mainstream radio as well. Many rock stations feature a daily, “Power Hour” or some other headbanger and/or metal program. Other stations may have a weekly segment that spotlights new or rising acts. ZED fits these and other similar programs very well. They provide an opportunity to get our foot in the door without having to compete with a station’s established playlist.

Ok, so here’s our thoughts…

First, the easiest and most obvious approach is to simply call your favorite local radio station (or stations) as a listener and request ZED. I know that sounds a little simplistic, but it’s a worthwhile activity.

Let me back up here a little bit and share a little “Marketing 101” with you.

It is an advertiser’s goal is to create presence of mind, or “Top of mind recall” for their product or service. For example, imagine an Ace Hardware commercial on TV, advertising a new line of hammers.

It’s not Ace Hardware’s expectations that you will watch that commercial and then suddenly jump up, grab your keys, and drive to their store to buy a hammer! The intent of Ace Hardware is that 3 weeks later when you’re building a new bookcase and your hammer breaks, you think of Ace Hardware. That’s also why you might see the same TV commercial 3 or 4 times in the same day…reinforcing that presence of mind for later.

Many of our street team activities, including calling radio stations to request ZED, operates on this principle.

Imagine now a radio station DJ or program manager who has received 3 or 4 requests to play ZED in the past week. They may not be familiar with ZED, and they may not honor your request to play ZED. In fact, chances are they don’t even have a ZED CD or digital file to play in the first place. But what you’ve done is that you’ve just broadcast your own, “Ace Hardware” commercial to them. For free. You’ve planted that “Top of mind” seed. Next time they are on Youtube or surfing the internet and checking out new music they just might check us out.

This activity can also be the ice breaker for our other primary activity that related to radio stations, and that’s getting ZED’s CD in their hands, or ZED’s digital album into their computer.

If when requesting ZED you are told they don’t have it, simply thank them and get off the phone. Be pleasant and friendly. We don’t want to get into the whole street team thing with the DJ at this point, and we don’t want to be an annoyance or irritant by taking up a bunch of his or her time. Just make a note of the station you called, and if possible who you talked to (having the person’s name is very helpful for later). Also note the date and time you called. This is all valuable information for you, and for us.

Ok, so on to calling a radio station as a Street Teamer as opposed to calling as a listener. It’s a slightly different approach, which is why we address it separately here. Also, this is an activity that we will really focus on leading up to and immediately following ZED’s upcoming new album release…but it’s still a great activity at any time.

What we would like you to do is call your local radio stations who have a format that’s consistent with ZED’s music. Tell them that you are a listener, that you have found a new band that you’re excited about, and ask them if they have a copy of ZED’s debut album The Invitation or and/or ZED’s new album, Desperation Blues. If not, let them know that you are so excited about ZED’s music that you joined their street team, and if they’re interested, you can arrange for them to receive a copy of the CD. Alternatively (if they prefer) we can arrange for a free download of the album in broadcast-quality 320 kbps.

If you receive a positive response, please send the following information to stu@ZEDHEADS.org

1) The station’s call letters, dial position and if AM or FM – for example, “KISW 99.9 FM”
2) The station’s location (City and State)
3) The first and last name of who you spoke with (and title if known) such as Program Director, etc.
4) The date and time of your call
5) The email address of the person you spoke with if possible
6) The station’s preferred medium (do they prefer digital download, or a physical CD?)

The name of the person you spoke with is very important! Radio stations receive unsolicited CDs all the time. Often times they are thrown on a shelf and never opened, tossed in the trash, or taken home by an employee. With a person’s name we can mark the envelope to the attention of who you spoke with, and include a note referencing your conversation with him or her.

If they would prefer the download, please send me the same information as above, and note that they would like the download. Make sure to get the person’s email address in this case, and try to get his or her direct email address at the station (as opposed to the station’s general email address) if he or she has one. Let them know that they can expect an email with instructions within the next 24 to 48 hours, and that you look forward to hearing ZED on their station.

Radio stations are welcome to play all tracks from The Invitation and Desperation Blues on the air royalty-free.

The reason we’re asking you to forward this information to us for follow up, rather than just having you direct them to the download is this: We would like to create a database of the radio stations who requested a CD and/or a download. This gives us (and you) great information to follow up on for future releases.

We understand that many radio stations have websites that contain music submission instructions or guidelines. While you are welcome to forward us these URLs, we prefer the personal approach as described above. If the person you speak with directs to their website, that’s fine – just be sure to include as much of the information above as you can (ie: who you spoke with, the date and time, etc).

As a side note, we also understand that some folks are more comfortable on the phone than others. If you feel more comfortable using email, that’s fine. You can email your local radio stations rather than calling them. If you opt for this method, just be sure to take your time composing a solid email that contains the information discussed above (that you’re a listener, excited about ZED, do they have a copy of ZED’s new album etc).

Lastly, do not worry about duplication of efforts. It does absolutely no harm when more than one person contacts the same radio station. At the very least it will cause them to wonder what all the buzz is about…and that’s just the kind of curiosity we like 🙂

Any questions feel free to contact me!

Ready for more?  Go to Programs and Ideas II