I’m often asked by artists if I think it’s worth the time and expense to take advantage of this service, and my answer is – it can be, but you need to weigh the cost with some other factors. While not every voting member of HARA listens to every CD (or digital file, etc.) they receive through this service, many do – and if you’re relatively unknown, not getting any radio airplay, not active on social media, and especially if you self-distributed and your release isn’t available in brick and mortar stores, this may be the first time anyone has ever heard of you or your release. Speaking from experience, I’ve voted for a release based on hearing it (and of the artist) for the first time because it landed in my mailbox or email box via the HARA mail out service. (I’ve also booked people on Pakele Live after hearing their release via the mail out service.)
However, using the mail out service is not a guarantee that you’ll win a Hōkū or even get nominated, so I always advise my clients to weigh their options. Some older members of HARA are not active on social media, and receiving a CD might be the only way theyʻll know about you. But for many other voters, a well-done social media campaign can also do wonders. Some of my favorites were some creative, funny, and very well-done YouTube videos by (multiple Nā Hōkū Award winners!) Waipuna that were also shared via Facebook and Twitter for the 2013 Single of the Year; the 2012
Favorite Entertainer of the Year (and the blooper reel); and for their nine (nine!) nominations in 2012 for their 2nd album, “E Hoʻi Mai” they did individual videos for each song on the album. Here’s just one of them, for Kamehameha Trilogy (my favorite track, a.k.a. TRACK 10! TRACK 10!). Here is the result of their efforts in 2012 (they've since won more Hōkūs):
If you’re interested in taking advantage of HARA’s mail out/e-blast service to voting members, here is the information and pricing schedule. And remember - YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A HARA MEMBER TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SERVICE!