I just read an interesting post on the DIY Musician website that addresses a pet peeve of mine. The post was entitled “DON’T BE THIS BAND” – about a band that has a multitude of social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud, Tumblr) but that doesn’t have a website. The post explains how the lack of a website became a problem when a journalist wanted to write an article about an upcoming concert the band was to play, but he couldn’t find a place that had all the information he needed. The band in question was the big loser in this instance, because the journalist eventually gave up and wrote about another band on the bill. The post included a picture of the frustrated journalist’s tweet stating, “Wish bands could just have websites with all useful info – songs, pics, dates, CONTACTS – instead of scattering all over...” followed by reply tweets from others in strong agreement.
I have long advised clients of the need to maintain a presence in a variety of social media – a Facebook band page, Twitter, YouTube – but most importantly, a website. Social media is an important tool with which to attract new fans and keep engaged those fans an artist already has. But a website is mandatory. All of the social media accounts should be linked to it, but the website should be the primary “go to” place not only for fans, but also for the media, booking agents, venues and others. In addition to things like a calendar, song clips, a discography, info on where people can buy the music, (etc.), it should have contact information (names, email addresses, and phone numbers of the manager, who to contact for booking, the publicist, and any other pertinent members of the artist’s or band’s team). AND IT SHOULD HAVE A PRESS KIT – with quality photos that can be downloaded and used for publicity or in media articles (both high resolution – required by print media - and regular), and a short- to medium-length band bio.
As the booking agent and publicist for Pakele Live, one of the first things I do is look for an artist’s or band’s website. I also search all the social media. And yet I frequently find myself in the position of trying to cobble together stray pieces of information about a musician or band in order to give our viewers some information about our guest(s) in any given week – because the artist doesn’t have a bio, or any usable photos. On several occasions I’ve even created a bio by taking notes while talking to an artist over the phone - asking questions and talking story (and I use photos I’ve taken myself at past gigs, if I have them).
While I love talking story with musicians and hearing about their exploits (oh. em. gee...haha!), that’s not the point. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, a journalist looking to write an article is not going to take the time to go searching all over creation to get the basic information s/he needs – they’ll just move on to an artist or band that has made all the information easily available in one spot: their website.
(If you’re a Hawaiʻi-based artist or band who needs help with a website, writing a bio, creating a press kit... contact me! Let’s talk!)