Every band thrives on radio airplay. It’s how you increase the bands standing in the popular charts, expose more people to your music, increase the bands fan base, and ultimately sell more music. As a Christian musician our goals go one step farther—to bring those fans closer to Jesus through our music and ministry.
Unfortunately, airplay in the regular rotation of most Christian radio stations requires that your band be signed to a major label. The bands that get the most airplay are already famous and doing extremely well on the charts. This doesn’t leave room for the rest of us to be heard on many Christian radio stations.
How does your band get radio airplay on Christian radio stations?
One of the most effective methods I have used is to get live interviews to promote a special event in the radio stations listening area. For example: Your band is playing at a local National Day of Prayer rally. Local Christian radio stations will probably be thrilled to interview your band live on the air as part of publicizing the rally. Of course, your band will bring several CD’s to play during the interview and leave at the radio station afterwards – just in case they want to use your songs again to promote the rally.
Do not assume that the concert promoters are doing this type of publicity for you. In over 30 years I can only recall a handful of times that a promoter used anything more than the Community Calendar or paid advertising on the local radio stations.
I have 2 tasks for you:
- Locate the independent Christian radio stations in your area and in every area you have an upcoming concert.
- Ask those stations for band interviews every time you play an event in the area their station covers.
Locating independent Christian radio stations is easy … go to http://radio-locator.com/. You can search stations by city or zip code. Bring up the list of radio stations in the area of your concert. Then look in the Format column to find the Christian radio stations that play your bands style of music. Links to the stations are in the Call Sign column. Those links will bring your directly to that radio stations web site.
Once you are on the stations web site you need to find the person who schedules interviews for each of the various shows. So, take a minute to learn about which shows the stations airs. Obviously the syndicated shows do not do local band interviews. Look for the local shows that have live on-air personalities at the station. Contact those personalities directly through their e-mail links whenever possible. There are usually multiple shows and people to contact at each station. If links are not available or it is unclear who you should contact, use the station managers’ link. As a last resort use the info@ link. Be sure to create an intriguing subject line to assure your e-mail gets opened. The content of the e-mail should describe the event as well as talking about the bands involvement at the event. I usually send an electronic press release and public service announcement as attachments. Don’t forget to clearly state that the band is available for interviews and give a phone number to call to set up the interviews. Most of the time I have gotten a phone call in response to my e-mail within a couple days to schedule an interview.
Contacting the local Christian Radio stations should become part of your regular booking routine. Add it to your to-do tasks list after each show has been confirmed. This task takes time but will become easier as you develop your bands media file and establish relationships with the local on air personalities.
This tactic will not put your bands music on the charts. It will get you a small amount of airplay on some of the smaller stations. Even a small amount of radio airplay increases the bands credibility. This tactic will increase attendance at the events your band is playing and give you the opportunity to create new fans.
One last trick: keep track of the stations that have played your songs during an interview. Add a list of these stations to your bands press kit. You may even be able to gather a quote or two from the on-air personalities who interview the band to add to your bands quote page!
Want more in depth information about radio interviews? Click Here.
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