[JPL] Promotion people, a rant

onthebeach at aol.com onthebeach at aol.com
Thu Nov 17 13:43:53 EST 2011

janice mancuso writes:

Clients who have received shoddy service may not know how poor with nothing to 
compare to or feel shame at making a poor decision.

in some ways, both are true.  i can attest the client i referenced has been beating themselves up and is rather distressed.
so much so that questions about how this affects the career going forward have contributed to this person feeling ill and depressed.

even without having something to compare with, however, any conscious person knows when they are receiving a quality of service
(some reasonable level of attention and responsiveness) or not--and this has nothing to do with success, which can never be guaranteed
(unless the promoter is excellent, confidant and willing to some extent to put it on the line).  

if i was paying someone three to four hundred dollars per week to promote my record, i would feel entitled to have a reasonable flow of communication,
not simply get emailed reports.  to have a couple of short phone calls per week doesnt seem unreasonable.  nor does having simply email replied
to and in a timely fashion.

unfortunately, due to the economics, the majority of jazz artists can not afford a team as we often see in other genres. some of those who can, hire me to assemble and direct a team, analyze and direct (much like what i did for years at labels). they are looking to receive value, like any other client. 

it would be interesting to see radio weigh in-without naming names-on their feelings about promoters who rely on email; if they are aware
that certain promoters are being paid for more records than they can discuss in a typical conversation [there's a topic unto itself].  how many minutes , on average,
does a radio person allow for each promoter?  what portion of that is about the projects themselves? [a 2012 panel, ed?]

i do know of a few promoters who have created different levels of service-nothing wrong with that-providing access to some artists who cant afford to pony up
$1800 to $2400, for starters.  as long as the artist knows what he/she/they are to receive as a baseline service, its all good. the few bad apples are entrenched in their ways,  will they wise up, respond positively and start earning their money?  im not sure they deserve additional chances.  i just dont want to hear about other artists having these kind of devoid-of-value-experiences.

bright moments,
ricky schultz

-----Original Message-----
From: Janice Mancuso <janmancuso at me.com>
To: JPL List <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Sent: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 5:06 am
Subject: [JPL] Promotion people, a rant


Thank you for acknowledging the tough situation this puts many folks in.  

Abuse of a person or profession is difficult to point out when all parties are 

Clients who have received shoddy service may not know how poor with nothing to 
compare to or feel shame at making a poor decision.

Others in the profession don't want to appear display sour grapes.

Our business is tiny.  

Due to the 'competitive' nature of business, labels or artists may not seek out 
references for promotional services and yet that's what makes sense.  

Engaging someone to present your work without checking them out with references 
is akin to hiring a contractor to make over your kitchen without do diligence.

Cavet emptor.  And that goes for folks who are asked to suggest or recommend the 
work of others.  

It is possible to give a reference without discussing 'state secrets' or being 


Reference Recordings/KMHD volunteer
Portland, OR

Begin forwarded message:

> Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 01:30:20 -0500
> From: Ed Trefzger <ed.trefzger at jazzweek.com>
> Subject: Re: [JPL] Promotion people, a rant
> To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
> Message-ID: <CE7C6FA3-BFA4-4278-9FA4-5F7D6612B059 at jazzweek.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> I know none of us want to see unscrupulous or unprofessional people work 
projects, especially for individual artists for whom the fee is a significant 
> But I would ask that names not be named on this list, just to avoid the 
blow-ups or liabilities that would occur.
> However, I am occasionally asked to make recommendations or suggest promoters 
to musicians from time to time. I almost never give a single name but several. 
But if there is a problem with certain people, I'd prefer not to make a 
recommendation. I don't want to see those complaints on the list or in writing, 
but I'd be happy to take a phone call on the issue with the utmost 
confidentiality at 585-210-0599.
> Thanks. 
> On Nov 16, 2011, at 6:17 PM, mfa - jazz radio promotion, publicity & 
consulting wrote:
>> I second that, Jane - and Mark, couldn't have said it better myself!
>> Mitchell
>> [JPL] Promotion people, a rant
>> Jane Dashow jazzzdog at nyc.rr.com 
>> Wed Nov 16 16:35:43 EST 2011
>> Previous message: [JPL] Promotion people, a rant
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>> Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]
>> Here here Mark!
>> Jane Dashow
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
>> [mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Mark Rini
>> Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:28 PM
>> To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
>> Subject: Re: [JPL] Promotion people, a rant
>> Ricky,
>> By the lack of replies, it seems that this is something most would rather
>> not discuss. As a long time radio promoter, it is, to say the least, very
>> disturbing to hear this again.
>> We've been contacted by a few labels/artists ourselves that had similar
>> experiences as you described with certain other promoters. One well known
>> and one I wasn't familiar with  Not returning a clients call, one who has
>> paid you good money, is bullshit and creates a stigma that all of the other
>> legit  records reps have to deal with.
>> I think it would be in poor form for one promoter to out another, as it
>> could be misconstrued as sour grapes, but I do think that person(s) should
>> be held accountable, so as far as I'm concerned...they should be outed by
>> the burned client . I know Josh and I, as well as a few others out there
>> who are legit, work too damn hard for someone to tarnish the image of what
>> we do. Artists and labels deserve to know this info.
>> While I don't think any promoter can guarantee spectacular chart results
>> as I said to you off list, the effort should be a given. We're dealing with
>> someone's art, passion and livelihood. Respect for it is mandatory.
>> Thanks for having the "stones" to keep bringing this up.
>> Mark
>> On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 3:01 PM, <onthebeach at aol.com> wrote:
>>> allow me to weigh in, and quote Peter Drucker to begin:
>>> "The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer
>>> so well the product or service fits him and sells itself."
>>> this also includes understanding, as matthias points out, that not every
>>> release is going to work
>>> for every station...or any station perhaps.
>>> this dovetails in to something i alluded to recently:  THERE ARE SOME
>>> WEAK-ASS promotion people out there,
>>> bordering on "thieves".  some with rather popular, high-profiles.  record
>>> promotion can be augmented
>>> with email but nothing replaces speaking with the other person.  and a
>>> promotion person provides a service
>>> for which their client pays them.  while the client must understand there
>>> can be no guarantees regarding success,
>>> at minimum, the promoter must respect their client and the money...they
>>> must earn the money by
>>> i recently had a consulting client who couldnt connect with my recommended
>>> promoter.  the way this artist was treated
>>> borders on RIPPED OFF: no meaningful feedback, no quotes, no track
>>> information.  shakey, inconsistent tracking sheets
>>> that to a professional eye looked made up.  even worse? this promoter
>>> wouldnt take phone calls and essentially blew off
>>> the client's request via email and gave the absolute minimal answer when
>>> and if they responded.
>>> this particular artist gave the promoter something to work with: a track
>>> record with some upper half of the chart titles;
>>> some notable guest artists, some really solid music compatible with jazz
>>> radio AND was already bubbling under the chart!
>>> (oh yeah and the  had titles and times in all the right places).
>>> this promoter so lacked professionalism and respect for this client THEY
>>> SHOULD BE OUTED!  every promoter must understand
>>> what they take on, and importantly the CO$T$ to the artist.  they commit a
>>> couple grand to pay you + the cost of sample CDs,
>>> mailers and postage.  times are tough for everybody.  if an artist
>>> delivers a project that is embraced by dozens of reporters,
>>> at the minimum they deserve to know what tracks are getting spun and they
>>> should walk away from the campaign with at least
>>> a couple of notable quotes to add to their press kit, web site, social
>>> networks etc.
>>> i wish i could wave a magic wand and BANISH the few miserly greedy
>>> promoters.  the good guys and gals would have a little more pie to share
>>> and would be doing ok. if you are a service provider, the client always
>>> comes first!
>>> bright moments,
>>> ricky schultz
>>> www.jazzconsultant.com


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