Some recent back-and-forth e-mails with Eric Melin of the Dead Girls regarding the marketing of the bands' upcoming album, Out Of Earshot, resulted in a laundry list of things that both work and don't work in terms of publicity in the time of the blog.
If you're a band looking to promote your new record, here's what'll increase your chances of getting covered -- at least here on Wayward Blog. I can't help but think I'm not the only blogger who's suggestions like this, however.
Most places are switching to digital downloads for servicing records. It's simply far more financially viable. Now, that being said, most folks offer up digital servicing as the default, with the allowance that folks can request a physical copy. Some places use a download-protected site with art, photos, bio, etc. Others simply include a link to a ZIP or RAR file and hope you're not going to forward it on to a dozen of your friends.
What works for me, personally, is when it's a nicely put together e-mail that includes the following:
* A web-formatted band photo. I don't need a 3.7 meg hi-res photo. As a matter of fact, I'll have to reformat that photo.
* A SHORT description of the band's sound (influences and past projects).
* An MP3 or video to which I can easily link. If you've not your own server space, use Rapidshare, Megaupload, Mediafire, or any other free file host.
* The ability to go somewhere and download the full album without too much rigmarole. There's one company that sends me stuff (I'll refrain from naming them), but you have to request a link for each and every release they're working. So, rather than just clicking a link in the e-mail, you have to shoot them an e-mail, wait for a response, and then download it. I don't cover their music often.
Something regarding videos: gimmicky music videos are awesome, and pop culture references are a great way to get postings. That "Sweep the Leg" video No More Kings did was for a terrible song, but you make a faithful redo of the Karate Kid, and blogs will trip over themselves posting it, to say nothing of people forwarding it on via Twitter and Facebook. Cheesy "band members talking to one another" videos are not awesome, however. Avoid them.
A final recommendation, and this works especially well for Wayward Blog: if at all possible, target places where you're touring. I feature artists coming to KC/Lawrence far more often than some random band.