THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Press Releases

Don’t send ‘em. Unless you’re a publicly traded corporate behemoth like Live Nation or you’re

an old wave band, owned by the media, that has no idea who its fans are.

I just delete ‘em. I wonder what makes you send them. Especially to me. Do I ever do hype?

Never. But you keep sending these generic statements, saying how great your band or Net idea

is, and hope that I, along with every other scribe, will just reprint them, easing your way

to fame and riches.

Hogwash.

If you’re playing to the media, you’re still living in 1994.

Hell, in 1994, better yet, the seventies, if you wanted to know which way the wind blew, what


Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.

was going on, you just listened to the radio. You got all the news you needed, you were aware

of every concert in town. Now, your favorite band can be playing in your city and you’ve got

no idea! Because said band was trying to spread the word by playing to a media that its fans

are not paying attention to and not to the fans themselves.

If everybody was reading the newspaper, why has circulation dropped? Ditto with "Time" and

"Newsweek". And network TV has abysmal ratings, certainly compared to the days before cable.

Why do you keep sending a zillion arrows into this abyss?

I know why, it makes you feel good, it makes you feel like you’re doing something. But you’re

not. You’re just wasting time.

You need one place online where a fan can get all the information. Hopefully, your own site,

with a URL reflective of your band/act name. It should be wannaberockers.com, or janedoe.com.

Not slashes and blogspot and all the other URL crap, you should be able to find your favorite

band’s site without using Google. And, if you don’t have the money to power your own site,

make your MySpace page the disseminator of information.

That’s it. No Facebook, where you’ve got to be a friend to find out the info, no LinkedIn, no

wannabe social networking site. Oh, I’m not saying not to have a presence there, but pick one

damn location that you’re driving all your traffic to. Sure, post your news/info at all these

sites, but the more you consolidate to one site, the more it benefits you! A diehard fan will

surf from location to location, whereas others want the information, but don’t want to be

sleuths to find it.

Forget the Flash. Put that information you’re sending to me right on the homepage. There

should be no entrance page, just the homepage itself. Your fans should be able to get all the

info they need without having to click through!

And no harvesting of e-mail addresses. This just pisses people off. Let people opt in! You

know they’re interested, they’re agreeing to hear from you. Otherwise, you’re eviscerating

their fandom. Read Seth Godin on permission marketing:


Permission Marketing

Let me repeat this, read this! This is the Internet marketing blueprint!

Also know that personalized e-mail is trouble, the more personal it is, the less people read

it. Go here for the latest study:

Personalized Emails Are Creepy, Not Effective

Forget swinging for the fences. Build from the ground up. The media attention is just a

bizarre victory lap. Dave Matthews gets very little mainstream hype, but his gigs sell out.

Dave’s only interested in his fans, they know where to get the information, and the tickets

they so dearly desire.

Build an e-mail list, permission based. Don’t abuse the relationship. Speak to your fan, not

a generic wannabe fan. Proffer reasonable offers. What you build will last forever, if you

concentrate only on those who are interested, if you let them spread the word how great you

are. We believe it when we hear it from another, not someone incentivized as a street team

member, but someone who really believes. This process might sound too slow for you. But

everything that truly lasts grows slowly…

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