First Impressions Last

I’m in the lucky position of being a DJ on two local radio stations, Hastings Rock and Carnival FM, both of which only broadcast for a limited period every year. It’s something that I love doing.

A lot of what I play on both of those stations is new music and usually locally sourced as well. This has put me onto the radar for original bands from across the UK and even further afield too, especially because of Hastings Rock.

It’s a nice position to me in and I’m certainly not complaining about that, as I get to hear new music from all over, a lot of it very good. But there is one frustrating aspect to this and an example happened again today.

I get regular emails and the occasional phone call from bands and PR companies etc because my contact details are on the Hastings Rock website. But that website also clearly states the broadcast dates for the radio station, in fact that information is on the Home page, whereas those contact details aren’t.

So when I get an email, or a phone call as happened today, asking if I can play a particular new act as they have a new track being released, or interview the PR companies new rising stars on my show because they are playing a gig near Hastings in the near future, you’d think they would have checked to see whether the radio station was actually on the air at the time wouldn’t you?

While it is easier to forgive the sending of a blanket email, which is probably sent to radio stations and DJ’s across the UK, receiving a personal phone call from somebody representing a band is another thing entirely.

I know it is only a minor inconvenience for me, but doing a bit of basic research before you contact somebody you’re hoping to get interested in your band isn’t a bad idea. Especially when the relevant information is so readily available.

If you’re in a band, wherever you’re based, and you’re after airplay on a particular radio station or show, or you’re looking to be interviewed about that upcoming gig in a new town, then do your research first.

If you don’t do that initial research and you fail to notice that the radio station isn’t on the air, or you get the name of the station or DJ wrong, or you send a Rock track to a Jazz station, etc etc, you are not going to make a very good impression.

If you don’t get the basics right, the person or station you’ve contacted are going to be far less likely to give you the chance you’re looking for.

A person I used to work with once said to me, “first impressions last”. It’s something I’ve always tried to remember myself and I now know exactly what they meant.

Sometimes you only get one shot at making the right impression. So why not make sure you get it right?

Andy Gunton.


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