E-mail of the week - how NOT to try and grab the attention of a magazine

Posted on 13/11/09

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Each day we do get mails from labels and bands that are pointless because they lack every decent information. From e-mails just consisting of a subject saying "X has released a new album" or "Y will release its last CD ever", to a mail asking us to write 'something' on the release X by band Z. Without any extra info that is, no links, nada. But yesterday, Thursday 12th, we got really the best one out of the lot who combined all not-to-do-rules in one single mailout to our staff. The label is from Germany, which might explain the rather poor spelling, but it's no excuse for what you're going to read next (editor's note: the featured spelling errors are not ours):

E-mail of the week - how NOT to try and grab the attention of a magazine

(Names have been removed to save the label's (and the band's) reputation from being completely ridiculed/or tarnished...)

Download 'Matrix Downloaded 02'

Actually, we first thought this to be a bait prank and contacted the label straight away saying "Dearest, Halloween is on October 31st and April 1st is still a long way to go. Thanks for sending us complete info on the said release." But allas, the response that came proved that it was no joke at all (spelling errors are not ours, again): "cannot you read? we dont sent promos, we ve no money to spend on ya!" That was the last e-mail 'intercourse' that we had with said label on the subject, ever.

Basically this label first of all wanted us to write a piece on a band's newest album without giving us any info at all. As said above, just the band's name and the title of the release won't do it for us. A basic bio, what the release is about and every possible info that can help us to place things in the right context. All that was missing. Not that extraordinary, as said earlier, it's very common in this scene. And although the band in this case was not that unknown, there is really no chance that we will start looking up info just because a label is too lazy to do it.

The 2nd part of the e-mail did strike us a bit more. In the mail and the follow-up mail the label simply refuses to send us promos, even no digital downloads. And this without we even had the chance to ask for it, no, we were simply denied access on the spot. That's not really inviting people to do their work... On a sidenote, we do wonder what kind of label this band is signed to if they have no money to promote the label anyhow. No ad budget, no samplers, no promos, nothing. Oh and we were also directly tagged as being thieves: "... as you know all journalists sell their promo copies on ebay or they swap downloads with joe from next door's." They probably thought that we would buy the release from them as they did expect a review to be published. It doesn't stop there, they are not even aware that Side-Line is no longer in print... one must have been on Mars not to be aware of this, especially being a label. But what strikes me the most is they demand a copy of the magazine saying that if we don't send one that they will sue us.

We sent the link to this article to around 1000 labels to have a look at it, and hopefully learn from it. The concerned label also got a copy of the mailing, we wonder if by now they will have understood how things work in promo land.

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