If you’ve ever wondered what exactly campus radio wants when you send them your disc, you’re in luck. We asked one of the busiest campus radio DJ’s we knew, Rhonda Nye, about those finer details.
Rhonda not only hosts two campus programs (Campus Countdown & Indie Insider) at CJTR, but she’s also on the board of directors, chair of the programming committee and serves on the promotions and events committees, so it’s safe to say she knows what she’s talking about.
1. Physical discs or digital?
I think physical discs are still ideal at our station in particular because we add them to our library which individual programmers can borrow for their respective shows. … but I’m going to completely contradict myself and say that personally, I prefer an email with a download link and an EPK.
If you’re targeting a station, send physical copies of the disc along with any applicable paperwork, but if you’re targeting a specific person and that person is me, I would rather it be completely digital.
2. What do you want with the music?
I expect a CD and bio with tour dates if applicable. What I really want is to just hear the music.
Make sure you know who you’re talking to. If you’re a hip hop artist, seek out hip hop programmers (DJs). If you’re a folk artist, find hosts of folk shows.
Campus and community radio stations have all different kinds of shows that are usually genre specific, so make sure you’re targeting the right person or your music will fall on deaf ears.
3. Who do you contact?
Start with the GM or Program Director (if there is one). They can usually forward you on to the right person. Or check the programming schedule on a station’s website. They usually have descriptions of their shows along with contact info. Also, keep a database of radio/media people who have contacted you in the past. If they went out of their way to get in touch with you before, they’ll most likely want to hear your news and/or new music again.
4. What should bands include in a press release?
Bands should include all the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s and why’s. If they’re releasing a new album or announcing a tour include all pertinent information. Always have contact info, along with a working web address and a brief bio. And try to keep it to one page if possible. There is such a thing as too much information.
Also there’s nothing more frustrating than going to a website and finding out that the last time it’s been updated was two years ago. Make sure that if you’re linking to your website that it’s updated on a regular basis.
5. How far in advance should bands send you new music?
I think one or two weeks in advance of their official release is a good rule of thumb.
6. Where can we find campus radio contacts?
You can find a complete list of campus and community radio stations in Canada at www.ncra.ca – it’s the website of the National Campus and Community Radio Association and has a list of all their members across the country.