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Press Quotes? CD Sales? Or Both? - How Media Businesses Work

Contributors: Eric Nemeyer
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By Eric Nemeyer

Many artists, industry participants and clients of, Jazz Inside and Jazz Improv (the previous title I published) have contacted me during the past 14 years, to find out about the "ins and outs" of the publishing and media business.
I have had the opportunity to observe and understand how things work from both sides of the desk - as an independent artist and media publisher. My experiences with and observations about virtually every publicist, promoter, artist and industry participant during this time, have provided some practical insights about business.  
I'm going to take a moment to provide some understanding about our procedures in operating our business - and it is a business - and how media businesses involved in commerce operate in general. 
In short, like most media businesses - print, digital, electronic, broadcast - Jazz Inside Magazine (print and digital plus our websites, e-mail newsletters etc.), has two sets of customers and prospects. (Actually, there are three sets of customers when we consider retail and wholesale distributors - but for now we'll keep it simply, with two).
One group of our customers are our readers. They are interested in Jazz Inside Magazine for the content we deliver - interviews, reviews, articles, news, listings of events - content that is related to their area of interest, jazz.
Our second group of customers are our advertisers.
In the media business, the primary "product" that media businesses - print, broadcast, digital, electronic - provide to business clients is a targeted audience. 
By reaching the particular audience that a media outlet/business provides, businesses, organizations and individuals are able to promote their products and services to a targeted group.

In the case of Jazz Inside Magazine, that targeted group of readers comprise the very people in this niche market who are most likely to buy the products and services that advertisers are selling.
Advertising customers pay for access - their advertisement - to reach the audience that a given media outlet delivers. In the creation and publication of their ads, advertisers are presenting their own message, and controlling the image and identity via their advertising that they want the public to understand.
Jazz Inside, like many media organizations, provides editorial coverage - and that is not for sale - i.e. unpaid.
Historically, editorial coverage in Jazz Inside Magazine has included both those artists, labels and industry participants who are our customers, as well as those who are not customers.
When we receive CDs and other products for review, here at Jazz Inside Magazine, our staff creates a database record. Those records then go to the advertising department and to the editorial department.

This is pretty common.
Our advertising staff, including me, the Publisher, then contacts those who have submitted products for review.
Individuals and organizations who send us their products for review, or seek editorial coverage, have in so doing, identified themselves as active participants in this business.
We proceed on the premise that any individual or business that is spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to create and produce a product, is likely to (and hopefully for their own benefit, and to have a roadmap for business and financial success) have developed a marketing plan - a plan  that includes both sides of the marketing tree - publicity and advertising.
Publicity is designed to produce editorial coverage. Many artists who submit their products to us, however, do not understand the difference - between how both sides of the marketing tree --- advertising and publicity --- work together.
Many artists and small labels release their CDs without even developing a written business or marketing plan. Then, they wonder why, or complain, that they are not selling enough CDs, getting more performance bookings and in short, not building their name brand and reputation in a broad-based, long-term way.
What you are reading here is some of the information that we typically send artists and other industry participants - a brief synopsis of the difference between advertising and publicity and how the two work together. This is designed to help those who might be less experienced, and to provide a quick resource for those who are more experienced.
Even though you may already know these things, and may have an elaborate written business and marketing plan, I have included some brief perspectives below.

Jazz Inside is a business, and is wholly supported by its customers - advertisers and subscribers. It is a universal understanding among successful businesses, that the customer always comes first. Jazz Inside shares this perspective and prioritizes its resources in accordance with that understanding.

Jazz Inside is committed to promoting this music.

As the one jazz magazine run by a jazz musician - both Jazz Inside and the prior publication I published Jazz Improv -  we understand the challenges and attitudes of artists (and industry participants) and have promoted hundreds and hundreds of artists over the years.

Many industry participants who contact us want to reach and influence (in their own words, with their own message) the highly targeted audience that we deliver - and they do so by advertising.
After all, if its important enough for those who contact us to reach our audience through editorial reviews, where the image and message-crafting is out of their hands --- we recognize that smart marketers also want to complete the other half of the equation by presenting their own message (by advertising) to the audience we deliver.
During my 14 years of publishing Jazz Improv Magazine and Jazz Inside Magazine, many artists and businesses have asked me the difference between 
  • 1 - Publicity whose result is editorial or media coverage or placements, and
  • 2 - Advertising and Promotion - whose purpose among many include creating your image, building your customer or fan base and sales.
Publicity and resultant editorial coverage are certainly valuable and produce some of the elements that can contribute to sales success.
Waiting for media placements and editorial coverage are passive though.
Your fate is in someone else's hands.
You may get the deserved coverage to which you believe you are entitled at some media outlets - or you might not.
As my grandmother used to say: "Be grateful for luck, but don't count on it."

In short, as a marketing device - the resultant media placements/coverage are functions of other people's decisions, and other people defining your products and services, and your image - in their words.
Advertising and promotion are the other half of the marketing tree. Advertising is proactive. It provides you with the power to control your own message, image, and identity --- and to influence prospects in your own words.

At Jazz Inside we love to receive new music for possible coverage.
We look forward to discovering and hearing new music by leading and emerging artists.

We encourage all artists and industry participants to understand both sides of the marketing tree.

We suggest that customers and prospects create marketing plans that smartly incorporate both arms of the marketing tree - namely, publicity and advertising.

Needless to say, it is best to create your marketing plan before creating your product.

However, for those who find themselves needing to create their marketing plan after the fact (uh oh!!!) ---  and to provide helpful ideas and suggestions even to those experienced marketers who have a marketing plan in place, we have created a report entitled "7 Steps To Create Your Marketing Plan in 10 Minutes To Increase Your Success." To get a copy, simply drop me a line at and I'll send you the Special Report.

Eric Nemeyer
The Name Says It All
For The Traffic, List-Building, Social Media & Sales Your Music & Business Can't Live Without
Jazz Inside Magazine | Groove News |
The Ultimate Cost-Effective Print & Digital Marketing Solutions To Influence Jazz Buyers.
MAIL: Box 30284, Elkins Park, PA 19027
STREET: 107-A Glenside Av, Glenside, PA 19038
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