College radio can be your best friend as an up and coming artist. These stations are the most accessible radio option for indie artists, so targeting college radio in your promotion campaign makes sense. There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting playlisted at the college stations you approach. As you package up your CDs, keep the following in mind:

  • Yes, send promo CDs. You'd be surprised how many college radio stations still operate by pulling the CD off the shelf and playing it.
  • Include a list of songs that include profanity. Your list should say the song title, the track number and the profane words used. It takes station staffs a long time to wade through everything to find out what they can and cannot play according to FCC rules, so doing this task for them will get your music on air sooner. FCC rules are different at different hours of the day, so if you list the profane words, the station can figure out which songs they can't touch and which they can play during safe harbor hours.
  • Put a sticker on the front of the CD with your band name, album name, two sentences about yourself and three or so suggested tracks. They won't have time to listen to your whole album, so direct them to the stand out songs.
  • Sending promos is fine, but put them in a jewel case. Even if there is no artwork, write the name of your band and the album title on the spine of the jewel using a marker. If you do have artwork and this info is not easily readable on the spine, write it in. This helps DJs find your album on the big station shelves.
  • Start with your local stations. Write on the envelope that you are a local band - it may help get your CD listened to first.

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