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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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The Stupidest Label
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Every once in a while I see something happen that’s just so dumb I have to put it out there for everyone as both something to laugh at and as a cautionary tale to know who you’re working with. Today I bring you one of those stories, the story of the stupidest label. I’m going to alter their name to DumbCo Records to protect the moronic, and so as to not give them any free press. I’m also changing their name because the point of this isn’t to put a label on blast, but rather to illustrate a point. Now sit back and enjoy this classic story that falls under the heading of shooting oneself in the foot 101.

As many of you know I send out a weekly email for this blog. There are two ways to get on the list, the traditional way of actually signing up to get it and the non-traditional way of being a label or PR person that happens to add my RapReviews.com email address to their PR lists without asking me if I want to be on them first. I send out a special email to those who’ve added me to their lists with a disclaimer at the start that says:

Adam's World is the blog of journalist Adam Bernard. If you are receiving this you have either signed up for the weekly newsletter or added the email address AdamB@rapreviews.com to your own email promo list.

My general feeling is if they signed me up to their list I’ll sign them up to mine, but I’m also going to let them know this is why they’re getting my emails. The second thing anyone sees when they open up my weekly update is my Artist Of The Week feature.

Now, if you’re a label, or a PR person, and you see that someone has noticed they’re getting your emails, signed you up for theirs, and is doing weekly features on up and coming artists there should only be one school of thought, “let’s politic.” I know at least one label has caught on to this and emailed me recently expressing interest in working together in the new year. Congrats to them for understanding what I’m trying to do here. DumbCo Records, on the other hand, decided to send me an email with a response that proved to me their artists will never get any kind of coverage. They said, “Remove.” That’s right, I hit them with an email detailing why they’re receiving the email and showing how I support up and coming artists and their first thought was “Remove.”

I normally give every label and PR email a quick look before deleting or replying to them, but when it came to DumbCo I hit them back letting them know they have been removed from my list and requesting, in turn, that they remove me from theirs. I’m not sure how DumbCo plans on getting press if they don’t even investigate the emails they receive from potentially interested writers. PR is about a lot more than sending out emails and mailing out CD’s. It’s about cultivating relationships with writers, websites, publications and anyone else who might want to work with you. The key is to explore all possible avenues. With one email DumbCo cut off not just a writer, but a large website and a lot of potential magazine coverage.

I realized when I first came up with the idea to spam the spammers that not a lot of them would actually open the emails I sent out, but I never imagined a label would open the email, see the potential for coverage, and decide not to politic. DumbCo should be required to have a section of every artist’s contract that says “Oh yeah, by the way, we have no idea what we’re doing and we may screw you over with our own nonsensical business practices.”

Artists, I know many of you already know about making sure you hire proper representation, like a good, trustworthy, manager, lawyer and PR person (or people), but did you ever think your own label could be hurting you? As an artist it should never be your job to make sure your label is working for you, you pay nearly 90% of your album sales to the label and at that price it should be a perfectly well oiled machine. Unfortunately the case of DumbCo is not an isolated incident. If you have to check up on your label to make sure they’re doing their job it’s time to look for a new label, and if your label is telling writers to shove off, well, let’s just say that isn’t a very good sign for your career.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:08 AM  
  • At 10:12 PM, Blogger Free Hiphop Now Syndicate said…

    It's bad enough that artists already on labels have to outsource help to do their PR, then you have so many PR people that really don't know what they're doing. Nowadays, everyone calls themselves a PR company and they don't do much more then send out email blast. Sad....

    Artists get your business correct. And PR people really learn how to do true PR.

    A real PR person has a track record and can say to a potential client this is what I did for my last client check out these great results.

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