Promoting a Band Old School: Flyering and Postering

Posted on March 6th, 2015 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Sound school

When people with music business administration training are planning a show for a band they manage, they usually think of everything. They’ll hire an associate from sound school to run the board well in advance and make sure to consult with friends in event planning schools about the aspects of the evening they’re responsible for handling. They’ll make sure the band is happy and ready to play and, of course, they’ll make sure to do plenty of promo.

These days, though, there are a couple of tried and true methods of music promo that some managers and artists are leaving out of the mix: flyering and postering. They really should be included, though, as they are still an integral part of the show’s promo process.

Flyers: The Personal Touch

Online promotion for a band or show is something you can’t and shouldn’t want to avoid doing. A Facebook event page can do wonders for promotion, but what it lacks is the personal touch. Sure, you can message the band’s most loyal fans personally, but nothing really compares to getting a flyer from someone you are talking to. Then, the online promo can be a reminder.

While it’s not free like most forms of online promo, it’s not that expensive, either. Just make sure to only print what you can realistically get distributed, and be sure it’s eye-catching and the information is clearly accessible.

Depending on the size of the band you manage, you may want to ask the band members themselves to pass out flyers at their shows or to people they know or meet. Handing out flyers at other shows featuring a similar style of music is a good idea, too.

Leaving flyers for people to take can be effective, as long as it’s in places potential audience members might see them, such as other bars and coffee shops near the venue or college campuses. Just make sure to ask permission when it’s required.

Postering Regulations and Etiquette

Permission for indoor postering or putting up posters on private property is generally required. In the case of schools, there’s generally one office that can stamp them.

When it comes to promoting your band on public property, the laws vary from city to city and sometimes from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Before you get started, it’s important to know what the regulations are. A common situation would have big public bulletin boards set up that you can poster on, but anywhere else it’s a hefty fine that frequently will be passed along to the venue, and that’s not something you want.

Once you have the rules figured out, you still need to consider postering etiquette, the unwritten rules of the street. There are still debates on this but a few good rules of thumb are:

  • Don’t poster over another poster for a show that hasn’t happened yet, unless there are multiple other posters for that show in the same location
  • If you do have to cover up part of another poster, leave the date, time and venue information visible
  • Don’t put more than one poster on the same bulletin board or object, unless it can be visible from both directions and you are putting one poster for each direction.
  • Use only clear postering tape or pushpins, depending on where you are postering
  • Don’t put up posters too much in advance of the show, then you’d be taking up too much space

If you have a team to put up posters and do flyering, make sure they understand your policy and what they can and can’t do.

Do you think you’ll use postering and flyering when you start managing musicians?

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