Promoting Your Work to the Outside World

Image by Felipe Luiz Fatarelli

You've spent countless hours producing the excellent content that keeps PRX such a vibrant marketplace. Pat yourself on the back, and then get back to work, because people need to know your stuff exists! We've long advised our producer community on how to get found and purchased on But there's another important constituency: The whole wide Web world.

Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start. That's why we've assembled this page of very specific ideas, which we will continue to update. Please share your ideas, and we'll add them below.

Promotional Targets

The list of promotional targets is as long as your imagination: your own sites and blogs, social networks and online discussion groups, third-party blogs, and iTunes and other online stores (since distribution is its own form of promotion).

Some guiding principles: Be creative, focus on heavy hitters (right now, that means Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon), and if you have time left over, go after some niche communities. Don't drive yourself crazy: Try things out, step back and see what works, then dive back in. We've found that selective promotion is more effective than scattershot.

  • Spend some time customizing your message for your intended target. For example, if you want a blog editor to write about your documentary, take a few minutes to read through the blog and suggest relevant angles.
  • Promote to communities whose interests align with your content, such as environment pieces to an environment-oriented blog. Or, you might want to let a community of food enthusiasts know they can download some great audio to keep them company while cooking.

Some social networks:

  • Facebook
    post to your profile, create a product page and invite fans, etc.
  • Twitter
    post a tweet with a shortened link (using or
  • MySpace
    post to your profile, create a group, etc.
  • delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • FriendFeed
  • Jaiku
  • Gather
  • iLike
  • hi5
  • Orkut
  • Bebo
  • Baidu

Some blogs, magazines, and online communities:

Some public radio sites:


Targeting Your Message

Sometimes, simply saying "Check out my latest piece!" or "I'm on iTunes!" is enough. But we also encourage you to go deeper. What should you say? Here are some thoughts.

The length and structure of your message should match where you're putting it.

Let's say you have a podcast or album on iTunes called "Clouds are Blue." Obviously, just telling people to buy it doesn't tell them why. Imagine a few different placements:

  • On Facebook
    "Clouds are Blue: Five people, four cities, three days, one audio love story. Get it on iTunes. Tell your friends, too! [link][image]"
  • On Twitter
    "Clouds are Blue: Five people, four cities, three days, one audio love story. Now on iTunes. Tell your friends. [link]"
  • In a Google ad
    "Clouds are Blue: A twisted love story in 8 parts. Get it on iTunes. [link]"
  • On your blog
    "For those of you who've been wondering why I haven't returned your emails, it's because I've been working on 'Clouds are Blue'. It's an audio love story in eight parts. You can get it on iTunes [link]. Let me tell you a little about it. Blah blah blah [audio excerpt] blah blah blah."

iTunes and Online Stores

Image by Emily Bean

The PRX to iTunes service places audio by select PRX producers onto iTunes so your work can get more exposure and revenue. Learn more in the FAQ. Online stores focus on music, not on spoken word. We see this as an opportunity to get our foot in the door and start opening it further.

We'll help with promotion by working our iTunes contacts and posting to various blogs and social networks. But there's lots you can do, too. Much of the following advice applies to podcasts as well.

Linking to your work in iTunes

Here's a page of all PRX producers' tracks and albums currently in iTunes (we hope to send to other stores, too):

PRX is a member of the iTunes affiliate program. If someone clicks an affiliate link and buys anything from iTunes during that visit, PRX gets a 5% commission, which helps us bring you services like the PRX Paid Download Service. If you have your own affiliate memberships, feel free to use those. But if you don't, consider using ours. (You can shorten the links with tools like or

Talking about your work on iTunes

PRX created the PRX to iTunes Service to help public radio producers:

  • Reach a broader audience:
    People who use iTunes and other online services are not necessarily public radio listeners.
  • Be in more listening contexts:
    Rather than only streaming from the computer, MP3s let people listen where ever they are: in the car, cooking dinner, taking a walk, etc.
  • Promote an idea of public radio pieces as treasured objects:
    People own or gift the music and movies they love. Public radio pieces deserve this treatment, too.

Public Radio Exchange is not a widely known brand. Maybe you are, but if you're not, you'll want your messaging to be descriptive, or at least intriguing, without sacrificing brevity.

Suggested elements:

  • Name of the track or album
  • Brief description or hook
  • Call to action, e.g., "Get it on iTunes"
  • iMix widget for your website
  • Link to the item on one of the services (iTunes links), or on your own website
  • Image
  • Audio teaser

In addition to external promotion, you can use tools within iTunes itself to make your work more findable and appealing. This guide to iTunes promotion (launches a .pdf) by TuneCore, an online music distributor, is really practical and useful. In sum: Use the Tell a Friend feature from the album page. Rate and review and ask friends to do the same. Create an iMix of your tracks (and mix in other tracks, too) and share with friends or publish as a widget on your website or blog. More on iMixes.

Timing your talk about your work on iTunes

Think current events, seasons, and holidays. Radio programmers think like this for broadcast, and you should for sales. If your work is creepy, push it around Halloween time. If it's summery, think Memorial Day. If it involves warm, cozy food... Thanksgiving or Christmas. Consider creating an iMix of well-known holiday favorites that also includes your own.


Your Ideas Here

Send us your tips and we'll post them right here.

From Hans Anderson:

Good stuff. One thing I think we need to ditch is "public radio". What a yawner. Just call it something else, even if it has to be "audio." There is music, there are songs. There is audio, there are pieces (don't really like "pieces" either). There is twitter, there are tweets.

Yeah, changing the name is a small thing, but I like the objects as the center of the universe idea and I think a good start on changing that focus would be to give it a better name. As long as it's "public radio" I'll think of mothballs and my Mom. Call it what it is now.

From Susan Barrett Price:

IDEA: The PRX Paid-Download page should be public and a target for promotion since it lays out the whole scope of PRX's album way better than iTunes. I want to link to this. A sentence or two of description could be added to the stories. I think it would be easier to promote the whole dynamic effort rather than my own single story -- my Facebook family & my Twitterati can only take so much Me Myself & I.

QUESTION: why would I buy as opposed to digging through various archives for a free listen? Repeat listening... like a song we want to play over and over. "Every time I listen I hear something new."

CHALLENGE: How does PRX create a new genre for a new generation? "Spoken Word" just seems so... vinyl... so... film strip era. Storycasting?

All right, if I knew anything about marketing my novel would be flying off the shelves :/

From Craig Wichman:

Mention in a show's PRX page, "also available on iTunes", perhaps?