I held off for a really long time on doing this post. I really don’t like having to criticize someone and I’ve always worried about defaming a person or company for having done something I didn’t agree with if fear that they’de retaliate. I guess now, I don’t care because at this point, I’ve kinda given up on the music business. Sitting around on my keyboard was the contract that I did with LaFaMos to do some publicity for me. Whenever I got thru my stack of bills, there it would be, sitting at the bottom like the mold under a shower mat that’s waiting to be cleaned.
I met a canvaser for LaFaMos at the Taxi conference down in L.A. in 2009. I gave him my name, number and web site. Some time later, Gideon Black contacted me and told me that they reviewed my content and really like what I was doing and thought that his company could really help me get some publicity and for a discount rate. For $570 per month with a two month minimum contract, I was told that they would be able to do all the art work to put together a nice press page for me with sample tracks, and get my press kit out to bloggers, radio stations, and other print and online publications. I looked around to find out if there was any web feedback about LaFaMos but didn’t really come up with anything. I really like Gideon’s enthusiasm so I made another trip down to L.A. to meet him at their new office on Hollywood Blvd.
The meeting went really well and I felt positive about it so I agreed to the two month minimum contract and laid down $1140. I didn’t need any creative services because I’m a graphic designer and so all my own work so it was really simple to just hand over a bunch of content. I did this just before a 3 week trip to New Zealand. In an ideal world, I’d just hand it over, go on vacation and return with a nice press kit and maybe a couple blog posts. I was very mistaken.
Amanda Blide was assigned to my account. I liked her attitude when we started out but I found that the communication via email was very slow. It began on Feb 3, 2010 and it took until Feb 20 to get a simple press kit up and approved by me. When I’m talking press kit, I’m talking about one page on the internet with mp3s and a bio. Mind you, I already had all this on my web site. They took my already posted bio, my already posted mp3s, and the graphics I supplied them, and made their own page from this in 17 days, WAY too long. The first blog article happened on March 3, one full month after I signed the contract. By this time I was getting worried, especially when the next possibility for any review of any sort came in the form of notification of a possible radio interview. This came via email on March 18 while I was out of the country. I specifically told Amanda that I would be out of the country and NOT to email me because I would not get it. If she needed to get ahold of me, she must call. That didn’t happen and I lost the opportunity for the radio interview, partly because I told them to suspend the account because I wasn’t getting anywhere with them. Amanda said she’s still try to schedule the interview for me, but she didn’t. So, two months of publicity and $1140 and I got a blog post buy a random blogger. I was really unhappy about my experience and wrote Hunter Scott, the owner of LaFaMos a letter that I had sent via U.S. Postal Service with a delivery confirmation. It came back marked “rejected.” Another big red flag for this company.
The thing is, I don’t know anything about publicity, and all that I do know is that they’ll take your money and make no promises. I’ve confirmed this with every publicity agency. They hold your music accountable for everything they do and don’t do. I can’t say that it doesn’t work because some people do experience success, I assume, or there wouldn’t be publicists. But as for LaFaMos, look elsewhere. Like I said, their attitudes were great, but the delivery fell flat. I didn’t feel that the competency level was up to snuff. And as for Hunter Scott, I chatted with him briefly on the phone when I first signed the contract, but afterward, I couldn’t get him on the phone, he wouldn’t return my calls, and he rejected my personal letter to him when I wanted to complain about their service. As far as I’m concerned; snake. Sorry Hunter, gotta call’em like I see’em.