The Five Second Rule: No Longer Just for Joe's PB&J

I talk a lot with clients about how club bookers only want to know how many audience members you can bring in the door -- what you actually do on stage, most don't care about. It's a slightly different story with talent bookers for television and radio. Sure, they want to know that you can attract audiences to their shows. But, more importantly, they want to get a great sounding interview.

So many of you invest so much time in press releases and other publicity ploys that I worry about whether you're ready for the moment when a journalist actually calls you back. When that happens, you have five seconds to impress them enough that they feel they made a good decision to call you.

Your to-do list this week:

1. If a journalist calls back about a press release you sent, where are they calling? You, or a press agent? (Either one works, though there's more credibility if you have someone else field the initial call. Just like talent buyers, talent bookers get concerned if you seem to have enough time on your hands to take your own calls.)

2. Where's the call going? To someone's house, or to another number? The last thing you want is for a journalist to hear pets or screaming kids or -- worst case scenario -- a television or an XBox in the background. You can buffer yourself with cheap voicemail boxes from Skype or Angel.

3. What will you say? Remember, what you talk about in the FIRST FIVE SECONDS counts. You may have practiced your thirty second elevator pitch in the past. That's fine. What can you say about your music in FIVE seconds that gets a talent booker juiced about getting you down to the studio?