I think the absolute worst way to try and get airplay for you band is to send me a email like the following:
"hey you sholud really chek out my band. let me know if you like our mp3s becuz i dont wanna waste a cd
OK, that's a composite of several emails I've received over the years. However, I've seen some sort of variation on that theme many times and it just flat out amazes me.
First off, there is nothing in that email that piques my interest about your band. I get stacks of CDs in the mail every week, all trying to get my attention. Why should I check out your band over all that other stuff? Why should I check out your band at all?
Second, this is a totally unprofessional email. Spelling and grammar are completely out the window. You didn't even use my name! For all I know, this could have been created by a spam bot and, let me tell ya, I don't take too kindly to spam. An email like this says "hey! I can't be bothered to even use spell check. Guess how much effort I put into my music." This is my first impression of your band, and frankly it's not a good one.
The "check out my mp3s because I don't want to waste a CD" line is particularly nice (and an actual line I got in an email.) There is so much wrong with this one sentence, I barely know where to begin. You want me to do something for you (that is, play your music on the radio) but you expect me to work for it (*I* have to download your mp3s) and you insult me on top of that (the two bucks to send me a CD would be a waste?) Huh?
Let me give you a clue, program directors get tons of CDs every week (I know, I keep saying this, sorry.) They don't have time to go to your myspace page, hope it's working, check out your crummy little mp3s, email you back and wait for you to send a CD if they like it. (Note: mp3s are NOT broadcast quality.) Promotion is all about throwing a bunch of money at a wall and hoping some of it sticks. If the two bucks it's going to cost you to mail even a CD-R is going to break your bank, you seriously need to scale down your rockstar dreams.
Of course, linking to your site is better than the alternative, which is to attach a bunch of mp3s to the email. Yeah, thanks for filling up my inbox with your shitty music I didn't ask for. Electronic Press Kits (or EPKs) are another fun one. Perhaps they mean something to other people, but I don't book shows so I don't really need 4 jpgs of your band logo or all your press clippings, thanks.
Anyway, that's about all the chuckles I can wring from this particular email. There's more where that came from...trust me.