Music is a fantastic medium that can make people feel every emotion, just by listening to a 3 minute track. The musically gifted out there have the ability to create tracks that will last a lifetime and resonate with people all over the world. However, no matter how talented an artist may be, if people don’t know about the music that they produce, their work could be rendered pointless.
Music PR is the process of taking an artist and their music and developing a strategy to promote their material to the media in order to get recognition. In a competitive industry, a well put together campaign that understands all the fundamentals of music promotion is imperative.
Many artists opt to have their PR done by professionals, however, sometimes the budget just isn’t there to accommodate this idea and they have to go it alone in order to get the recognition that they need and deserve. Whilst it will be harder to be heard, as long as you follow the elementary rules when it comes to music PR, there is no reason why you can’t achieve some level of coverage.
A bonus to handling your own music PR is that you will be singlehandedly building your own, personal contacts and relationships with no middle man - just don’t expect to be on the front cover of Q after a couple of emails, you have to make the outlets believe your hype.
Promotion isn’t just about getting onto the radio; it’s about putting an artist in the eye line of people in any way possible. Some ways are obvious, some not so obvious, but the goal is always the same; to stay in the news in any way, shape or form.
Good music PR will be carried out by using a detailed campaign that has a plan of attack; many labels promote releases and artists by hiring an external PR company, but many also have an in house PR agent. The aim of the game is to get as much press coverage as possible and the PR at hand will record every bit of coverage that they achieve.
Start off by making a list of anybody and everybody who you would like publish your news and releases and work hard to find direct contacts. Don’t just send generic copy and paste emails, tailor each piece of correspondence to the source and don’t be scared to call up and introduce yourself.
Many publications receive hundreds of releases a week and they will naturally go with the bigger names, meaning that your email could end up lost in their inbox. Phone calls not only allow you to make a better impression, but you can use them to inform the outlet that you will be submitting a press release or piece of news, which will encourage them to actively look out for it.
Artists who operate under a good PR team tend to be the most talked about in the business; think about the artists who currently dominate the global market – Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys. They all have killer PR maestros pulling the strings and they all have a massive amount of influence as their PR campaigns have sky rocketed them from obscurity. The campaigns have showcased their great music, but above all else, they have been meticulously promoted.
Think about watching a Friday night chat show with a guest such as Katy Perry on board; she’s not just there for a chinwag with one of the nation’s most loved chat show hosts – nine times out of ten she will be there to plug and promote a new album, single or tour. This is music PR, and good music PR at that.
As long as Katy leaves a good impression on the audience, she is increasing her ability to influence, thus encouraging the watcher to invest in her latest project; she has just wormed her way into the forefront of your mind without you even realising. Once people like an artist, half of the battle is won.
Keep up with the news and be creative in your approach to your personal PR; is there a story that you could maximise and relate to yourself? How about devising some stunts in your local area that will propel you into the news? Don’t make your campaign mediocre, it needs to pop.
Once you decide to pursue a career in the music industry, you become a brand and, just like the big name brands out there such as Coca Cola, McDonalds and Disney, you need to live and breathe your brand and promote it shamelessly.
A good PR strategy will identify a clear brand strategy that sticks to the message that you want to deliver as an artist. Once you have your brand, try to stick to it as much as possible as you will become just as known for this as you will your music.
For example, Oasis are known for their bad boy persona, Madonna is known for being sexually provocative and outspoken, Kesha is known for being a party animal and Lady Gaga is known for being completely out there and zany.
One of the most important parts of music PR is to be an artist or band that is well liked; nobody likes an egotistical starving artist and if you can schmooze with people without being obnoxious, those outlets that have the power to publish you will be more eager to do so.