· By Matej Harangozo
When should you start focusing on PR?
Todays advice is on the topic of focusing on PR For Artists and when to do so.
PR For Artists is one of those services that many inexperienced artists, producers, even labels approach at the wrong time of their career, ultimately wasting their money.
The simple answer to when you should focus on PR is when you have done something worth talking about. And we mean worth it to the people or publications you're asking to talk about you to their audiences & to the fans of those influential channels you want to be highlighted by!
Now this in itself is a very relative statement so let's be a little bit more objective and give you some perspective on who these influential channels can be, what the things or accomplishments that are worth talking about, that you as an artist or a person in the music industry should hopefully have under your belt.
If you win a talent show in your high school, that's something worth talking about to the high school blog or newspaper. In this case, your accolade was winning the talent show. The influential channel that can highlight your story a spread it further across your high school is the blogger or the newspaper editor in charge of deciding what to publish.
It's on a small scale, but it's the right match for the value of your accomplishments. Maybe if you your high school is big enough, you local county newspaper and their online paper may be interested in that story. But that's it. That's a realistic limit of how far this PR initiative would go.
In the same scenario, if you somehow pull off a surprise, and bring Justin Bieber on the stage with you at your talent show and have him do a vocal duet with you, the story is worth it to the rolling stone magazine, to COMPLEX online blogs, to TMZ, or maybe even to major news outlets like CNN, depending on how and who is pitching this story. If you were lucky enough to leverage that huge brand like Justin Bieber and get into these huge publications, it would be because you pulled off a groundbreaking and totally unexpected move of getting this huge star to participate at your talent show.
We hope you're starting to get our point.
So if you're an artist, no matter how talented you are, but you don't have a substantial fanbase to talk about & you're NOT doing anything groundbreaking other then just releasing an album, don't expect major publications in the music industry to touch that story.
A company that offers PR for artists that's not transparent with you will rip you off. They will do so by charging you for services, pitching your story to editors and bloggers that work for companies such as Fader Magazine. The problem with that is Fader magazine might look at the article and credit the you for being talented, but acknowledge nothing else is there to do an article on. The PR company wasn't being honest with you and didn't tell you that you were simply not ready for these publications just yet. Of course, these PR companies don't have any connections on your local level, with smaller publications or bloggers, so you pretty much just wasted your money and got nothing from it. Sadly, it happens a lot!
Yes, the pitch it self is important, and maybe your PR agent you hired is amazing. However, those type of PR agents are very rare and are probably working with much bigger artists so they can also benefit their own careers.
The moral of the story is market your brand first, get a lot more fans, get your numbers up, and have a unique story. Do something extra ordinary and then hire PR services. You can also be doing your own PR outreach and you should with all the smaller publications and influencer channels. Also, make sure your PR has references you can reach out to and get a sense of what they can do on the local level and on the major publication level.
So in summary, major initiatives for PR for Artists will come much much later, after you have invested a size-able chunk of your time and money into marketing your brand & music. It's a phase 2 initiative; marketing your music, doing some shows, and other things is phase 1. So if you have under 10k followers cumulative across your various platforms, don't waste money on PR.
Unless of course you do something extra ordinary like jump out of a plane with your MPC and make a dope instrumental before you land on the ground and video taped the whole thing!!
By the way, if any producer does that, we just ask for a shout and out and respect for giving you that idea!!
If you are looking for help with strategies to take your music business to the next level in the realms of marketing, contact us today to get started and hop on a strategy call with the team at Digital Science Media.
If you don't have the budget just yet for a full blown marketing campaign but want to learn about the business basics, make sure to check out our Indie Artist Accelerator where we have modules that go in depth about the very topics we discussed in this blog post, live Q&A's, a private Facebook group, & more.