Contributed by Sharna Pascolo
Ready or Not?
PR is a big step for a lot of artists and it’s a commitment that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. A PR campaign should be planned around a new EP or album and you should have other content to release such as music videos, individual singles and even a tour to build momentum around the big release. Publicists will want to draw attention to your accomplishments in their sales pitch, so a band who have just formed and don’t have any real-world experience, in most cases, are not ready for PR. Keep playing around town, take a stab at self-promoting and building your fan base, then circle back to PR down the track.
Have a plan.
Why do you want PR? What are your goals? And most importantly, what are you promoting? Most PR firms will offer 3-6-month campaigns so mapping out a basic idea of how you would like to roll out your EP or Album over that time will give you a good indication of how much work still needs to be done before you can start.
Do you have an up-to-date bio? Do you have fresh, professional promo photos? Is the music you currently have available to the public, music that you are proud of and want heard? And do all of your social media platforms and website have consistent information and appearance? Having a regular social media presence is huge in today’s music world. All of these things need to be in place before any PR campaign will make sense.
It’s all about the music.
So, you made some new tunes… Was it professionally recorded and is it mastered? Is it radio ready? Do you need to record clean versions of any tracks? Take a few good listens to the full recording and identify which songs you think have the potential to be lead singles. Think about where you want to hear your music and consider which tracks will fit that platform. Write up how these songs make you feel and why you created them – The inside scoop on the music is a great selling pitch.
Not all PR firms are the same and finding the one that’s right for you is crucial for your campaign success. Ask around. Find artists you feel you are on a similar level with and ask them who does their PR. If you can meet with potential PR firms face-to-face, that’s ideal. But at least setup a phone call and see if you guys vibe. No one can promise you a placement or airplay so beware of those empty promises.
Sharna Pascolo grew up in Australia with the desire to travel overseas. She studied Event Management, marketing and promotion before joining forces with her husband Rob to take on the music industry in her new hometown, the Live Music Capital of the World. Together they co-founded PennyLoafer PR, a public relations agency that also books shows and tours, and assists bands with digital marketing efforts.