7 Signs You Are Ready to Hire a Music Publicist
As a publicist, I consistently receive inquiries from emerging artists who are yearning to get featured on top blogs and in major publications. While PR is a powerful tool to raise awareness of your music and brand, every emerging artist does not need PR right away. PR is a huge investment in time and money. PR does not yield instantaneous results or automatically drive sales. In order for PR to be beneficial, an artist must have a strong brand and compelling story that will cause the media to pay attention. You know you are ready to hire a publicist when you have :
The most obvious sign you are ready to hire a publicist is that you actually have a budget to hire one. PR takes strategy, research, persistence, patience, and hard work. A reputable publicist cannot guarantee you media placements, but a good one will work tirelessly to craft your story, build your brand image, and represent you to the media. Good PR is more than blog posts and it does not come cheap.
Monthly PR retainers range from $1,000-$20,000. Your publicist retainer fee is based on his or her experience, expertise, and resources. Do your research before you contact PR firms about representation. Contacting a firm and telling them your budget is $200 is insulting and shows a lack of professionalism.
Your mixtape or EP from last year or even 6 months ago is old news. The media does not want to report on yesterday’s news. (The root word of news is “new”). In addition, there is too much new music being released every day for anyone to care about old material. Create a complete fresh body of work and then seek a publicist to help you promote it. PR campaigns last for 6 months so make sure you have enough content to distribute during your campaign. This can be music videos, photos, remixes, video diaries, etc.
A strong online presence
In the digital age, you must consistently engage fans online. Your online presence includes your website, social media channels, and email newsletter. A journalist or blogger should be able to quickly look at your website and social media pages to get the information they need to do a good story on your brand. Some journalists or bloggers will also not even consider featuring you if you do not have a certain amount of social media followers and buzz. Work on engaging fans online before you hire a publicist.
A marketing and sales strategy
Your PR campaign should be a part of a larger marketing and sales plan. What good is it if your publicist gets great media features for you, but you do not have a plan to leverage them? PR helps you to create awareness and emotional connections with fans. Sales and marketing get those fans to take action and financially support your brand. Create an overall marketing and sales plan to complement your PR campaign. Some PR firms can help you create a marketing plan. (We sure can!)
Bookings and gigs
Performing high-quality gigs show that you have a buzz and are in demand. Build relationships with promoters to book shows or team up with a team of artists to organize your own showcase.
Publicity begets publicity. If you are able to get some media placements on your own, it is easier for a publicist to pitch your story to more high-profile media outlets . Journalists or bloggers are more willing to take a chance on you if they see other outlets have previously covered your story. Try to get media placements on smaller blogs or in local media before you invest in hiring a publicist.
PR is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes up to 6 months to see results from a PR campaign. Different publications also have different deadlines. Long lead publications such as magazines have to be pitched three months in advance versus a blog that only takes a couple weeks. When you start a PR campaign, you have to be in it for the long haul as things will not happen overnight.
Not ready to hire a publicist, but still want to use PR to promote your music? Download our FREE ebook The Power Guide to Getting Publicity for Your Music and learn how to run your own music publicity campaign. Click here to download.