The roles of music publishers and music publicists are often confused; one for the other. So I thought I’d feature my company, Con Brio Public Relations, this week so you have a side-by-side comparison of the two services serious musicians should consider among others. We’ll feature other industry pros in the weeks to come.
I’m often asked what a music publicist does. The short answer is I interface with media across the country on behalf of the client to raise awareness about tours, new recordings, or any other newsworthy stories. The fact that the face of media is changing rapidly means integrated strategies from old school PR combined with 2.0 and 3.0 web methods are essential.
When projects are submitted to me for consideration, I look very closely at how the product or tour can be marketed. Generally an entire project is completed by the time I’m invited onto the team. Due to that very fact, I am very particular about the projects I take. There are myriad mistakes made in DIY projects that could be avoided and much money saved if the recording/performing artist would consider working with a publicist before finalizing all the details.
When I do take on a project I go through this series of steps:
Audit the artist(s) and the product. The audit provides a great deal of specific information that helps determine what media placement opportunities may open up. This preliminary phase uncovers any potential problems in a PR campaign. If there are no insurmountable issues, I put together a marketing plan to use as a blueprint for the campaign from the info gathered in the audit.
During this time, I am also making sure the client has all the proper elements for a press kit. Additionally an electronic press kit is either updated or set up on the client’s website.
Thereafter a detailed research period is critical in drafting a list of as many media outlets as possible. From the research, a list of up to 100 media outlets is drafted. To make sure I am not wasting the client’s money or the media’s time I contact the media outlets prior to sending any information asking them if they are interested in the project. Depending on their answers I determine how many press kits I actually need to send out.
Press kits are then assembled and sent to all who wish to receive hard copies. If the artist does not have a way for media to conveniently listen to the music online, then press kits or just the CD are sent out. Within a week, media is contacted again to see if they are still interested in what we are doing. From there the media list is further reduced to those who are going to engage the client in either a preview, review, or an interview.
PR then takes a different course something like building a house. A solid foundation of information is collected and measured from media who participate in the campaign. Once the foundation is solid, larger media outlets can be contacted for potential coverage.
This would be similar to erecting walls on a house. The story must be bulletproof combined with an exceptional product. When movement begins within a campaign adding larger and larger media outlets is possible.
How long should a PR campaign last?
A PR campaign lasts a minimum of 8 weeks to accomplish as much as possible for a new release. Campaigns for tour support are dictated by the length of the tour with a substantial lead time to research and contact all targeted media.
When should a campaign launch?
For the best possible effect, a PR campaign should launch 8 weeks prior to the release date or first date in an extended tour.
Can you get me on Oprah?
This is by far the most asked question. In fact, I’ve only one client who didn’t ask. It is very difficult to get musical guests on Oprah, but not impossible, just highly unlikely.
Con Brio Public Relations