Here are 12 music PR tips to help you stimulate publicity, better communicate, and build good public relations with local press and your fans.
Promotion is the process of communicating what your product or service is to your target audience and why they should care about it. While many young musicians focus on using the Internet to promote their music, there many other platforms that can be integrated into your complete marketing plan, including paid advertising, word-of-mouth marketing, guerrilla marketing, radio promotion, sponsorships, direct marketing, face-to-face selling, sales promotions, and PR (public relations).
Publicity refers to articles, reviews, and comments that journalists write about you because they want to write about you. You earned their interest and respect. PR refers to what happens in the minds of your target audience as a result of great publicity. Overall, fans are left with a much stronger image of you, your offerings, and your brand. So how should you start stimulating publicity and building good PR? Consider these 12 simple music PR tips.
1. Have a hook
Be sure to have an interesting hook/story/position on which to launch your publicity campaign (e.g. you’re an “all military” metal band, an all girl samba group, or a band that’s composed of former members of successful groups).
2. Create press materials
Create an informative press kit (physical and digital) that includes a biography, professional photograph, current news release (aka press release), a business card, and a sample of your music.
3. Create a contact list
Create a contact list of local magazines, newspapers, and blogs read by your target audience, and jot down the names of the writers and editors you’d like to contact when you have news or something to promote.
4. Build relationships
Cultivate close relationships with the people on your contact list by first reaching out to them and complimenting them on their work.
5. Know what you want
Get permission, send local journalists your press materials, and be clear about what it is you want from them: a record review, live performance review, interview, etc.
6. Be part of the scene
Become part of the local news by being part of your local scene. Attend other artists’ shows, go to award ceremonies, attend parties, and just be where local press people hang out.
7. Participate in community and charity events
Participate in community activities you strongly believe in (such as a 5k run for cancer, or a food drive for the homeless), and then inform the local press of the good deeds you do.
8. Create your own medium for press
Start your own blog or publication and write about local bands (including your own).
9. Capitalize where you already have an “in”
Capitalize on your school’s paper, newsletter, etc. (where you already have an “in”) by asking them to do a story or review about your band.
10. Get testimonials
Ask important people for quotes and testimonials and then include them in your biographies, press releases, and anywhere else that you can.
11. Devise a publicity stunt
Devise a “publicity stunt” – a sneaky, crazy, or daring activity – that gets press people to take notice and write about you. Whether you perform on the back of a flatbed truck as it drives down main street, or attend a ceremony half naked with a political statement written across your chest, do something that attracts attention – preferably positive attention.
12. Get help from fans or a pro
Engage passionate fans to handle your publicity campaign for you, or if you can afford it, hire a professional or a talented communications student at a local college.
As you can see, there are a variety of different ways to generate publicity and strengthen the public’s perception of you. But don’t be misled: publicity and PR are not as easy as 1 – 2 – 3. It requires follow up (over long periods of time) just to get one magazine or blog review. But if you are pleasant, charming, and have a great product, all the hard work will all pay off. I’m rooting for you! Good luck!
The contents of this post are © 2017 by Bobby Borg. Bobby is the author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician, Business Basics For Musicians, and The Five Star Music Makeover (all published by Hal Leonard Books). Get these books at any fine online store in both physical or digital format. Contact Bobby at www.bobbyborg.com. NOTICE: Any use or reprint of this article must clearly include all copyright notices, author’s name, and link to www.bobbyborg.com.
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