For any band or musical artist, growing your fan base requires creating a buzz. Public relations is an essential tool for accomplishing that. Whether you pursue PR on your own or hire a PR firm to assist you, your music career will get off the ground faster and climb higher when you use PR for music promotion.
Before we dive into the essential components of an effective PR campaign for the music industry, it is important to touch on a few things that a PR professional can provide for you or your band. These are things that can make or break any music PR campaign. So, you do not feel capable of managing these, your next step might be identifying and securing the services of a credible PR company. However, if you feel you can pull these off, continue on and explore the guide for getting the best music PR.
Three critical roles for the publicist for music artists
At its heart, PR is a conversation. The person seeking the PR reaches out to a media professional or outlet, sharing information. If the journalist or editor is interested in sharing the information with his audience, he or she responds to the publicist for more information. If the journalist does not get a quick response, the conversation breaks down and the opportunity, typically, is lost. In other words, making PR work, even if it just involves sending out a press release, requires availability.
Musical artists have a lot going on. In the early days, music is often their side hustle, which means they are working a full time job plus a bunch of other hours. Even if they do music full time, musicians can often work hours that challenge their availability. (They are just getting to bed when journalists are getting to their desk.) If you believe that your schedule as a musician will make it difficult to get in touch with you, working with a music publicist will most likely be your best bet. They can be available for you, making sure journalists have what they need when they need it to get your band in media outlets.
Another component of effective PR is differentiation. PR professionals know how to make their clients stand out, which is extremely important for musicians. Your competition is global and they can start engaging fans by simply setting up a YouTube account. To attract media attention, you need a story that makes you stand out. PR publicists are experts at finding that story and communicating it in an engaging way. If you do not feel confident that you can tell a great story about you or your band, get the help of a professional. Otherwise, your efforts to connect with journalists will most likely be ignored.
Finally, getting an artist or band recognition in today’s music PR landscape requires building a media portfolio as well as a media following. Rarely will a journalist be interested in building your following. Rather, they want to take advantage of your following to attract attention to their article or outlet. So, if you can show them that you are a regular in the press, have a regular online presence, and have a lot of fans waiting to hear about your next move, they will be more likely to respond to your media pitch. A PR professional can help to build your portfolio, build some media momentum, and eventually get you into top tier publications.
The basics of public relations for music promotion
The goal of music public relations is connecting an artist or band with the media, the public, and professionals in the industry. When done right, it builds your reputation as an artist of value whose work deserves to be promoted in the press. The foundational tactic for accomplishing this is pitching news to the press.
If you have ever sent out a press release, you know what this process looks like. (If you want to know more about press releases, check out this blog post on How To Write A Music Press Release: 15 Tips and Tricks.) You identify something that you believe the press would be interested in reporting, then let them know about it by issuing a press release. Examples of press worthy items could be your tour dates, the fact that you were features on Spotify, or the contract you just signed with a record label.
Getting your press release in the right hands
Once you have developed a great press release, you need to get it into the right hands. There are platforms that can help you to distribute your press release, but nothing works as well as delivering it to a press contact with whom you have a relationship. (If you want more information on services to help you with distributing a press release, check out this blog post on Where To Submit a Press Release.)
One of the benefits you gain from working with a PR agency is access to their media contacts. PR firms that have experience with promoting musical artists will have established relationships with a host of journalists who work in the music field. As you might understand, this can be extremely helpful in getting your pitch or press release noticed and considered for a media outlet.
Supplementing your press release with a press kit
In addition to preparing great press releases, great music PR involves preparing a great press kit. When a media outlet shows an interest in your pitch, a press kit or media kit provides supplemental information that they can use for their reporting. It can include your backstory, photos, music samples, videos, and anything else that you feel helps to communicate who you are. (If you want to know more about press kits, check out this blog post on Best Media Kit Examples for 2022.)
One important step to take when assembling your press kit is to make sure that the content is professional. If you are serious about your brand, you probably have a professional recording of your music that you are proud of. Make sure your photos and the content that you provide is professional as well. If you want to see yourself in a credible media source, make it easy for the outlet by giving them good material to work with.
Leveraging social media for music public relations
In 2022, effective music PR must leverage social media. Gaining fans and credibility requires that you are active on social media. When you reach out to journalists with pitches and press releases, they will most likely visit your social feeds before contacting you directly. If there is not a lot of activity, they will most likely pass you over for an artist who has more social momentum.
Keep in mind that the more followers you have, the more potential readers there are for any article that might be written about you, news story that mentions you, or podcast that includes you. A lot of social media activity could be the factor that gets you great media coverage. Therefore, as you develop a PR strategy, make sure that it includes sharing information to a variety of social media platforms in order to build a committed follower base.
Have a comprehensive strategy for press coverage
As you begin utilizing PR, there will be a variety of events that should prompt PR action. These include shows, new releases, awards, and good reviews, to name a few. But healthy PR will do more than focus on short-term efforts to promote one-time events. Marketing can accomplish that with far less work.
At its core, PR will seek to build your reputation as a music artist. It will look beyond celebrating your events to celebrate the unique story that you bring to the world of music. It explains to people why your music matters. When you are developing a PR strategy, make sure it includes more that includes a long-term plan for positioning you as a standout artist in your genre. Don’t settle for fifteen minutes of fame. Use PR to become an artist who is known for bringing a unique contribution to the world of music with your music, your perspective, and your commitment to your craft.