5 Things You Need To Know When Working With A Publicist

So, you are thinking about hiring a publicist…These are the top 5 tips that will help you hire and work with a publicist. There are many amazing companies and independent contractors out there and choosing the right one can be a challenge. Read on below for the most important factors in choosing the right one. 

    • Preparation
      When releasing an album you want to ensure that you have done all the necessary work to prepare your team. The first step is making sure that you have a product for publishing and that the recording and mastering are complete and you are ready to being duplicating your album. Another aspect is making sure that you are working with the right publicist by ensuring they understand the needs of your music as well as media outlets in your genre (folk, rock, punk, etc.). The right publicist will make sure that your album gets reviewed in media outlets that make sense for your genre. If you are a folk band you want to show up on websites like Penguin Eggs, CBC, and other relative folk websites.In addition to finding the right publicist, you should also think of which songs best represent your band or even a change in your sound. Publicity as a practice is similar no matter the genre that you are working in. By hiring a publicist that specializes in your genre they can better reach the relative media that directly relates to your music.  it is your job to ensure that you are hiring someone who is an expert in your genre. Make sure you do your research and ask around to see what your peers are saying about various publicists.
    • Timeline
      When musicians are creating albums they often have their own timeline in mind and by adding another team member allows for more freedom to focus on recording, and requires more communication. The publicist will often ask for as much lead time as they can because they are looking to employ a strategy behind the promotion; this can mean 3-6 months before the album is even released. Publicists have to adhere to various industry practices and blackout periods so that they can get the most press for your album. When you are hiring them they will be aware of competing for release dates with other similar musicians, holidays, and to avoid large industry events where media will be unavailable.
    • Materials
      I am sure that you have heard the saying “more is more,” well content is “king/queen” on the internet and the more promotional materials that you have the better.This includes items like:

      • Music videos
      • Lyric videos
      • Playthrough videos (guitar, bass, drum, vocal, etc.)
      • Photographs (promotional and social media content)
      • Strong songs from the album (called singles usually 1-2 for an EP or 2-4 for a full-length)
      • Giveaways
    • Correspondence
      The easiest way to streamline communication is to delegate 1-2 individuals in the band (or you, if you are a solo artist). These person(s) will be responsible for communicating not only with the publicist but the media as well. There are two benefits to this:

      • You can establish a stronger connection with your publicist and they can better understand your music and how it should be represented.
      • There is a consistent public voice that people can establish as streamline brand that aligns with the image of the music and the personalities behind it.Overall, it may be daunting for one or two people to take on the communications but ultimately there will be a greater level of consistency that lines up with the brand established for the musical project. Interviews need to be coordinated quickly, so make sure to set aside time for impromptu interviews and quick conversations to check in about the campaign with media as well as your publicist.
    • Empathy
      Typically, publicists and record labels have cycles for promoting their artists and in order to do a great job they need a clear timeline to prepare for the campaigns. This means that 3-6 months PRIOR to the album release date you need to prepare an electronic press kit (EPK or one sheet), content creation (videos, photoshoots), and strategize a timeline for promotion. By understanding someone else’s role and encouraging them to become a part of your team you will have a stronger promotional campaign that closely aligns with the brand of the project whether it is an album, tour, music video, or otherwise.Publicity should be used to garner interviews, reviews, and previews of your music and your career as an artist. By taking the time to research the right publicist and strategize your campaign you can make your music and your money work hard for you.