Senior Publicist and Director - AUM
Good publicity is imperative to all artists whether it be visual artists, filmmakers, actors – and certainly musicians. Due to the amount of talented people in the world – and certainly in this country – without a good publicist to fight for media space, the chances of getting seen and heard as an artist are very slim, if not generally impossible.
Build your online community, build your fan base and keep at it until it becomes painfully obvious that you need a publicist.
One tip – use your merch table income and put a solid portion of it towards publicity.
These days, due to technology being at your fingertips and the independent music business model, you will find that the publicity and marketing side is your greatest expense.
New bands with no to limited budgets should seek out an entry-level publicist. For senior publicists with a current and impressive roster of artists, a band can expect to pay approximately $5000 per month – depending on the brief and the deal.
The time to employ the services of a publicist is at the stage where the band has garnered its own natural following and begins to see their fan base is swelling. We call it the ‘swell factor’.
Once the band has consolidated its fan base as much as it can on its own, the role of the publicist steps in to take things to the next dimension via media outlets.
Different publicists tend to work in different genres and as a result are well connected to the relevant media for each genre. At the end of the day though – you need to find a publicists that loves your music and really ‘gets you’ as an artist(s).
The artist/band should be very clear about what they expect from engaging a publicist. Is it to develop profile to the media, to consumers, or to both? Is it about bums on seats or profile development? Is it about generating a press kit with media clippings and a list of airplay outcomes to help the band pitch successfully to relevant festivals or band promoters? These are the sorts of questions that need to be addressed.
Once the brief has been developed and agreed to, then the band should trust the publicist to get on with the job. A good PR will keep the band abreast of any developments as they come in so that the communication and trust factor between the two grow so that both parties are on the same page, creating together as things proceed and getting to know each other on a professional basis.