This week’s Behind The Agent’s Desk features a guest post from Lauren Worthington at theoryX Public Relations. Find out more about the Public Relations field and how it relates to the music industry.

6 Things You Need To Know About Music Publicity

1. What PR is

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary explains it best, stating that publicity is “an act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically: information with news value issued as a means of gaining public attention or support. Also: The dissemination of information or promotional material.”

When PR is done well it provides an opportunity to build a positive brand reputation with your target audience. However, it’s important to know that PR is not the same thing as advertising or marketing. Author S.H. Simmons broke down the difference best when he said, “If a young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is – that’s advertising. If the young man tells his date she’s intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person and that’s marketing. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is – that’s PR.”

Your publicist isn’t here to get you gigs (that’s a booking agent), on the radio (distribution) or get your tracks signed (management), but is there to establish working relationships between you and the media.

2. PR is a marathon, not a race

Good publicity is a slow process that builds over time. The more a media outlet sees your name the more likely it is that they’ll start paying attention, so don’t panic when your first track isn’t a viral sensation. With stiff competition and thousands of tracks and albums hitting the marketplace every week, it can often take 6 months to see a return on investment. You also don’t want to exhaust your contacts by trying to force coverage for every little piece of news. It’s best to take things slow and steady in order to keep you in the race in the long run.

3. Publicists are only as good as what they have to work with

PR is not a magical solution to gaining fans. Not only do you need the music to back it up (as Douglas Smith said, “PR is performance recognition”), but it’s important to have built a strong social following and fanbase on your own before investing in a PR company. PR should also be used in conjunction with other marketing tactics such as social media, distribution, advertising, etc., in order for it to be truly successful.

4. It’s a team effort

Publicists can’t do it all themselves. PR is a machine that can only operate if everyone is working together, from your management and booking agent, all the way to the record label releasing your music. Without their help and involvement, PR can only go so far.

5. Publicity does not sell music

Contrary to popular belief, music PR does not have a direct correlation to record sales. While a good article can definitely give them a boost, PR’s bigger focus is raising awareness of your brand in the press and helping build and share your story. When you’re hiring PR you’re paying for effort, not results.

6. If you price yourself like dirt, you’ll get treated like dirt

There’s no quicker way to turn a publicist off than asking for their services and then wanting to haggle on price. Remember that this is our livelihood… You wouldn’t bargain with your dentist. If you’re only willing to pay for half a campaign, that’s exactly what you’ll receive.

About theoryX

theoryX Public Relations, LLC was started in 2011 to provide music publicity, marketing and social media services to emerging and established Electronic Dance Music artists. We work with record labels, producers and DJs, tech companies and artist management teams to make sure people hear about the latest news, tracks, albums and performances. Our main job is to secure press coverage for our clients in magazines, blogs, radio and other media outlets so that they get the maximum exposure for their projects. We have worked with BT, Robbie Rivera, Tritonal, Project 46, JES, Gareth Emery and his label Garuda Music, Adam K, Max Graham, Enhanced Music, iZotope, Sony and many, many others! Check out the theoryX website for more information.

Lauren Worthington
Marketing & Public Relations

Find out more about Lauren and meet the rest of the SGM team!