Here is an issue that a lot of artist wonder about. "When I release my EP, should I hire a PR agency?" Our indie label LV Music has worked with a ton of PR Agencies over the last few year (shoot me a message if you are looking for some recommendations). Some were amazing and really added to the artists exposure, and, some, well, didn't. :).
We learned a ton from these experiences and wanted to share a few bits of wisdom.
What is PR?
Public relations (PR) is the practice of deliberately managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public.This can be through publications, brand affiliation or social media.
1. Do I have something to talk about?
Just releasing a single or an EP is not enough of a story to sell. You have to have something else to talk about. Before we even release a single or an EP we try to come up with a story that is part of our creation process. Did you record your music in a legendary studio, did you rent a beautiful Air BNB and lock yourself up for a week to write your record? What is the story that makes your release so unique and amazing? Any PR agency would gladly take your money, but if you don't provide them with a unique and amazing story, they will come up with something that might not create any results.
2.Who is your target?
A PR campaign is not going to make you money, if anything, it's gonna make you lose a lot of money. Most PR campaigns are focussed on gaining exposure and getting noticed by either music industry professionals or a new fanbase, so if you are looking for a way to boost your streaming numbers, a PR agent is most likely not going to help you do that. Instead, you might consider a distribution service that has DSP connections. Write down your expectations before you go into a meeting with an agency. If you want to reach out to music industry professionals, that is a whole other list of publications and blogs than reaching out to a new fanbase.
3. Do I have content?
Think of a PR agency that is helping you sell your product. The most important word is helping. From the beginning stages of your process you need to start creating content for the PR agency to use. Make behind the scenes videos, make pics of the writing process, recording process. A PR company is not going to provide you with content, be one step ahead and have everything ready for them to push to blog and brands. You can never have too much!
4. When should I start looking for someone?
If the EP is coming out in 3 weeks and you are thinking of someone too hire you are probably already way too late. In order to get any response from blogs, publications, etc, you need to give the PR agency enough time to work it for you. Every company has a different deadline for delivery so make sure you check, but I would say that you should start thinking about looking for someone at least 6 months before your release.
5.Am I ready?
When you are at the beginning stages of your career and you have barely any online fans or followers on either socials or DSP, you should invest your money that you would invest in PR into online adds. Get noticed first, get your music out there, see who responds and who doesn't and start targeting that audience with adds and your own campaigns. There is so much you can do to grow organically and make a buzz. Once you have that groundswell, start considering PR, so that who-ever it is that is going to help you sell your product has no reason for it not to succeed.
I hope this makes you consider if PR is right for you right now, or if you might want to wait or prepare a little bit longer. Sign up to this blog for more handy tips and some personalized advice!!