Most musicians and artists don’t start their careers with a passion for business or public relations, but generating media interest in your music is a crucial part of gaining success and fame. That’s why so many musicians hire a music PR expert or agency: they can provide you with an “in” with music media personas and help navigate the increasingly complex media environment.
But not every musician can afford to collaborate with a professional PR firm, especially early in their careers. The good news: in this rapidly developing music landscape, you don’t necessarily need their full PR service. With a few of your own efforts, clever strategy and some partial outsourcing, any band can perform their music in front of journalists, radio hosts and influencers that can help them reach their core audience.
That’s why I’ve created this article, a do-it-yourself music PR guide on how to boost yourself in the public relations music industry.
What Is Music PR?
Music PR, or public relations music-oriented, is a form of promotion for a band’s music, tours, concerts or artist brand in general, that attracts media (and ultimately public) attention. A music PR agency works to get exposure to a band’s or artist’s music through interviews, album reviews, news relays, video promotions, press releases, tour announcements, radio airplay and everything in between.
PR is often seen as a “free promotion” since you don’t have to actually pay and sponsor the ads—except that it’s never really free. You still have to put a lot of effort and time to get the media’s attention in your PR efforts.
Today’s Music PR Trends
The music industry has become global in a way it was never before. The global music community has never been more tight and connected, and fans and artists alike are using the opportunities of this new era to enjoy and share the songs and tracks they love.
Figure Out Your Backstory
It’s crucial to consider not only who would be interested in writing about your work, but also why they would be interested. Press coverage could be gained by promoting an upcoming concert, but you should also consider other aspects of your band or music that would be interesting to journalists and your intended audience.
Online Platforms Rule
Online platforms and social media like YouTube have provided emerging artists opportunities to showcase and perform their work to the world. YouTube is the second most popular social media platform and visited site after Google. The music industry is significantly growing in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America region, as the artists are actively using every opportunity to break out to a global audience through online platforms.
The industry grows, so the recording labels continue to extensively invest in music artists. With that, the record companies are the largest investors in the music ecosystem.
It’s Harder to Build a Big Loyal Fanbase
Yet with more online outlets for music, you’re now competing with artists with hundreds of thousands of fans and tons of sponsored money. You are competing with music artists who are already touring and have far more support. But there’s still an opportunity to show your creativity about how you promote yourself. But if you’re a new or niche artist, building an audience is a hard challenge, requiring patience and persistence.
Young Generation Is Discovering Music Everywhere
For the past three years, young people have noted they discover new music through Spotify, friends, festivals or magazines. Plus an enormous number of streaming platforms serve as a musician library.
Now Fans Have Direct Access to Artists
Beyond sharing their music directly with fans, artists can have direct, one-to-one, or one-to-many communication with their fanbase. People are just as interested in consuming every bit of information about their favorite artist as they were in the dawn of pop music, but now they can go to the artist directly. Through online platforms and social media, you can have a more direct connection with your fans.
Journalism Still Matters
Yes, journalists are still important. As long as music exists (and theoretically, it should forever), the audience will be writing and talking about it. As a musician, if you’re looking to connect to an eager audience excited for new music, it’s worth building relationships with media outlets and journalists who are fans of your work. And don’t forget, that a journalist’s work is to find a new, intriguing angle or perspective on an artist’s story, which benefits the artist and their fans.
Additionally, not all musicians want to tell their own stories; some would rather ask for help to do that. If you are one who wants help with your music PR, check out PRNEWS.IO service. Experts of this service will write, pitch and distribute your stories at a fixed price to famous media outlets. With their deep experience, skilled journalists, and impressive contact base, they know how to write pieces of news to be appealing, catchy and captivating to be published in authoritative newspapers and magazines.
Content Marketing Platform
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How to Become Your Own Music PR Manager
PR managers can provide important industry access and connections, but there are many music PR activities that you can do yourself if you’re an independent artist or not ready to collaborate with a PR manager. Here are the most important steps for building publicity around your music:
1. Create a good press release.
A compelling press release is the core part of any campaign. With your press release, you need to not only sell the idea of your music but also convince a journalist to cover you.
So follow these rules:
The first thing your press release should contain is a short, one-sentence highlight of who you are and what you’re trying to tell. Consider this as the “headline” of the press release.
Use high-quality photos.
It is very important that you attach high-quality, professional band photos to the release.
Let your achievements be the topic of the news.
A band describing themselves as amazing has no way to prove it. You need to be able to show it in a more objective way by using your achievements or concert records to show that you’re worth covering.
Create the press release’s structure carefully.
It’s important that your press release tells the journalist all they need to know as quickly as possible.
It’s a good idea to start the press release with the next points:
- Artist name
- Title of release
- Release date
- Record label
- Links to your key social media accounts
- Spotify/Bandcamp profiles
2. Pitch your press release.
When reaching out to journalists, make the email as personalized as possible—don’t simply send out a generic spam email.
Start with the writer’s name and reference some of their work featuring similar bands. This not only shows that you know the writer and that you’ve put some effort into contacting them, but it also shows that your information is relevant to their interests.
But if you don’t have time to do it, order this service at PRNEWS.IO to pitch and distribute your content.
3. Follow up.
How and when to follow up with a writer is fairly subjective, but I suggest sending a follow-up letter in a week. You have to be persistent enough to ensure that they’ve actually read it, but not pushy enough to annoy or pull away from them.
4. Manage/create a professional email address.
No one is going to email you if your email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Create a simple and boring email account, something like email@example.com.
Just putting your music on all the different channels and platforms is not enough. You also need to build a strong presence on the major social media platforms: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter. These social media platforms provide an opportunity to publish your music, interact directly with fans and build your personal brand.
6. Build up your PR contact base.
Your database of media contacts is your biggest opportunity and tool. Or perhaps, it’s your second biggest tool, because the first is the relationships and the reputation you have with those people in that database. Enhance your network and enrich it with contacts. Ideally, you should be able to know everything you need about a media contact just by looking at your contact list—including media type, covered genres, your previous contacts and more.
7. Get your music on many platforms.
The goal of any PR activity is to generate public interest in your music, and the first step to doing that is making sure that your music is on as many channels as possible. Journalists often have their own format and platforms that they prefer to discover and explore new musicians, so your presence on all the different channels ensures that your music can reach any writer.
Each feature must be effectively utilized through social media in order to activate the already-existing fan base for PR to be genuinely effective. To put it another way, music PR is a two-way exchange. Each feature is new content you can use to engage your fans without having to say, “Listen to my music.” This form of sharing your successes is a much more subtle form of self-promotion than the much-hated shameless self-promotion that too many musicians engage in. Again, having millions of fans is not the goal here; rather, you need to have a consistent content plan that spans all 6 rooms of your social media house, including (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Blog, and Newsletter, in addition to your music PR effort.
Here are what some experts have to say about boosting your public relations:
Publicity is a marathon, not a sprint. The best course of action for musicians is to concentrate on the aforementioned two factors and begin advertising their music months prior to its release. A release date should be established, and then a pre-release promotion can generate anticipation, expand the audience and even turn casual listeners into die-hard fans. This period can be used to let the audience comprehend the inspiration for the song as well as where the musician was when he or she recorded it.
I believe that putting together a press release is one of the best ways for a musician to engage in public relations. It describes the upcoming event or record release and gives a summary that the media will find fascinating enough to encourage them to get in touch with you for more details. Emphasize keeping your press release exciting and interesting by including quotations from the artist and precise dates for the launch, since I believe this to be the best course of action.
Provide this information in your email when you send out the official press release for your album. If you want certain media outlets to write album reviews or do interviews with you, include this information.
For practical tips on how to pitch media, check out this guide. Have questions or personal experiences about your music PR activities? Share them in the comments below.