At a time when new technologies make it more possible than ever for musicians to attract attention independently and leverage their own careers, DIY advice from a music professional has never been so desirable. Bobby Borg has been down the road of the self-made musician, and he brings his experience and his advice to other hopefuls through Music Marketing for the DIY Musician. According to Borg, publicity is the key!
Stimulating publicity and building good PR (public relations) are the first of many promotional strategies that you can use to help promote your products and services. Publicity refers to articles, reviews, and comments that journalist write about you because they want to write about you. In other words: Because you “earned” their interest and respect. PR refers to what happens in the minds of your target audience as a result of great publicity. Overall, fans are left with a much stronger image of you, your offerings, and your brand. So how should you start stimulating publicity and building good PR? Consider the following:
- Create an informative press kit (physically and digitally) that includes a biography, picture, current news release (or press release), and a sample of your music.
- Create a list of local magazines, newspapers, and blogs red by your target audience.
- Build relationships with local journalists by first reaching out and complimenting them on their work.
- Send local journalists (after getting permission) your press materials and be clear about what it is you want from them: A record review, live performance review, or an interview.
- Become part of the local news by being part of your local scene:Attend other artist’s shows, go to award ceremonies, and hang at parties where local press people hang out.
- Participate in community activities in which you strongly believe (feed the homeless, 5k run to cure cancer, etc.), and then inform the local press of the good deeds you do.
- Devise a “publicity stunt” (a sneaky/crazy/daring activity) that gets press people to take notice and write about you. Just be sure not to do anything illegal.
- Start your own magazine and write about local bands (including your own).
- Capitalize on your school’s paper, newsletter, etc., where you already have an “in.”
- Publicize (your publicity) by including various quotes and testimonials in your biographies, press releases, and anywhere else that you can.
- Hire a talented communications student at a local college to help with some of the above tasks, and/or entice one of your fans to help out with some of the work.
As you can see, there are a variety of different ways to generate publicity and strengthen your public’s perception of you. But don’t be mislead: publicity and PR are not as easy as 1 – 2 – 3. They require follow up (over long periods of time) just to get one magazine or blog review. But if you’re pleasant, charming, and have truly a great product, all the hard work will all pay off.
Check out more advice from Bobby over on his website