5 More Common Questions About Music PR, Answered
Last week we talked about 5 Common Questions From Bands About Music PR, this week let's dive a little deeper and answer some more of your top questions. If you are planning on hiring a publicist or are in the midst of a music pr campaign, most likely your questions revolve around two central themes – what is being done and where are the results. Below are your most common questions answered.
How Much Money Should I Raise for a Campaign?
Perhaps the largest hurdle for any independent band is raising money for a music pr campaign. You want to see great results, but you also don’t have a money tree growing in your backyard. So how much do you need for an effective campaign? It depends. Smaller campaign rates among various music pr firms can range anywhere from $1k and up (our lowest campaign is $2k). You also get what you pay for in pr. Although it can seem tempting to simply pay the lowest rate quoted, more often than not you are dealing with a publicist who lacks experience, has to take on more bands to make ends meet due to the lower rates (which means less time devoted to your campaign), or simply takes on more bands to increase annual revenue. Rather than looking at the dollar amount, look at who clicks with your philosophy and what you hope to achieve. Has the publicist secured coverage at your goal outlets? Does he or she seem sincere and excited about your music? Take a look at 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Music Publicist on what you should look for in a publicist for your band.
How Do I Know You’re Doing Any Work?
Publicity produces a lot of anxiety for both parties. If you’re seeing press coverage, it’s usually obvious that work is being done on your behalf. If not, the band is worried when they aren’t seeing any coverage and the publicist is knocking on every proverbial door only to receive radio silence. Before you start working with a publicist you want to know the type of reporting being done on your behalf. At the very least the publicist should be communicating with you once per week. In addition to logging pitches, responses and coverage in a real time report, we at Green Light Go Publicity write agendas every week so the band can see the direction for that week as well as what has been done on their behalf and why they are or aren’t seeing coverage. Which brings us to…
Why Hasn’t Anyone Responded?
There are usually a few reasons for this. First, publicity is a painstakingly slow process which rarely sees immediate results. If you are an unknown or emerging artist, you should know that in the beginning. It takes time for media to get to know you when they haven’t heard of you before. In some cases, we are following up 5-6 times before we finally get a response or coverage. Media also receives an insane demand for their time so they have to prioritize who they’ll listen to first and that is usually a band they already know.
That said, there are times when the band or song just isn’t connecting with media, which can be a bit trickier to determine. Typically, if you’ve seen results with a first single and the second single flops, it just means the second single didn’t connect and you move on. If you struggle from the beginning and media doesn’t respond within about four weeks, the publicist most likely needs to target a more receptive list of contacts or change the story angle. That said, don’t make this change too early, because as I’ve mentioned, publicity is a painstakingly slow process and it will only confuse media and prolong the success if you continue to knee jerk every time it doesn’t work out.
When Should We Start Seeing Coverage?
As a general rule the smaller outlets who have less demand for their time will start posting within a few days of receiving the press release or pitch from the publicist. As said before, the larger outlets who receive more requests will simply take longer to cover and will take continuous nudging from the publicist before they do. If you are an unknown band and aren’t seeing a lot of coverage in the first few weeks of the campaign, don’t panic. Publicity campaigns need time to build and gain interest and some genres take longer than others. This is usually because the genre needs a more in depth listen or it is one that is oversaturated and you’re competing against a larger and more established pool of bands.
What are the Chances X Outlet Will Cover Us?
This is a question we receive a lot and the truth is that there is almost no way to determine probability, even with our most loyal contacts. There are simply too many variables that get in the way of coverage for a publicist to predict if an outlet like Pitchfork or Stereogum will cover your band. Are you unknown? Have they covered you before and feel it’s too soon to cover you again? Are they working against other deadlines? Is it a heavy time for more established releases? Did something hit the news cycle that would prevent them from covering you? Do they have enough time with their current workload? Do they even like the music?
See what I mean? All those questions play a factor in whether you’ll see coverage or not.
As you can see, questions only lead to more questions when it comes to music publicity. The best thing you can do as a band involved in a pr campaign is, well, stay involved. If you’re not sure of something, ask your publicist instead of sitting in a passive-aggressive pool complaining about how much isn’t being done. There is a lot of chance in music pr and little guarantees, so the best thing you can do is your part to see the campaign’s success.
Green Light Go: Ask questions! If you never ask you'll never learn the answers to the questions you have.
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