Before I Was Famous: Maybe You Shouldn't Post That Song Just Yet
The premiere is a much sought-after tool in the publicist’s arsenal to increase not only the scope of the campaign, but its legitimacy and credibility as well. The premiere can be the difference between your band’s song receiving the attention it deserves, or just ending up as the sixth or seventh track on your mom’s “Driving Jams” mixtape. The premiere has the potential to showcase your band’s potential…and I managed to almost mess all of that up.
I’ve been learning a lot on my publicity journey, but the road has not been without its fair share of bumps. I came into this not knowing, just like most musicians, exactly what a premiere was. For those of you who don’t know, a premiere is the exclusive first posting of a song on a given media outlet before it posts anywhere else (including your social networks!). I didn’t understand all of the components and steps it took to actually secure this slot. Of course I naively understood music video premieres and debut singles on the radio, but I didn’t realize that even cool, hip indie blogs could be the source of a premiere.
One of the things that I’ve been finding most difficult so far is coordinating the dates between the publicist and musician in accordance with when the media can actually run an article. It’s important to keep everybody on the same page, and that includes technology as well. Without making a small story a book-to-movie novel, I’ll just say that I’ve managed to learn three very important things about a premiere and how to ensure its longevity.
1. Communication is your Francis Scott Key
The most important tool in your arsenal is communication. Make sure that you, and your boss, and your boss’s boss, and the artist that you are representing are all on the same page. This means understanding when the song will go public and when the press release will go out and when the media is going to post their article. Coordinating all of these things will take some practice, but you can arm yourself with a large quantity of sticky notes and dry-erase boards.
2. This is Your Brain on Social Media
I know that it’s very tempting to share songs with your friends. You’ve been working in the studio for months and you’ve grown a beard, now it’s time to emerge as the beautiful musical butterfly that you are. Wrong. Stay in the shadows of social media. Don’t post your song on Facebook. Don’t tweet a private link to your aunt. Don’t even let your best friend have an advanced copy of the CD for his car. At all costs please just keep the tracks out of sight until your premiere has gone public, then feel free to spread your music across the world.
3. Thank You, May I Have Another?
Be good to those around you and make sure you’re networking like a champ. If you managed to get a song premiered on a decently popular blog make sure you thank them anywhere that you can. Send them a tweet and let your friends know how cool their website is. We’re all in this together and we can all help each other gain more exposure. Please, don’t forget to thank your publicity team. The men and women who are hard at work making sure that your song gets the plays that you deserve. Remember, if you build strong relationships now you’re more likely to have another premiere in the future, and this time you’ll know exactly how to do it.
Let’s sum this all up. If you’re in a band I highly recommend holding off on posting your songs. I know it’s tempting, but remember, it’s ok to build up some anticipation. Your audience will still want to listen to your songs, I promise. I also understand that the DIY-route seems like a great option, and for many it really could be the best, but working with an experienced publicist will give you the competitive advantage that you need when taking your music to a more professional level. Your publicist will know exactly which media outlet is the best fit for your song, and in turn, understands exactly which media outlet will attract the most ears that will take the time to listen to your song. That’s really the goal isn’t it? Remember, hold off a little, and gain a lot.
Green Light Go: Now you have the tools, the next step is putting it to use!
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