Updated: Feb 21
Hey UPSTAGE family! Happy Tuesday! (AND- Happy Valentines Day. )
In honor of this lovely commercial holiday, let's chat a bit about relationships. Not the relationships like the one I share with my rockstar boyfriend (pictured above) or audio extraordinaire of a belgian malinois named Elton, but PR.
What even is PR? Do you need to worry about them?
Regarding PR in the music industry, they are companies with folk such as publicists.Publicists (should) represent you and take care of setting up the press, hype, and public collaborations that all (should) help you grow an audience and build momentum before your potential breakout moments. Think articles, interviews, TV.
The above paragraph tells you everything you need to know, but let me help you read
between the lines:
1. Do you need to worry about PR? Sometimes. How are you going to promote your upcoming "breakout moment?"
2. These are companies. Companies make money. Money somewhere between fifty and five- thousand dollars a month from you.
3. Publicists are people, not news outlets or writers themselves. Publicists connect with journalists, radio stations, podcasts, magazines, and television outlets on your behalf.
4. A good publicist should already have all these connections and the proof/experience to back it up.
5. A good publicist should be able to represent you and vouch as you would for yourself. Not all publicists are good fits for all artists.
6. PR companies and publicists should help you gain traction and attention. Nothing is ever guaranteed, no matter the amount you just paid them.
7. Assuming they do their job, you need to have already done your job. That job is being or doing something worth writing and talking about. If you provide them with something as simple as a new album or collection of music videos to promote- you'll be throwing your money away.
These types of "news" do not carry their own weight to stand out- no matter how well they are promoted. In other words, what you really need is a self - created, potential "breakout moment" to promote.
Everyone makes albums and videos and many of these are memorable and professional. Frankly though, creating something great is doing the absolute minimum. If this is the type of "news" you try and provide even the best PR team to work with, the most you might walk away with are some clout points, an ego boost, and less money than you had before.
We can all probably name or know of at least one artist who has landed super dope TV airtime, amazing write ups or even millions of streams and are still in the exact same place they were prior. This could describe the circumstances of anyone with a few thousand dollars to throw into a PR investment and an average to really good product.
The current standard of best ROI from a good PR deal with a good project or product to promote is; great write ups, inclusions, and profiles to add to your EPKs. (Which, if you can afford it, could be nice?!) By all means- do try it out if you find it to be a smart move for you. Only you can know.
That said, will record labels and label executives start calling you up and spamming your email? No. Will it "at least" increase your streaming numbers? Probably not. Will you be suddenly "discovered"? No.
The key to having a great turnout from a PR investment is having something undeniably remarkable to talk about & an outstanding publicist with great connections.
As independent artists with multi - talented skills, which all of you are; my best advice to you is to work your butt off and be your own PR team. That is until you're ready to tell the world about something absolutely unique & remarkable that you've done. Which I also know, is something all of you are capable of.
The takeaway here is to save your money in the beginning and invest it wisely at the right times. Keep yourself educated and create amazing products. I'm right there with you doing the same thing, and as always- I'll update you along the way with everything that I learn.
Now, go be remarkable and invest in the most important relationship you have this Valentines Day- which is the one with yourself and your future. (But be sure to also let your loved ones and furry loved ones know how much you care if you haven't already today.)
Until next week,
Jada and UPSTAGE LLC