• Eric Dahl

Music Requires Publicity

It is easy for the public to bash and complain about publicity and marketing, but most of us don’t realize how much we use that information to inform our buying decisions. Case in point, a band or artist spends a huge sum of money on

Three chords and the truth!

recording the best songs and record possible. Deals are cut with all major music outlets, CDs, Vinyl and thumb drives are created. The posts are launched on web and all the bands social media platforms and they wait for the sales to start rolling in, record offers to pour in and requests for concerts and a tour. Unfortunately, none of this happens as the band or artist had envisioned because no one, other than their few fans and family, know about it. I can tell you honestly that I have seen this happen many times in the music industry. Some artists are fine with selling 100 copies or downloads of their original music so it pays for the next album. A friend of mine here in Nashville does exactly that once a year or every other year and he is revered as very successful by his friends and he loves creating the music. But, if you want to take your music to the next level I believe it requires a PR (public relations) or Publicity Firm that trust and believe in and they believe in you and your talent. The majority of top names in Music have some type of PR, Publicist or Marketing team to help promote them, their music, achievements, concerts and to get them on media outlets. A well-run PR Firm has the connections with radio, Sirius, trade magazines, TV (local and national), music websites, Podcasts and newspapers. An artist can make achieve some publicity especially in their hometown where they are already known. The tough part is to gain awareness in a bigger pond such as Nashville, LA and NY. National PR firms reach out to me when their artists are coming through Nashville TN, but most of the time I deal with local firms. The owners, and staff members, of these companies create press kits for the artists, get their music into the hands of the right people, create press releases and book their artists to be on the media outlets. Without a PR or Marketing company getting the word out to the masses then no one really knows what incredible music you have created. All of these PR Firms vary in price and I understand that some of them are very affordable for new artists and will agree to a minimum three-month deal as a tester for both parties. Much like a Ruth Chris Steakhouse you can have a meeting with one of these companies and look at the menu to determine what will help you meet your goals. When you are shopping for a PR Firm get to know the people that run them, see who they have on their roster and what they have achieved. Before you set the meeting up to talk with a marketing company: Define your goals, determine your budget, have your Social Media footprint in a growth mode, Have a plan for the future. Then see what directions or opportunities the PR Firm suggests you go and if your expectations are realistic or not. Most press releases I receive today, for artists and bands, tout their social media and YouTube reach more than they do their Billboard Hits or major awards. This is the new currency for music. If you aren’t growing your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram following then you need re-evaluate your approach and posts. Many artists and bands hire people to do this, but I still prefer the personal touch and knowing that the musicians are doing their own posting when possible. Like so many things in this world it is easy to get sidetracked and I run into the same problem myself. The bottom line is if you as an artist spent the time to learn your instrument, trained to sing, wrote songs and recorded songs don’t you want your music to reach more people? If you look at the biggest companies in the world: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook – what do they all have in common? They all market and promote what they do and have some of the most creative agencies doing this for them to gain more users and buyers. As an Artist, Band or Entertainer you must do the same for your music. The right PR Firm can setup a radio tour for you, arrange TV interviews, promote your charity work, push your album, notify media of how well your single is doing or your new video. Instead of a new fog machine, bigger PA system or more koozies with the band name on the side in puffy letters – consider a PR Firm to help you. Even if you only hire one for short term or for an album or EP release I believe you might be surprised at the added attention your musical efforts will receive!