Look, I’m not going to lie, being a music publicist is a pretty amazing job. I get to listen to new music all the time, work with really passionate artists, make new friends by way of bloggers, DJs, and industry professionals, and – the ultimate highlight – I get to see artists light up when I deliver the results they hoped for. All of these things make my job pretty fantastic. But every now and again, something goes awry. People get busy, distracted, or are genuinely naïve in their actions. Regardless, it’s enough to get under your skin. So, bands, as much as we love all the little quirks and challenges you provide, if you want to make your campaign more successful, please steer clear of these five practices. In fact, just go ahead and do the opposite whenever possible.
1. Having a slow turnaround time
For the most part, we’re all insanely busy and constantly vying for one another’s attention. But when a publicist secures you a feature that requires your input (an interview, a guest blog, etc.), it’s often vital that you have a quick turnaround time. Sometimes it will be a week, sometimes a day. It all depends on what deadlines the outlet is meeting and where you fit in. Because of this, it’s crucial that you be not only reachable, but also quick to meet the deadlines we ask of you.
2. Not getting excited or saying, "Thank you"
There’s nothing more disheartening to me then when a band isn’t acknowledging the awesome results I’m churning out. I mean, this is why I do what I do! Being able to see bands get excited over a feature, receiving those emails that say, "Thank you!" or "This is great!”’ are what fuel my passion. I genuinely love getting my artists placements and basking in those victories with them. So don’t forget to celebrate with your publicist!
3. Not promoting content
This is another one that really hurts us both. When we’re able to secure coverage, or when a blog or radio station is kind enough to feature your band, please be sure to promote it on your website, Twitter, Facebook, and any other social networking tool you can think of. It’s such a small, simple act, but it really shows gratitude to the outlets that took the time to write about you. Not to mention when you’re coming up on your next big release, it doesn’t hurt to have made some lasting connections with those who have featured your band before.
4. Springing something last-minute
If you ask me, this is a business that’s kind of run on stress. I spend most days at a pretty high stress level trying to make the most of each hour and each piece of coverage to make sure our artists are getting the best exposure they can, and that the blogs we work with are getting the best music I can give them. It’s kind of a necessary and tolerable stress. However, when you spring something on us last-minute ("Hey, we’re opening for Metallica tomorrow night!" or "We’re dropping our new music video in an hour!"), it can take that stress to a whole new level. While sometimes these things really can’t be helped, other times it's just a matter of planning.
5. Forgetting to mention major news
I think that, although this one is oftentimes unintentional, it can really hurt a campaign. If you have major news to share (new music video, opening for a major act, playing a major festival, etc.), we not only want to hear it, we need to hear it. After all, it’s our job to push that news to all the interested parties we can find. So when you don’t share that incredibly exciting, vital, and possibly career-changing info with us, you’re doing yourself an incredible disservice. Believe me, we want you to succeed just as much as you do. So please, keep us in the loop!
We really do just want to get you the best coverage we possibly can, but a lot of that depends on communication and participation from you, the artist. Thankfully, Muddy Paw has some pretty amazing clients. But for first-timers or future clients, I hope this helps ease you into an incredible and successful campaign.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the owner of Muddy Paw Public Relations. Muddy Paw specializes in working with up-and-coming artists on personalized campaigns designed to bring their careers to the next level. To date, they’ve secured placements on sites such as AbsolutePunk, Substream, Property Of Zack, PureVolume, and many more.