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How to Find a Music Publicist You Can Trust

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You’ve decided you need a music publicist you can trust to help you promote your next album release. You’re nervous. There are stories you’ve heard from bands who hired a publicist who took their money and disappeared, or maybe the publicist stuck around but made huge promises they simply couldn’t deliver.

The result? Thousands of dollars down the drain.

I’m not telling you this to scare you, but to prepare you to hire a publicist you can trust so it doesn’t happen to you. There’s always some sort of inherent risk in hiring a music publicist, but there are also some things you can do to increase the chances of hiring the right publicist for your band’s needs — and one you ultimately trust.

Why You Can't Have It All When It Comes to Music Publicity

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You’re about to hire a music publicist. You have pretty high expectations. You want to see a review in Pitchfork, a premiere on Stereogum, and a session on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. You also want to be able to get this at an incredible price because you don’t have a lot of money, so you need to see a really high return on your investment. Oh, and you need him or her to turn it around quickly. In fact, if you don’t see that press within two weeks, you’ll look at the entire effort as an incredible failure.

Here’s the thing: There’s no business that can deliver all that to you without sacrificing something else. When hiring someone, you need to determine what you value most and then look at how both you and the person you’re hiring can meet that. Decide where your most pressing needs lie within the following three areas, and learn how you can get there.

Note that although these three areas may overlap in some cases, it's important to pick one and go with it, especially if you're hiring a publicist for the first time.

Ask a Publicist: What to Do When That Music Journalist Goes AWOL

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One of the biggest frustrations of a publicist is not receiving responses to pitches we send. We sort of anticipate it when the pitch is a cold call or we haven’t yet built a relationship with a writer, but the real head scratchers are when a journalist raises his or her hand high with interest and then seemingly disappears despite repeated follow ups from us.

On a recent Facebook post, a journalist summed this up in one sentence. “If you’re not hearing back from me, it’s because I’m trying to think of a way to tell you 'yes'  and failing."

You may be thinking that if a journalist likes your music, he or she should just write about it. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Here are three reasons why an interested journalist may have gone AWOL.

5 Questions to Ask Before Running Your Own Music PR Campaign

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If you’ve ever tried to run your own music PR campaign, you know how grueling and downright discouraging it can be. But there are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if you really want to invest your time into what can be a challenging, but rewarding, experience.

4 Steps to Take When Music Bloggers Don't Respond

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As a band, you may think it’s a lost cause to pitch blogs directly. Maybe you’ve tried in the past only to receive a zero response rate. Or maybe you think, "What’s the point?" because they won’t want to hear from you anyway.

Yes, a publicist who has relationships can help gain interest with media outlets, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do it on your own. Even with relationships, as a seasoned publicist, I sometimes have to go back five or six times before I receive a response.

Below are a few tips we use when building a new relationship when all else fails.