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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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The One Simple Rule You Need to Follow to Maintain Media Relationships Between Releases

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Are you frustrated because all the music bloggers who loved your last record seem to care less about the new one you’re releasing? After repeated attempts to contact the writer, you can’t seem to get a response no matter how hard you try.

Here’s the cold, hard truth: Your band is not the center of the journalist’s universe. Writers are often battling fast-paced deadlines, an overflow of submissions in their inboxes, and, more often than not, a full-time job with deadlines and demands of its own.

Popping in only when you're releasing an album and need coverage is the equivalent of only calling a friend when you need a favor. If that’s your MO, you’re failing to build a relationship based on a solid foundation. If you're fair weather in your approach, the best you can expect is the same in return.

Is It Really Worth It to Hire a PR Company When You Release New Music? Advice From Indie Artist Lauren Marsh

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Most musicians dream of one day being on the cover of Rolling Stone, or having Pitchfork dub their album "Best New Music." It's a prestigious salute to your hard work, and it helps with album sales and promotion. However, doing your own press often means facing a big learning curve (unless you're one of those musicians who majored in PR), hearing no after no, and potentially placing money in bad investments.

We spoke with Lauren Marsh, an award-winning, indie singer-songwriter from New Jersey, about her experience with DIY PR versus hiring a professional. Lauren led a strong campaign herself on her debut EP, but with her most recent release, she put the work in the hands of a pro. Artists are always wondering if they should hire a publicist, so we dug into Lauren's results to get some insight.

Ask a Publicist: 5 Ways to Get More Out of Your Music PR Efforts

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I love being a publicist. It’s the highlight of my day when we secure a placement that our artist is dreaming of, or show them a really flattering piece on their music. Getting to work with so many passionate, eager, driven people makes this a business worth loving. But for every beautiful experience, there’s at least a handful more that are made difficult by misaligned expectations, and there’s an easy way around that. One of the best things an artist can do prior to bringing on a publicist is make sure there’s clear communication and that the artist and publicist’s visions for the project line up.

But once the campaign actually starts, the work isn’t over. In fact, it’s just beginning. And I have to tell you, the best and most successful campaigns I’ve ever worked on were with artists who asked me, "What can I do to make sure we’re making the most of this campaign?" Here’s what I tell them.

Marketing and PR Are Not Synonymous – Here's How to Tell What Your Band Is Really Looking For

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During the day, I work at a boutique inbound marketing agency in Nashville. We’re pretty cool, check us out sometime. We help musicians and music industry professionals use inbound marketing techniques to enhance their digital presence and get them reaching sales goals. Things like attracting the right kind of fans, making more conversions to their email list, and serving up the type of content that makes them more discoverable and more engaging. Most of what we do takes place on the artist’s own website and their socials.

We are not a PR agency. Yet, misguided artists continue to call us asking about our PR services and what we can do to help them sell 50,000 copies of their debut album that’s coming out in two weeks. There is so much wrong with that statement. Starting with…

sxsw, press, PR, Music Business 101

Mar 30, 2016 06:00 AM

Hugh McIntyre

Sonicbids at SXSW: Top Insights From Our DIY Music PR Panel on How to Pitch Your Band

Photo by Katie Garibaldi (via Instagram)

This year at SXSW, three Sonicbids blog contributors – Hugh McIntyre (that's me), Laura Goldfarb, and Amy Sciarretto – all spoke on the panel "DIY Music PR: The Secrets of Pitching Your Band," moderated by Sonicbids managing editor Lisa Occhino, which looked at how those just getting started in the music business can approach the media world appropriately and effectively. With both music journalists and publicists on the panel, there were plenty of perspectives, and all told it seemed like everybody in the room was able to take something away from the discussion.

The panel was recorded, and I've pulled a few of the top highlights from the many topics discussed during the hour-long session. If you didn’t make it to Austin earlier this month (or if you just happened to miss our panel), check out the recap below of the most important insights.