You Should “Vibe” With Your Publicist.

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PR. Public relations.

It’s an animal all its own. And if you’ve been handling your own PR, you know how much effort and time goes into securing those reviews and interviews.

But there comes a time in every artist’s (or band’s) career when it’s time to outsource and hire a publicist to do the work of media outreach for you, so you can dedicate your time to what you do best: making music.

If the time has come to add a publicist to your team for your next release, here are some tips for how to find the best one for you.

1. You should vibe with your publicist.

A PR campaign is a very unique process, and it’s important that you’re working with someone (or people) that you get along with, because you’ll be working very closely together for anywhere from four weeks to four months plus.

So, one of the best things you can do for yourself when preparing to hire a PR team is to make sure you vibe with them before signing any contracts. It makes the experience better for everyone involved, and it will be reassuring for you to know that you and your publicist are both on the same page throughout the duration of the campaign.

Speaking from personal experience, and having run a number of PR campaigns with indie artists and bands, my favorite campaigns have been the ones where my clients and I just click from the very beginning. Everything just aligns, from our personalities to our work ethics, and we already find ourselves looking ahead to the possibility of joining forces in the future.

On the other hand, I can tell pretty quickly now when a potential client and I won’t be the right fit for each other, and you as an artist, will be able to pick up on it too.

If when speaking with a publicist you’re met with any resistance, hesitation, combative language, etc., they’re not the right fit for you. The right publicist will listen to your thoughts and concerns, answer your questions honestly, and won’t be trying to sell you on working with them. Your energies will match and you won’t be able to wait to begin your journey together.

+ Read more on Flypaper: “Your Fans Want to Hear Your Narrative: Crafting a Story for Your Music Career.”

2. Your publicist should genuinely enjoy your music.

A publicist shouldn’t take you on if they don’t enjoy your music. If they don’t believe in and love the songs you’re making, how can they share that passion with their media contacts?

When the publicist is just as wildly excited as you are about getting your music out into the world, and you’re working toward a common goal of achieving a successful campaign, you’ll have so much fun working together and you’ll be even more driven to keep the momentum going.

So do yourself a favor, and choose the publicist whose passion for your music aligns with your own.

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3. Your publicist should have experience working in your genre.

This may seem obvious, but whichever publicist or PR agency you choose to consult with — and eventually hireshould have experience working in your genre.

If you’re a metal band, you wouldn’t enlist the help of a PR agency specialized in classical music, right? They (most likely) wouldn’t have connections with the outlets that would want to hear your music.

So, always check out the client roster of any agency you wish to approach and make sure the acts they’re working with fall within your genre. You can also go a step further and research some of those bands to see which outlets are featuring them, and if those outlets are a good fit for your music as a well.

+ Read more on Flypaper: “How to Network in Today’s (Online) Music Industry.”

4. If a publicist “guarantees” coverage, RUN.

When you’re paying for PR, you’re paying for a publicist’s time, experience, and connections. However, as hard as we may try — the best publicists out there will fight for you and do everything they can to secure you the best features possible — the harsh truth is that, at the end of the day, we can’t force journalists to cover your music.

So, if a PR team or publicist guarantees coverage, or promises features in specific publications, run. No reputable publicist or PR agency is going to promise they can secure you coverage, let alone a certain number of features or features in specific publications.

Navigating the music industry is tough, and when it comes PR, it can be difficult to decide who to work with, but by keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make a confident decision and, hopefully, be on your way to a successful PR campaign.

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