Now, this is the ultimate question. What should music promotion companies do for you? Should they promote your music? Should they get you interviews with top magazines? Do they write the press release details? Do they tell you what is going on? Confused..?
Promo.ly have worked with a good deal of PR companies over the years and each of them work in their own unique way.
Let’s explore further into the world of music PR companies
This topic is subjective and depends on the company you are working with. It also depends on your budget; music promotion isn’t cheap and if it is, you may need to question who you’re working with. Promotion & marketing is a skill, normally comprising a lot of trial and error. What works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you? Aphex Twin’s team likes to spray paint his logo and launch blimps into the sky to announce albums. Others like a more traditional approach, such as email campaigns and promo mail-outs to gain features. Would this work for you? Maybe, but I bet there’s a better solution which suits your record label.
Promotion companies should explain how they work and what they intend to do with your music. This process should be collaborative. Remember, you’re paying them to work on your behalf. The music PR team should have a good track record. They should be approachable and want to work with you. They should also keep you informed about what’s going on, and what is working and not working so well. The PR company should extend your record label or company. It’s no use the PR company doing their own thing and keeping you out of the loop. Think about the PR company being the boat and you’re the navigator. You then have the crew who will get you to your destination. Think about what music PR companies should do for YOU. You’re in control.
Good promos companies
A good company should say no to working with you. Your music may not suit their tastes or style. They might just dislike it altogether. A good PR company should tell you straight what they think about your music. If they only seem concerned about their invoice and not the music, perhaps they are not the company for you. There are plenty of music PR companies available if the first choice doesn’t work out.
All PR companies work very differently. Some do everything you can imagine and others will only email to DJs on your behalf. Some may take your money and you’ll never hear from them again. Let’s hope it’s not the latter. Doing research about the company will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
Sourcing a music PR company
When sourcing a music promotion company you need to decide on what you need them to do. In the electronic music industry, most want someone to send their music to DJs, Blogs and Magazines. They want features they can boast about on their social media. This may sound easy but music promotion is a long game and results take time; your PR company should explain this to you. If you want blog articles written about your music, you need to appreciate this takes a while to organise. Don’t get annoyed with your publicist when it the feature isn’t online within a day. Your PR company have to create a press release, collate music, embed images, write an email, email the recipient, chase the email, organise a feature, chase the email again, confirm the details and eventually send the published article back to you. This process can take anything between a week and several months. All of this process is for only 1 recipient. Imagine if the goal is 10 blog articles written by 10 different publications; yep, this is where a lot of your budget goes.
When contacting a PR company you should ask them which publications they work with. You’ll probably find different companies have their favourite ’secret weapon’ contacts which they like to show-boat about. “We have close contacts at Thump, Mixmag & Billboard” are often the lines used during the sales pitch. This is cool, but find out about the smaller niche contacts too. The niche blogs audiences may love your music. Who knows, these niche blogs one day may be the new Mixmag?
Hopefully, you now have an idea what music promotion companies should do for you.
What type of promotion do you need? How big is your budget? Once you have the answers start your research and due diligence. Ask lots of questions and ensure the PR company is the right choice for you. Remember, your promotion is in their hands. It needs to be correct.
If you would like to learn about music marketing, this article on pitching music will point you in the right direction.