How Not to Do it: “Put in Work and Watch Your Status Escalate”

OK, so you’ve read all of my columns up until now. You have an album coming out in the next couple of months and you’re now convinced to hire a publicist. You’re all set right? Not quite. Once you hire a publicist there are still some do’s and dont’s you need to be aware of. I will go over a few of these in this column.

A. RESPOND TO INTERVIEWS: This is a particular pet peeve of mine. Many times I will call in a favor from a writer or beg for an interview from a publication and then the band in question doesn’t respond despite nudges. Why? Usually it’s because they are “too busy”. In my experience “too busy” usually translates into “too busy watching Game of Thrones” or “too busy drinking beer.” There are 168 hours in a week, so saying you don’t have time to answer your interviews is just plain rude. Also refusing to answer interviews  to maintain some aura of mystique is also just silly. Hiring a publicist and then refusing to do interviews is just silly and a waste of time for all involved.

B. BEING A JERK IN INTERVIEWS: This is not the same as ‘A.’ In ;A’ the band refuses to answer interviews, in B the band in question answers the interview but responds with all sarcastic interviews or antagonistically. This is just rude and will not win you any friends. Similar to this is answering all questions with “yes” or “no”. I don’t care if you think the question is stupid, part of your job as the musician is to make yourself interesting to a potential audience. Answering “yes” or “no” to questions is just rude.

C. POSTING YOUR ALBUM/POSTING TRACKS WITHOUT TELLING YOUR PUBLICIST: I may have mentioned this in previous columns, but it needs to be said again: DO NOT POST ANY MUSIC OR ALBUMS WITHOUT COORDINATING WITH YOUR PUBLICIST. NO ONE IS GOING TO STREAM YOUR ALBUM IF IT’S ALREADY BEEN RELEASED. Similar to this: DO NOT POST YOUR ALBUM AND THEN HIRE A PUBLICIST. If you are hiring a publicist coordinate with them on all track/album streams. I don’t know how many times I’ve arranged exclusive streams and then found out the artist decided to post the track or album on their Bandcamp.  Similar to this is deciding you don’t want to do a stream on a site that isn’t  kvlt or “big” enough.

D. TAG SITES IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SITES: Media is funny in that they want to be notified/tagged when you share their posts. If you don’t , they think you are not sharing the post and giving them the cold shoulder. When you tag the site then they know you are sharing and it acts as a sort of “thank you” to them for spreading the word about the band.

E.DON’T DISAPPEAR: While it may sound obvious,  some bands think nothing of hiring a publicist and then disappearing. They don’t answer emails, phone calls or social media. Then the band wonders why the campaign flopped. For PR to be effective the band has to be a willing participant and active in answering interviews, posting on social media etc.

That’s it for this month, as always I hope it was informative. If you have any questions or want some PR help please contact me at dewarpr@gmail.com. You can also message me via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/cdewarpr/) or Twitter (@dewarpr).

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