PR Tips and Tricks for Emerging Musicians
It can feel very intimidating when facing the world as an emerging musician. It is a massive pool of talent that is already difficult to enter, and even more so when it comes to promotion of your image. Initially, it can seem impossible when starting off on your own. But fear not, because there are some tips and tricks emerging musicians can use to help their own public relations efforts. Many musicians have found success in pursuing their own efforts until they could manage to land a firm to represent them.
Here is a fantastic example. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, a small, eccentric group from Fort Lauderdale, Florida began making a name for themselves in the local music scene. Without promotion, they took efforts into their own hands. They created flyers, handed out cassettes, started a local fan club, and even went so far as to create their own candy bars to start a buzz. Initially, the music wasn’t considered great, but people were interested. Eventually, people in the area recognized the name whether they knew of the band or not. It is a classic case of doing it yourself PR success. This band went on to famously be known as Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, or more famously, Marilyn Manson.
In today’s social world, if a musician does not create and maintain an online presence, there is a small chance of spreading the word of their messages. Of course, many can find success without it, probably on a local level, but to create a broader worldwide image one almost needs this benefit. In the past, musicians either waited for A&R or talent scouts to find them after a performance or reach out to radio stations themselves to get on the radio. If an emerging artist can get past roadblocks of modern marketing, like lack of a database to expand the fan base, or simple lack of time, then they can surely find success running their own Public Relations efforts.
First off, time management is one of the most important parts of self-management PR. It can seem scary, at first, but after you make time for each task you have, then it will be easier to know what is left to be done. For those emerging musicians who are not solo artists, a delegation of tasks to fellow band members could help in easing some of the stress. Schedules are your best friend when managing your own efforts. Not only is timing in scheduling a factor, but timing in when you make presentations as well. Consider the timing in terms of the overall state of your surroundings and or society. How would your message be best received?
After a schedule is loosely created, the next step to a successful self-promotion campaign is creating the message. The very first step to creating a buzz is to have a good story to pitch, appeal to the audience in one way or another, and have recent information possible in the form of demos and mixtapes to show the audience. Since this is an effort all your own as an emerging artist, you have to have the beginnings of a foundation to show to the world. It takes lots of effort and patience to build, and there is likely no not be an immediate response to your work. Like most industries, the most important factor after the talent alone is the contacts you create. This form of self-promotion will make your PR efforts much easier when there are others who can help you to spread the word and expand the message. In a way, self PR is a lot like fishing. With a wide enough net, you are bound to catch the right listener audience for your sound or recording label for your work.
For many starting musicians, self Public Relations work is the option they pursue whatever the reason. The ways in which to get yourself or your band out there are various and diverse. In the past, it was in the form of flyers and cassettes. In the modern world, it is streaming, mp3, and websites. Trends are always changing and faces passing in the industry. Creating an image to best fit your style and vibes will prepare your band set new trends if not simply create a buzz in the music world. For many successful artists, they will utilize the record label PR firm after finding their victory in the industry, but just starting out, there are not many options for most musicians. With keeping this information in mind, any emerging musicians will have a basic stepping stone for managing their own PR efforts.
Forbes. (2014). 10 Stealthy Techniques for Self-Promotion. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/entrepreneursorganization/2014/12/10/10-stealthy-techniques-for-self-promotion/#6c47946d787e
ReverbNation. (2017). DIY Music PR: 5 Must-Have Tools. Retrieved from: http://blog.reverbnation.com/2017/03/07/diy-music-pr-5-must-have-tools/