By Angela Mastrogiacomo of MuddyPawPR.com
As a publicist, one of the first questions I ask potential clients is “what do you view as a successful campaign?” This is crucial because it lets me know where their heads are at, and how our visions are going to align. Believe it or not, things like “We’d like to be on Rolling Stone” or “We’d like to have 1,000 more Facebook likes by the end of 3 months” is not all that uncommon to hear.
And look, it’s not that I don’t believe in your band, or think that you won’t get there one day, but bands nowadays seem to be under the impression that they can jump from 400 Facebook likes and one EP release to the next “it” band. But what seems to be the disconnect here, is the dreaded money factor. There’s no skirting around the issue that PR isn’t cheap (though we at Muddy Paw PR do try to keep our rates affordable). It seems as though somewhere along the way, bands have decided that if they’re paying money for PR, that means they’re getting in all the major outlets. And believe me, no one wishes that was true more than me. Seeing my clients light up when we get major coverage is the reason I still wake up and do this every day. There’s nothing like it. But unfortunately, there’s a lot more to it than that.
For starters, this industry is still almost 100% who you know. But even assuming your publicists do have the connections you want, that doesn’t mean we can make them like or feature your music. There are a lot of variables at play, and to be honest, a lot of them are out of our control. Things like: does the person listening actually fancy the music? Do they have an opening in which your music/story would be a good fit? Have you toured/worked with anyone notable in the industry? How is your social media following? All of these things will undoubtedly come into play when deciding to feature you or not. In a lot of ways, it’s a bit like winning the lottery. Right person, right place, right time.
Does that mean you shouldn’t try, or keep a list of “dream placements” on hand? Of course not. I’m just asking that when you approach PR, regardless of whether you handle it yourself or hire out, that you keep your outlet choices attainable, and are completely transparent in your expectations. PR can be a really incredible boost for your band, and propel you on the path towards getting that major press you desire—so long as you’re open to all the possibilities.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the owner of Muddy Paw Public Relations. Muddy Paw specializes in working with up and coming artists on personalized campaigns designed to bring their careers to the next level. To date, we’ve secured placements on sites such as Substream, PureVolume, AbsolutePunk, Property Of Zack, Under The Gun Review, and many more. You can find us at www.MuddyPawPR.com