Music Publicity

May 26th, 2009

Lets talk music publicity

First of all, if you are going to get publicity for your music, you need to set some goals and out comes for what it is you want to achieve.

·    Do you want to increase sales?

·    Do you want to create awareness about something?

You’ve got to have a target, an outcome. Now that you have your goal in mind, you can now brainstorm ways to go forward.

At this point, you could reach out to a publicity agent who will help you to put this together, and will charge you a fee. Many musicians will not want to pay for this type of service in the beginning, so here are some steps to take to do it yourself.

1. Make a list of all the potential outlets where you could potentially reach the “demographic” of people who you actually want to get your message to.
The demographic you are targeting will dictate the methods of communication you choose.

For example, if it’s a certain age group, who are into a certain type of music, you would target certain social networking sites. If you were targeting women who are into high fashion, you would think about websites and magazines that they would read.

You could ask people who are typical fans of your music what they read and where they go on the Internet. You could go to a big book store that has a decent sized magazine section and write down magazines that you think would be interested in your story.

The best way in my opinion is to use online tools to find out how similar acts are getting publicity on the Internet and then go there to get publicity. You can do this using various tools and websites like Quantcast, Compete and Alexa to find out where people who like your kind of music or that match your target demographic hang out online.

2.  Next you need to look at all the stories and features that similar artists are using to get publicity. Come up with an angle that suits what you are promoting and begin to craft it.
Remember, people love a story. The more stories you can tell, the more you can engage people. There are certain story themes that are consistently used -
for example:

·    The “home town boy makes good” story line
·    The Us verses Them story line.
·    The controversy story line.

There are so many, just come up with something that fits your own story.

3.  Manage your perception. Perception is everything. You want people to perceive you in a way that you want to be perceived. Give people an opinion of you and your music.

4.  Now you need to build your plan of attack
Most publicity I have been involved, usually involved 3 things:

i)   Release the story to the trade
ii)  Release to a wide range of media
iii)  A focal point (often a launch or release of something)

i)  By “trade”, I mean blogs, magazines, and people who are considered thought leaders
by the industry.  The story or media you release to them will be tailored to them.  If you look at the types of things they mention, you will be able to model that to use for your stories.

ii)  The next tier to release your promotion to is the wider “consumer” publications and media.  These will be less “trade” and “industry” focused.  Here you are trying to hit as big an audience as possible.

iii) Here you are doing some type of in person event.  Invite bloggers, writers, thought leaders, publications, anyone you can think of  - celebrities how ever small if you have access to them.
If you do get celebrities, make sure you take photographs and interview them so that this can be redistributed as evidence of credibility of your event and act.

5.  Execute.

There is no better way to get somewhere than taking action.

6.  Reflect.
An often overlooked step - take time to see what worked and what didn’t.
How can you do better next time?
What was good?
What did you learn?
What would you leave out next time?

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