If you’re in Media/Marketing at a record label, publishing house, film studio or a publicist working for yourself or an agency, some of the hardest work you’ll ever do is garnering coverage for your artist. If you’re not sending e-mail blasts and calling editors and writers, you’re forwarding bios, samples/trailers and generally, doing everything possible to avoid spending too much money on garnering public awareness for the latest book, film, CD or DVD.
The ideal scenario is to have at least a dozen reliable sources that will efficiently, and skillfully, write about your artist’s latest project and generate additional buzz before it drops, but nooooooo, some representatives are clueless about how to accomplish this. If you’re a pro in the game of PR, these truths will not enlighten you, but if you’re an artist struggling to “get love” in the blogs or, worse, a pub/rep who can’t get anyone to return phone calls or e-mails, here’s how to check yourself…..
1) A writer/editor of a trusted blog/site sends you a request for product or an interview, and more than 48 hours pass before you even think about returning an e-mail or phone call (It’s not like they have deadlines, right?).
2) You set up a face-to-face or phone interview. When the artist doesn’t call, the tickets don’t show up or the encrypted music files don’t work, you take your slow, sweet time to correct the issue since, hey, it’s not your fault.
3) When the write-up does appear in the newspaper/on the site and you’re made aware of it, you don’t bother thanking them, posting the article to the artist’s site or responding to the message.
4) If it’s well-written and accurate, but there’s a minor bone of contention with the piece (i.e., publishing the performer’s age against their wishes, using their street name instead of their stage name, calling their ‘manager’ their ‘bodyguard,’ etc.), you go overboard correcting the errors and lose sight of the fact that you still accomplished the goal, FREE PUBLICITY.
5) If your artist is new to the game, you don’t offer tips on how to conduct themselves with the media, so they alienate or pi$$ off everyone they come in contact with.
6) If your artist is established and has a ‘rep,’ you don’t attempt to reign in their egos (see #5).
7) You regularly commit faux pas like the following: remaining on a 3-way call with the artist/writer, and telling the writer what to ask/not ask, giving out a conference # for interviews and leaving folks in perpetual hold without explaining or apologizing, not providing emergency info if things fall apart.
8) Make the pros who are kind enough to cover your artist feel like it’s A FAVOR that you’re providing promo materials and that they come out of your pocket: guess what? It DOESN’T.
9) Going months or years without checking in with people, then sending a review/interview request and getting huffy when they don’t quickly respond.
10) Feeling you don’t need the ‘smaller’ sites anymore because your artist has blown up, as if they’re not one relapse/bad break-up/nude photo/court case from falling off (see Chris Brown, R. Kelly, Britney Spears).
Lister: Lele Symone
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