A very simplified definition of PR (short for public relations) or publicity is free advertising. Unlike advertisements, publicity in magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs don’t generally cost money. An old joke is that ‘if you want guaranteed coverage in the media, book an ad.’ Publicity and PR mean the same thing and will be used interchangeably. PR for musicians can take several forms – it can be what is known as a blurb or a ‘plug’ for an upcoming concert, an album review or a feature interview with the artist or band.
The goal of this column is to address how independent musicians can begin to publicize themselves in the early stages of their career. Sometimes in the beginning, musicians don’t have the financial means to hire a professional publicist or their limited marketing funds are better spent elsewhere.
Tools of the trade will be explained to enable musicians to start working with the media to promote their performances and new music. In the weeks to come, the principles and methods of good PR will be discussed along with tips for creating media kits, contacting outlets and much more.
Publicity is not easy nor is it guaranteed but planning, organization and a certain degree of persistence can pay off. In the world of public relations, checking the ego at the door will prove most valuable.
Get ready to start the journey of promoting your artistic vision to the public via the media.