Most bands and artists within the music industry have their own PR to help them gain traction to their music and become successful. However, what if you’re an emerging band/artist that can’t afford a PR service?
Don’t panic, not having a publicist doesn’t mean you have to give up on your music career. There are ways for you to do your own PR on a small scale before you can afford a trained professional.
(1) Use Local Media Sources.
Make friends within local media companies, such as radio, printing and press. These are all great places to get exposure easily and these business are likely to stick with you from the beginning until when you become more well known. If you do make it big further down the line, these local companies will continue to invest time, and money, in you as they were there from the start. It’s important to maintain these working relationships, even if your music takes off, remember who was there to help you early on. Also, think about their business taking off, you are likely to be offered better deals and contracts as you’ve previously worked with them.
(2) Persistent Not Pushy.
Make sure you follow up on any phone calls, emails or meetings but don’t be irritating. There is a fine line between chasing something up and pushing for something, you have to be patient. Radio stations and press agencies are busy, you won’t be at the top of their list. If you’re waiting to hear back from someone but it’s been a week or so, drop them an email just politely reminding them about your previous conversation. Don’t ring or email on a daily basis, if they aren’t replying take the hint. Unless your topic is on a time schedule, like an upcoming gig or album release, a weekly call or email is sufficient.
If you’re getting help within the local community, give something back to them. You could set up a show for people to enjoy for free which helps your music gain exposure and it’s a community event for others to enjoy, everyone wins. Reciprocate the help you’re getting by giving something back, it also makes you as an artist/band look good.
(4) Go Further Afield.
Look for media companies outside of your local region, the type that cater for your genre of music. When contacting, usually via email, include a link to a track or video and make your point quickly so they know what you’re wanting. Don’t write the same stuff every band writes, that your music is ‘different’ and ‘not been done before’ because every other band is likely to say this. Be original and approach them from a different angle. You want your email to be opened and engaged with, so give them something they’ll want to read!
(5) ‘Requested Material’.
If you’ve reached out to an editor that has agreed to accepting your package, don’t label with with ‘requested material. They didn’t request your material, they responded to a question you asked them.
(6) Partner With Other Around You.
If you know a local PR offer them resources you have in exchange for their help, this is beneficial to both parties. They could put you in contact with other people to help you network and may be able to set you up a press release, in return you could help with updating their website.
(7) Maintain Professionalism.
It is always important to maintain a professional attitude within any job role, especially if you’re doing your own PR to get yourself started in the industry. No one will want to work with a band/artist that doesn’t seem to care about their image or music. Maintain a professional attitude no matter how big you become on the music scene, plus more people will be open to working with you.
Above are a few steps you can follow when independently trying to get yourself off the ground if you can’t afford PR. Use the people and resources you currently have access to in order to kick start your growth and success in the industry.