So here’s one that I see a lot of people not understanding when they invest in PR. The best results are reliant on you. This is completely separate from needing to hire a person, which you should do because y’know, they know everyone, but there is a move to be made once you start to get the coverage you want. Always, always, always interact with the people who write reviews of your band. This is where the real value lies. The relationships you build are the ROI of the campaign You are looking at the people who have demonstrated a real interest in your work and then built something with them that is much more meaningful and which is going to consequently pay off for you over the long term. If you’re a proactive guy then this is going to be a focus point for you. If you’re not then you’re going to have hired PR to do some reviews that didn’t really get you anywhere because reviews aren’t really what are going to make or break a band.
I get it, I really do. When you are getting PR done you are in a really exciting phase for your band. You are getting all these reviews, your PR person is excited, it feels like people across the globe are becoming fans of the amazing work that you have done. Well, it’s not supposed to end there. We live in a market that is so oversaturated with bands that no one is going out and explicitly checking your stuff out because of a single review, at least not most of the time. People need to be beaten over the head with content about your band before they bother going to check it out. Well, the thing is a lot of these people aren’t just freaking out over your Facebook page where you are posting the reviews, nor are they reading a whole mess of underground metal blogs. Rather, they are seeing these reviews and this content spread around social media like a plague. Well then, how do you get that to start happening?
The way to get shares is to develop personal relationships with the tastemakers. The tastemakers who give a shit about you are the ones who are writing about you and saying positive things. They have been exposed to your work. Now I am not saying that you should be trying to sell to them, that’s literally useless since they were already given the record for free and also ust did you a huge favor. What I’m talking about instead is reaching out to them on a personal level and showing the love. Making them feel like you are truly grateful, because you are. From that standpoint it is it then a lot easier to hit them up in a chat and say ‘Hey man, any chance you could run this on your socials?’ or anything else to get them to share it and bring more eyeballs to what you are doing. It’s the same way Facebook groups are useful – they create dialogues. There is no need to be crass – this is simply you going out and making a conscious, concerted effort to properly connect with your community.
This is where we have come, in 2019 things are meant to be hyper personalized and the opinion of a select few, in any scene, means a whole hell of a lot more than the opinions of the masses. In my eyes that’s a part of why democracy is having issues, because we are used to massive powerful voices online, as we have within music communities. Well it’s up to you to cozy up to these people and see if you can get on their good side. If there is someone whose whole job it is to hype you and they don’t suck at what they do they are probably working with five, ten, twenty or more other clients. Now that’s fine, don’t get me wrong, but you need to FUCKING REALIZE WHAT THIS MEANS, it means that there are people fighting to grow the same as you and the people you have hired aren’t going to be wholly dedicated to you. This is fine, that’s how business operates, it’s just now up to you to figure out a way to optimize, and that way is via personal interaction with the people who cover you.
The other thing is, even if reviews are all you care about, since they can be influential if not dealmakers, if you’re the guy who is known for being a homie and known for being grateful to journalists, sending care packages and being helpful then people are going to be more helpful, to look out for you and help to make you have an easier day. The people who want to feel loved are the people who are going to give the most to you, and we all want to feel loved. This is a question of working your ass off to show people that you’re not one of the three hundred other bands hitting these peoples inboxes every day. You need to show that you are going to be fun, interesting and an eager guy who is involved with the tastemakers. There are bands who work to be the critics darlings and friends, these are the bands who wind up getting big thoughtful think pieces and who break through the murk. The ones who don’t bother or take reviews for granted are the ones who get stuck and left to die.
I’m writing this while stuck in godawful traffic and trying not to gouge my eyes out and I think you get that latent frustration throughout this piece. I get aggravated when I see people wondering why the reviews of journalists they never bothered to thank never took them anywhere. They don’t understand why there is such a clear lack of communication and care. This is what makes it so difficult in my eyes, this is what makes it so annoying, no one wants to be taken for granted and musicians do it constantly. You need to hire a PR person, but you need ot build on their relationships. Ask your PR person about interacting with these people and giving thanks they will know how and want to help facilitate it because it will mean they can get you more results.