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Jabawock
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:31 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:23 am 
 

I would like to discuss about PR agencies, and the added value that they bring to bands. If you play in a band yourself, you probably receive offers for PR services from time to time, and some are also advertised here in the Promotional section. My point is, there are a whole lot of such people/organizations out there, but most of them don’t bring a lot of added value to bands, if any at all. For instance, the basic PR agency will work with just any band (willing to pay their fee), draft some generic communication about your music and send it to all their contacts, and that’s about it. At least that’s my impression. Of course, that process can get you some reviews, interview requests, and general exposure. Having a number of contacts has its value, I’m not denying that. But I feel the results are rather limited due to the generic approach used.

I wish I could find such organizations who would work in a much more personalized way, really involve themselves with your music. For instance, what I would expect a good PR agency to do, would be:

- Understand the music and see if the image of the band matches it; what are the strong selling points, and what should be improved in the way the band presents itself to the audience. Take the time to review all the details.

- Based on that, design a promotion strategy over a period of time (say, 3 months), focused on a new release for instance. Define what specific actions should be taken at what point in time; when to release previews, streaming links, videos, what to communicate, when to contact labels, reviewers, magazines, where to send physical promos to optimize end results,...

- Finally, follow up the execution of that plan together with the band

Also, I would expect a good PR agency to have proven past results. I see a lot of credential lists, bands that they worked with, but the bands are totally unknown. What PR campaign was done in each case, and what was achieved?
And now I’m wondering, who actually promoted the bands that got lots of attention in the recent years? Was it only their labels? Was it luck?

So, am I making any sense here? Or am I somehow mistaken or expecting too much? And if such an ideal PR agency exists, how would you guys proceed to find one? Or what is your experience working with PR? Did you get any good results?
One of my bands had a PR campaign to promote our new release, and I must say we did get a lot of reviews and globally we’re satisfied with it, but I wish I could find something more personalized, a PR that is actually involved with the bands they’re working with. But maybe that’s too idealistic...
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 11996
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:23 pm 
 

You are expecting too much. It's a waste of money.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4918
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:26 pm 
 

Jabawock wrote:
And now I’m wondering, who actually promoted the bands that got lots of attention in the recent years? Was it only their labels? Was it luck?


Most of them were promoted by the relatively small group of PR professionals who have a track record and good experience with labels, artists, booking agents, and bands.

PR agents let people know when music is being released, when a band is touring, etc. They can't make them care about the music. There are plenty of PR people/groups who can blast out information about tons of bands. I write for a small zine - we get PR blasts all the time, often half a dozen band bios, album streams, and news from bands. What makes a band stand out from that and makes me actually listen to something from the amorphous mass of music thrown at me? Recognizing their name, knowing the band is on tour and I might see them, maybe a connection to another band, outstanding artwork, or a comparison to a band I love. But mostly, I don't listen to most of the PR blasts from agencies. I don't feel any sense of obligation to a PR agency to review every damn thing they send to me. I don't care if you're giving me advance tracks/free downloads, it barely feels different from spam when I get the weekly bunch of promos. Honestly, the ones that do stand out to me are the ones where the bands personally send an email. I've been slow on reviews lately, but I've been giving a few that stood out a quality chance, quite a few listens each. One is from a band called Countress whose aesthetic interested me, and the other is for Nocturnal Abyss as I was interested in Noctir's music due to his writing. The 200 brutal death/grind albums from Blast Head's PR blaster? Sorry, couldn't care less after the first dozen were boring.

However, there are more prolific reviewing outlets who review everything sent to them by a PR professional. In my unprofessional opinion, these high-volume review mills hardly consider the music and have shitty opinions and writers.

Bottom line: Unless you're doing a lot of other work to get noticed, a PR agency isn't going to do much for you. If you are getting your name out there in many other ways, then it's good to work with one to make sure your press pack is in the hands of everyone who might be interested.

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MawBTS
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:16 am
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:04 am 
 

For putting together PR packages, give Haulix a look. A lot of bands use them.

http://haulix.com/

Don't look for zero-effort ways to sell music. They don't exist.

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