The following is a guest blog post by Jamie Roberts. Jamie is the President of For the Win Media, a full-service public relations company based in NYC that represents artists/labels/musicians, websites, apps, films, authors and books. Jamie has a wealth of experience as a well-known music PR executive, leading departments at Roadrunner Records, Universal Records, 10th Street Entertainment, Eleven Seven Music and EMI’s The Enclave. She has 20+ years of experience working with top-tier artists from multiple genres, including Motley Crue, Blondie, Papa Roach, Godsmack, Nick Lachey and Paulina Rubio. Jamie has also been an integral part of building the careers of artists such as Slipknot, Nickelback, and Nothing More as well as reaching new plateaus of success for breakout stars The Dillinger Escape Plan, Sloan, Belle & Sebastian and Hellyeah, among others.
If you are going to spend your hard-earned money on hiring PR, marketing, radio promotion or playlist-pitching companies, you need to be ready with the things they need. You need to prepared so that you do not stand in the way of your own success. For instance, no matter how great of a relationship your publicist has with journalists, they can’t get you press without basic tools.
- Music. Your music is the most basic need for any marketing service. This is what we are promoting in the end. MP3 format for those who need actual track files. Private Soundcloud playlist for pitching an album — no password needed. Do not be overly-protective of your songs. If they leaked and it was a big deal, you are actually lucky!
- Photos. Some horizontal, some vertical and at least some with a really simple backgrounds. Just you in the picture if you are a solo artist. If you are in a band, then CURRENT band members only in the photo.
- Bio / Press Release. Comprehensive info on you and your current project. If one hasn’t already been written, supply bullet points of the most important things about you that you would like to impart to press and fans.
- Album or Single Art. You want people to know what they are looking for. Art is the best way for people to be able to distinguish your new work from your old work.
- Track names and Lyrics. The more detail you have for your marketing team, the more they can provide to press outlets and, through them, to fans. It is very easy to get details wrong. Make sure everyone has what is right.
- Previous Press Coverage / Marketing opps / Playlists. If you have ever gotten press before, been on a playlist or participated with a brand, you should gather info on it and supply it to your team.
- Additional content. Anything that can be used as an exclusive. This content includes video, alternate versions, Q&As, track-by-tracks (audio and video). This is extra currency to get higher visibility.
- Names of the important people YOU ALREADY KNOW. Don’t hold back or play games. If you REALLY know someone (well) who can help your campaign along, introduce him to the right team member. You don’t have to ask them for anything; let your team members ask. If you really know the person and they like you, they will help. This is the time to pull out the “big guns.” It doesn’t matter whose contact it is, as long as that contact can help.
- A List of Relevant Dates. Release dates, submission deadlines, delays / date changes… you can not tell a publicist you want a premiere in four days. Optimally, they need two to three weeks. If you miss a deadline to submit your music for Grammy nomination consideration, it is GONE. There are no do-overs. The moment there is any change in the timeline, please let everyone on the team know.
- Open lines of communication / availability. Make sure your team exchanges numbers and that you, as a client, respond to all calls, emails, texts as soon as humanly possible. Do your interviews as quickly as you can do them well. It could mean the difference between securing a prime opportunity and losing out on it. Don’t forget, YOU are an integral part of the team!!
- Honesty. Be upfront and honest about anything that might come up in the course of the campaign. Nobody likes (or needs) surprises when working for the best results. No matter how bad you think it is, your team has likely heard worse. Making them look stupid or out of the loop is counterproductive to your campaign.
Different situations require different assets and information, but if you adhere to this list, you will be properly prepared for nearly every campaign you undertake. The end goal is your success and success is only won by a coordinated team. Support those you hire with info. Contact them and cheer them on. Require regular updates, either verbal or written, and participate! The client is the most important member of the team.
You can learn more about the work Jamie does on the For The Win Media Website.