Your band's publicity is more than just social media management. It's more than just pitching your new album to labels and music publications. It's all of these, and more. Building an integrated artist PR strategy gives your band the best chance of being seen, heard, and discovered.
Why does your band's PR strategy need to be integrated? What does that even mean?
Simply put, having an integrated strategy means that all parts of your business are working together to support one another. Yes, I'm calling it a business. Your band's music should support/reflect your online presence, which should support/reflect your live show, which should support/reflect your media presence, and so on.
While someone in the music industry may discover your band on Facebook, they may keep scrolling if you don't have any other notable press or publicity efforts. Artist PR is a multi-faceted element of your band's image. When a label executive or a band manager finds your music, they'll want to know if you have any professional photos, any music videos, if any major music journalists are writing about you, if you've built up an email list and fan base, if there's already a buzz around your new album, etc. Once they can see proof of organic interest in your music, they're more likely to invest in you on a larger scale.
This takes a lot of time, effort, and skills. You may want to divide the roles between band members, or you may want to hire a publicist to help execute everything. (Note: this does not mean that you will be hands-off. Publicists need to work with artists to make sure we are aligning with your brand and are informed of all the goings on.) Either way, it's always wise to develop professional relationships with video producers, photographers, graphic designers, web developers, and marketing professionals. These elements require an investment, but it pays off in the end to have an excellent product and strategy.
How do you create buzz on your own?
Start locally. Every band has a hometown advantage, and there are likely a number of resources at your disposal within your own music community. Submit your shows to local events calendars. Talk to the promoters around town to see who is coming through on a tour and offer to open for them. Put together your own local shows and pitch your new album to local radio stations, TV, and blogs. Don't be too pushy, though. PR is all about building relationships, not transactions. People love feeling like they've played a part in a band's success, so give them a great product to promote and represent your community well.
Also, be sure your social profiles and website are up-to-date and professional. If you want to play in the big leagues and be taken seriously by industry professionals, you should have big-league expectations for yourself and your band's public image.
Where do you put all this information?
Elements like your music, videos, photos, press, social links, and bio should all live in one place online that is easily accessible (you should be able to share all of this with one link). Create an electronic press kit (EPK) that you can share with the media or industry professionals via email.
An EPK can look like a number of things. At the very least, it could be a well-developed Facebook or Bandcamp profile. It could live on your website. Or, it could be a single webpage that your publicist houses on their website. Every band should have at least one of these options, but it's always helpful to have more.
What do you push when you don't have an album coming out?
If you've already pushed your latest album, try promoting your upcoming tour. Build some buzz around a great show that you landed, or a live radio performance/interview. Are you partnering with a cause in your community? Pitch that to local news outlets.
When you aren't performing, you can always promote the songwriting or studio process. Try to get creative with exclusive content by sharing behind-the-scenes video footage or song breakdowns. Release a single or two in between albums to give your fans and the media something to talk about. The goal is to keep their interest and let them know that you're moving toward the next album or tour.
In today's digital age, making great music isn't always enough. There's an overwhelming amount of content, music, and entertainment available online that is competing for your audience's attention. Having an integrated PR strategy can help ensure that your band has the best chance to cut through the noise and be heard.
If you'd like to learn more about working with a publicist at Noise Gate, or about our PR training, let's talk.