I have been getting a lot of mail from folks who have specific questions like the post on Wednesday. Here is another post, this time regarding regarding publicists and media appearances:
If you could get a publicist to schedule media appearances and
interviews for you, and only charge you when they achieved a result,
what would you be willing to pay?
1. what would it be worth to you to appear on a local-market TV
morning show? (A show like Good Day Kansas City on your local CBS
2. What would it be worth to have an article written about you in the
Obviously, not all shows and newspapers are created equal, but shoot
me an email with a price for each that would make you excited about
PS - In case you're wondering, a publicist usually charges $300-800
per week, with a 3 month commitment, and offers no guarantee of any
Publicity is a very tricky thing. And for it to be impactful, it has to be part of a much larger plan. In the past I have made the mistake of buying one ad in a magazine; having a wonderful journalist write a terrific article about me while I have no new CD to take advantage of the attention; hiring a publicist for a tour where I was the opening act and wasn’t really promoting anything but my appearance that one night in that one town.
I was on tour with Robin Trower. I hired a publicist for the whole tour. I was in every paper in every town on the cover of the entertainment section with a photo, often color. At the shows, I always interact with the audience. And I asked them if they saw the article. Their response? “What article?”
I always do a very popular morning show in a large Midwestern city the day of or the day before my concert. And I’ve asked the audience if they came because of my appearance. The answer has always been no. Now it’s possible that I just suck, …but then why would they keep having me back?
Here’s my take on publicity.
It has to be a part of an integrated plan to do something specific for you. Say you have a new CD out. Okay, you want airplay, you want articles in the papers and magazines, you want reviews, you want a tour, you want visibility and you want it over and over again.
One ad, one TV appearance, one article will have no effect. Unless you are already famous, most people are not even going to read the article that you get published. I have heard that in order for articles on an artist to have impact, the artist must be seen at least three times.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, the way to go is to not spend a dime until you have a plan in place. And the plan will be determined by the budget. To launch a national campaign is prohibitively expensive, so I suggest a two prong approach.
1. the internet. Internet stations to play your music; internet reviewers to review your music; internet sites to sell your music; a webpage dedicated to each project; a webpage dedicated to you as an artist; and a schedule of posts to your constituency…your fans.
2. pick your area. If you can’t afford national, go regional. If you can’t afford regional go statewide. If you can’t go statewide, go for your hometown. I know I keep harping on this but, spend your money where it will do the most good. And don’t spend it til all the ducks are in a row.
New CD; release party; articles wherever you can get them published in your chosen arena; airplay in that area; performing appearances in that area on stage and on the radio and local TV if you can swing it.
The important thing is for all this to happen simultaneously. That is the key. Without the coordination, you have no more impact that a pebble in a pool. A little splash that is gone almost as fast as it occurred.
Make a plan. Don’t release your CD until you have an airplay plan, a tour booked, an internet campaign in hand and ready to go and at least press releases to all the folks who might do you some good. Do it all at once. Do any one component by itself and you’ve wasted your time and your money unless you get really lucky. But don’t bet on it.