The good news is that thanks to innovative digital technology it’s easy to find out what the best tools are and what assets are required when running a publicity campaign. As a self release music artist you have more power to promote your new music than ever before. With good planning, a healthy dose of persistence, and a lot of patience, you stand a better chance of achieving some of those wish list press/media targets.
It’s important you understand what your aim is and the best way to approach each goal.
A few examples: if your goal is to get your latest news published on a website, then you’ll need to prepare a great press release. If you have a new ep or album you’d like to be reviewed or featured in magazines or online platforms, you’ll need to pitch a music review submission. If you’d like to have your new unreleased song added to streaming playlists or plug the single to radio stations, this will need to be prepared accordingly. Now this sounds like a bit of a maze, but the truth is if you have the correct assets available in the most accessible way, you’re on your way to success. The key is accessibility and laser sharp information that catches the eye and helps recipients understand you and your music in a matter of seconds.
DO delegate where possible. If there’s only one of you in your band that’s carrying out the tasks needed to achieve success with a publicity campaign, it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed, disillusioned, and sometimes even resentful, due to the nature of what you are doing. You don’t want this. I’d recommend two to three people work on your campaign. For example one person creates press releases and documents, one person project manages the assets, one person manages the media platforms (again, especially with social media, look to delegate further to avoid burnout).
Here are ten key tips when it comes to planning and strategising your publicity campaign.
- Passion and purpose. The power, drive, and energy needed to achieve an effective music publicity campaign requires passion. If you’ve got the passion then you need to define each purpose of your campaign. To have a purpose in life is to fulfill a calling or engage in a mission. Purpose is action driven by passion.
- Time management and organisation. When it comes to running the tasks involved in this process, you’ll need to have great time management and organisational skills. They are a must. Commit to carrying out admin tasks with a routine. Never “wing it.” Utilise digital platforms like www.asana.com, Google’s suite including docs and spreadsheets, Dropbox, and Electronic Press Kit technology. Anything that enables you store, access, deliver and monitor your tasks and results easily, do it. I myself still like to use a pen and paper and desk diaries/calendars to keep on top of things.
- Mental health and well being. By putting yourself out there more and doing new things, you may find that you become stressed or anxious. It’s important to learn how you can self regulate a better well being when running a publicity campaign. While there are many things that you can control as a self release artist there are lots of things that will be out of your control (for example: getting press and media to feature your music). My advice here is fairly robust but applies to anything in my experience: learn as much as you can about the music industry and business without it overwhelming you or extinguishing your passion for music and creativity. Find ways to develop a positive mindset. Research topics like grit and resilience. Exercise when possible. Eat and drink well, keep hydrated. These things will serve you well in the long term.
- Be creative and happy. Allow yourself the time to get creative during your campaign. Make the time to treat yourself when deserved. At times you will need to hit the refresh button in order to sustain passion and purpose.
- Contact list. Make a wish list of press and media outlets you’d like to be featured by. Find out who the editors and team members are and their contact details (most likely an email address). Do take the time to ensure you are only collating contacts that like your style of music.
- Write all your ideas down, research, learn, discuss with your teammates and boil down to solutions that have proved successful for others. The keys to great documentation and visual assets for your publicity campaign are vision, creativity, and preparation.
- Photography / Videography – VISIBILITY IS KEY. This is your music, but you need to bring it to life in a way that activates people and makes them want to engage. High quality, hi res punchy photos and videos are a must. But don’t be boring. Get creative. Be bold, be brave. Safe and familiar has its place but not at the cost of you getting lost in the masses already doing the same things.
- Artwork. Avoid stock images where possible, especially for front covers. Stock images are overused and have been known to be repeated on various releases by different artists. Take the time to create something unique. Have a vision and find the right artist to bring it to life. Work with an artist that can make your release unique.
- Delegate. There’s so much you can do with a publicity campaign but it is a lot of work especially if you’re trying to do everything yourself. Find 2 to 3 people that share your passion, are committed, and either know what to do or are capable of learning how to do it. Teamwork is key, so don’t be afraid to delegate especially if you have people within your trusted circle that want to help and are willing to commit and learn the necessary things needed to run an effective publicity campaign. Meeting goals and managing expectations can be testing for any artist and band. So it’s important to understand what’s going on as much as you can.
- Patience and understanding. You’ll need it, trust me. This is a marathon, not a sprint and in short, we can’t win ‘em all.
If you have a solid collection of assets accessible via a great looking easy to navigate platform, then the better your chances of being noticed by press and media persons are. This is where the benefits of understanding asset management and press kits come into play.