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3 Things You Might Be Doing That Are Ruining Your Music PR Campaign

Typically, you're investing a considerable amount of money with a reputable music PR firm when you begin a publicity campaign. Knowing this, I try to put myself in my clients' shoes and look at ways they can genuinely maximize the campaign to the fullest. This typically means additional engagement from the client to ensure we're working in tandem to increase the chances of success throughout the campaign. After 13 years publicizing musicians, I've found there are three mistakes unknowingly made by bands that almost always contribute to the campaign's demise.

1. Ineffectively using your social networks
I often have bands come to us who would like to see coverage in Rolling Stone or Stereogum throughout the campaign. The first thing I do is look at their social networks to see what type of following and engagement they currently have, only to find a Twitter account with 49 followers and tweets that are infrequent at best. Although social networks aren't the only factors in receiving coverage, they do play a part for the higher profile outlets that want to see you have an engaged fanbase who will read what they post on your band.
When starting your PR campaign, you need to be ready to work your social networks just as hard as we're working the media outlets. This doesn't mean incessantly blasting your show dates or tweeting people to check out your band. It does mean getting to know your fans and the media outlets who cover you, and talking about them so they want to talk about you.
What you can do to enhance your campaign
Tweet at the very minimum of once or twice per day by retweeting, favoriting, and replying to your followers' posts or updating them on what you're working on. Obviously, the more engaged you are, the better results you'll see. Don't swing to the opposite side of the pendulum and overly engage so you burn out your followers and risk disengagement on their end.

2. Turning down coverage
Sometimes turning down coverage isn't as obvious as telling your publicist you don't want to do it (although that happens as well from time to time). It can be something like not following through on an interview request that was sent to you or showing up late (or not at all) for an in-studio performance. Perhaps you think an outlet is too small to be worthy of your time, but when you're an emerging artist without a substantial following, you need to open up yourself to the opportunity for new fans. You have to build a foundation first before you can expect the big outlets to notice you. Expecting the big guys to jump on board without that foundation is the equivalent of being fresh out of college and expecting a company to hire you to be its next CEO.
What you can do to enhance your campaign
If you're offered a phone or in-person interview, be prompt and available. If it's an email interview, return the interview request by the specific deadline.

3. Emotionally disconnecting
At some point in the campaign, discouragement may set in, and you'll feel like giving up. You've made this amazing record, and if people would just listen, they'll immediately think your music is great. PR doesn't work that way. It's an insanely competitive, slow, and tedious process, and when one door won't open, you have to knock on another one that will. The worst thing you can do for you campaign is check out when discouragement sets in, because that will only impede the process further. I learned very early on in my career as a music publicist to focus my energy on the coverage and positive responses we do receive if I want to have a chance to increase more coverage.
What you can do to enhance your campaign
Stay engaged, and when discouragement does set in, talk to your publicist to see if you can collaboratively come up with new ideas to move your campaign forward.
The moral of the story is that you must remain involved, consistent, and open so you can give your investment and music the opportunity and attention it deserves.


Best & Worst Months to Release an Album

Ready To Release That Record? Read This First!

Whether leaves are growing on or falling from trees, it's a good idea to look at the full year when you're planning to release an album. Why? Because working a minimum of three months in advance is a must to meet media deadlines and help build awareness of the artist in advance of the release.

One thing I never, ever, ever want to do for an emerging artist is schedule their album release in October. That is where an emerging indie band gets eaten alive, overlooked, and pushed aside for the established bands who will always take precedence. I've seen great records die simply because there was so much competition. Pitchfork even passed on a premiere for an established band last October simply because they didn't have time. Come November, the tide turned and they were two thumbs up for giving us coverage.

So how do you determine the best time to release your music? Here's my cheat sheet for emerging bands.

This is a great month to release an album. Things start to quiet down with media the few months leading up to January, and people are generally ready to dig in with zest and vigor after the holiday break.

SXSW starts to creep in and take over in February, so if you're releasing your album at this time, you want to do it before February 15. In the latter half, media is inundated with SXSW performances and parties and will most likely pass on a band they've never heard of before.

Avoid a March release date unless you're already established and are playing SXSW.Otherwise, you stand a great chance of your album being overlooked just by the sheer amount ofemail media receives at that time.

A lot of established indie bands are still releasing records due to SXSW, so if you plan to release an album, wait until after the middle of April when things thin out a bit.

May to August
This is a great time to release a record for an emerging band. Most of the coverage is around the festival circuit in the summer, and there aren't as many releases to compete with at the time.

The effects of CMJ will start to hit the latter part of the month with established bands releasing records around back-to-school time and the CMJ Music Marathon. If you're an established band, you should release your record before mid-September.

Do not release your record in October if you're an emerging band. Hands down, this is the worst month to release an album, and many great records lose out on coverage simply because media doesn't have time to look at it.

November and December 
Before the advent of music blogs, it used to be taboo and relatively unwise to release anything in November or December. That has since changed, and as long as you've begun your promotion in August or early September, it can turn out really well. Like January, not as many indie bandsrelease records at that time, so the field can be wide open for an emerging artist.
Both articles by Janelle Rogers from