Modern Online Music PR and Publicity Services

by Matt @ Kurb on July 10, 2009

Need a comprehensive online music marketing and management solution?

There’s more to it than PR! You’re goint to pay for music publicity services and all you’ve got is a myspace and your album on itunes? No website? No email sign up or fan management structure? No strategy for developing long term recurring income? Develop your brand and powerful dynamic propositions that engage fans? Well GOOD LUCK!

But smarter than relying on the luck of a publicity campaign why not follow up the cheaper option and that is dedicated and proven internet music marketing strategies

Email, me Matt @ Kurb: kurbpromo@gmail.com // +64 27 6848250

Hi Matt here at Kurb again and today I’m just answering some email from artists and it’s got me thinking about PR and publicity for online music promotion.

Had a couple enquiries about Music PR and publicity, and artist often talk to me about it, because they know that this is what has always worked.

But it has only always worked because the traditional media were strong and there was no competition and of course major labels had massive budgets with which to carry out publicity.

Media lunch anyone?

Now artists often ask if I can provide that role in servicing their music, and I usually say no simply because it’s a somewhat doomed enterprise when you’re on a small budget. It’s a waste of resources for a diminishing goal.

sure, we can do publicity work, except it’s 10 times less effective than before because media is continually spreading out and becoming more decentralised and diversified.

I was on the phone with some hot shot from the states earlier in the week, which is notable because obviously this is where I see myself heading – up the food chain working with more established artists to develop strategies and obviously charging them more for it.

And he’s talking about “buzz” and getting on the sites and I know what he’s talking about – PR. To me Music Public Relations and traditional Public Relations are principally about negotiating a top down media environment, you want to be on TV and in Magazines and now you also want to be on authentic blogs and authentic internet radio – the ones that matter because they have an audince that can be tapped for your fanbase.

This used to be the only game in town and it was only played by the big labels that could push through this channel with their product. Now online media is breaking down into hundreds, thousands, millions of niches and publishing outlets serving them it just radically changes the music PR game because y’know . . . if you want us to research your niche and provide a detailed list of recepients for such a PR approach and then to follow up by addressing that list by developing a press release or kit to go out, a media strategy if you will . . .

that’s all possible but when you consider the amount of hours that will take and the fact that most of these sources will have to significantly compelled by your approach to give you any coverage, when more likely, when you have emerged to a point of prominence in your niche, influencing the influencers becomes a matter of course as they have to recognise you in order to remain relevant.

The only thing I wanted to talk about up front before we move on is the amount of money you could waste pursuing this goal. There are professional PR people in the music business that can help you. Old school media lunch types but these people seriously charge 5 figures for their services. If they don’t, then you must be dubious about what exactly the process is that allows them to maintian an influence that gets your music where it needs to be to get this kind of traction.

Ariel Hyatt’s Cyber PR is of course very well reputed and offers such services, fronting your music to relevant sources online, but even these guys charge $2000 so you had better know that you’re ready to take it there and that your whole business platform is already in place.

I used to mention music submit and radio direct x to my clients but I don’t know anything about thses companies except that they take your money, i know that much.

Results will vary.

And should I even have to mention that what is the point of publicity if you don’t have a strong online platform with which to benefit from it?

Just having songs up on itunes and a myspace is going to leave you woefully unprepared for whatever PR traction you can muster.

Without a seriously engaging website from which to offer a dynamic proposition through which to solicit for email addresses then it’s really just going to be a waste of time. People’s memories are way too short these days online and people resent being sold at. Building the relationship is what matters.

Bob Lefsetz also has a piece on Music PR that raises some important points.

Admittedly once you’ve got the basic jist of Bob’s angle there is a fair amount of repition (look who’s talking, huh? :p) but that doesn’t mean occasionally he doesn’t hit one out like he did the other day when he drew attention to the fact that roughly 80% of Michael Jackson’s posthumous sales had been digital in the wild flock to purchase his products, and most of that had been cherry picked songs.

His main point on PR though was that at the upper levels of celebrity media, this kind of attention is almost toxic. Now this is not important to the musicians I’m used to dealing with who just want to earn a living, but it allows us to recognise that there is a healthy middle ground, at that massive senseless advertising of the type that was promoted by the major labels is not necassarily the smartest or most efficent way to go about things, and whatever the right way may be, it’s undoubtedly driven by internet technology.

So PR is the one area we don’t offer services, as it is my belief that it is hard to promise results in convincing other people who are influential (bloggers, DJ’s, internet radio etc.) to get behind your music. The only people who can really do this are the people who are truly well connected and influential in themselves but they are the ones who charge 5 figures for this work.

To us it is more authentic – and less costly – if buzz comes from the bottom, from the fans, then the influential have to take notice or be relegated to irrelevance.

What we specialize in is internet marketing for musicians and direct to fan engagement. Campaign cycles are 3 months in duration and cost US$600 but this is a comprehensive online marketing solution in that everything you need – aside from PR – to market and monetize your music online in a way that is sensitive to your long term career.

Often if an artist has not established an online platform it can take a month or two just to address this, but it’s fundamental that this is done because even if you do get the elusive publicity success of being mentioned by influentials, how are you going to convert that to ongoing and repeated sales and opportunities for viral promotion if you have no professional system to maintain and develop relationships other than mysapce?

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, let me know and I’d be happy to explain more!

Email, me Matt @ Kurb: kurbpromo@gmail.com // +64 27 6848250

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