Image credit: George Haverson (IS IT PR)
Kicking this new article series off about the in’s and out’s of music PR is Becky Warrington of IS IT PR. We chat about her experiences, how the PR world is changing and much more!.
The internet has allowed artists to create, submit and share their music far and wide, to audiences that were once out of reach. It’s an amazing time to be an artist as you can get your music out to a global audience with ease and cost effectively, if not free in most cases.
However, there will be a point where as you grow as an artist you will need to look towards a PR company or freelancer to help you push your music to blogs, radio stations, magazines, podcasts (to name a few). Although you can achieve this on your own to some extent, a solid PR campaign can elevate your music career to the next level.
They will have contacts throughout the industry and will work tirelessly to create a solid campaign. From the press release all the way through to organising interviews, features, reviews (and more) in a variety if publications etc.
We wanted to get an inside perspective of the music PR world to help you, the artist, navigate the many PR options that are available to you. As well these interviews will give you a direct source of information on how PR works, how it can help and how it is changing.
Hey Becky, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions! How have you been?
Becky: Hey! No worries, thanks very much for having me. Surprisingly, I’m actually doing okay and am feeling really positive about the future at the moment – I think it’s always a scary thing to admit that you’re actually doing well though, especially in a global pandemic.
So, how did you get into PR and what drove you towards music PR specifically?
Becky: I had a slightly unconventional introduction to PR actually. I was studying for a fashion marketing degree that I really wasn’t gelling with and a fantastic lecturer asked me if I’d ever heard of PR, as I’d essentially, “be good at it”. It was at that stage where everyone had seemingly settled their degree focus so early on and I was a little lost. Communication had always been my strong suit so when I found out PR roles pretty much revolved around skills like those I wanted to get into luxury menswear PR as that was my interest at the time.
I was getting sent quite a few press releases at the time as well as I was contributing to a fashion magazine in my spare time and they would absolutely fascinate me, as silly as that may sound.
Fast forward 4 years and I’d completed a degree in music promotion and chose to focus any assignments I could towards PR.
I decided to launch IS IT PR properly last year as a passion project whilst working in the music industry full-time in a social media role.
How do you feel music PR has changed in the last few years?
Becky: I think this really is the era of DIY, especially when it comes to the creative industries.
I mean this in a few ways in relation to the question, so, firstly a lot of PR now seems to be shifting towards freelance, whether that be due to the pandemic employment losses or individuals’ working preferences.
“PR now seems to be shifting towards freelance, whether that be due to the pandemic employment losses or individuals’ working preferences.”Becky Warrington – ISITPR
Secondly, bands/artists have the information readily accessible to them to take on the task of PR themselves. There are also some really interesting PR alternatives springing up that take the hassle out of the PR process like Musosoup and HumanHuman for example.
What makes a good PR person/company?
Becky: A company/person who has the artist’s best interests at heart and understands the artist’s goals as a whole and how their professional PR input could assist and propel this (as opposed to the artist going down a DIY route perhaps).
It also helps if the person/company has a genuine excitement around the artist, their style and their music.
Lastly, transparent communication between both parties is essential.
Can you explain to us your process when working with an artist?
Becky: I guess like most people at the moment, I like to have a meeting with prospective clients via a zoom/phone call where we can discuss where they’re at and what they might need help with.
With IS IT PR, I tend to work with artists who aren’t so familiar with the processes that come after the actual creation of a track/EP/album, or those who have previously released music just for the love of it but now want to see how they can get it out there and gain a more professional industry presence.
In that sense, I see IS IT as a sort of one stop shop for all artist’s promotional and PR related needs. I don’t think I fit under the industry’s perception of ‘PR’, and could maybe be classed as more of a consultancy/friendly face for advice. I help my clients with copywriting and press assets as well as more in-depth PR campaigns/release schedules.
What is it that a solid music PR campaign can offer to an artist?
Becky: I think a good campaign could potentially be make or break for an artist. I don’t think you should ever overlook the promotion process after you’ve worked hard on your music.
“I think a good campaign could potentially be make or break for an artist.”Becky Warrington – IS IT PR
You could look at it like baking a really good cake and then not bothering to add a filling or topping to it – does that make sense?
Lastly, what advice would you give to a band looking for PR services?
Becky: 1. Go with a budget in mind & don’t be afraid to decline pitches/offers that don’t align with this budget or your goals as an artist.
2. Be wary – some companies may promise the world and are happy to exploit musicians, especially those unfamiliar with the PR process.
3. Ask around – maybe you have other friends in industry who have used a particular PR company/person and had success/a positive experience.
4. Research! Whether this be for cheaper alternatives to PR and DIY methods or researching prospective individuals or companies to handle your PR for you, research is key.