I’ve talked to more than a few bands who feel that hiring a publicist is a waste of money as they figure that they can pretty much do it all themselves. Occasionally some bands do quite well for themselves when they take this approach and sometimes they are quite successful. One (or several) band members will contact publications and the band will score a fair number of reviews and sometimes interviews. However, the do-it-yourself approach to publicity generally doesn’t work out. Why? This is because many bands actually don’t understand the work it takes to generate a buzz for your album. In this article I’ll cover a few points that bands usually don’t realize.
A publicist has contacts and lists of hundreds of magazines/webzines/journalists in your genre.
A good publicist generally knows which writers are into your style of music and which publications would be most interested in doing a review or feature on your band. They know who to pitch for a review and who not to bother. Many bands will just use a scattergun approach and contact any and every music blog, while a publicist knows not to send a metal album to an R&B or pop music site. It takes time to make a list of contacts and to get familiar with reviewers. Most bands don’t have the time or patience to do that.
A publicist knows how to pitch a magazine/journalist
While not every band is bad at pitching for a review, many I’ve come across are horrible. As a reviewer I’ve had bands send me emails where the subject is “Review request” and then the body of the email is a Youtube link and nothing else. I’ve also been sent review requests where the 10 songs are attached to an email instead of being sent as a Dropbox or WeTransfer file. This may not sound like a big deal to a band, but to a reviewer this is incredibly annoying and rude.
Magazines and journalists get hundreds of submissions a week.
With the advent of the internet, it is now easier than ever for anyone to record an album. As a result, a lot of albums get sent to magazines, journalists and webzines to review, and to be honest many are not that good. To separate the professional from the unprofessional many publications won’t even consider a band for review if they are not on a label or do not have a publicist. Nowadays, some labels won’t even consider a band until they’ve proven that they are professional enough to secure press and notoriety without their help. A publicist can help secure reviews and interviews if you are independent or self-releasing, thus, increasing your legitimacy.
While there are tons more I can add to this article, I’ll save them for a later date.