As an indie artist you must be strategic and wise in assembling the team that will work with you in music and in ministry.  A publicist can and should be a vital part of your team, but you must first consider a few things.  What do you have to promote and publicize? Is your single, EP or CD ready or near completion? Have you created a measurable “buzz” in your hometown or regional market?  And, are you doing gigs or touring frequently? If you do have these steps and have these elements in place, you will probably be ready to elevate your music career and ministry a step further by adding a publicist to your team. 

It is premature to hire a publicist if these elements aren’t in place.  A publicist will be able to take what you’ve established and continue to build your brand awareness. They can do this by obtaining features, interviews and performances online, in print and on TV and begin to connect you to key media contacts that will prove valuable to the longevity of your career.   

The publicist you hire should be ready to expand the buzz you’ve generated in your home market or region. It’s their job to introduce your music and brand to a new audience and obtain favorable media coverage on a national level. If you feel you have saturated and exhausted your core fan base and home market, let a PR person with contacts and relationships beyond your reach assist you in expanding your territory and growing your brand.

You and your manager should also have a set of goals in mind before hiring a publicist. Based upon your tour schedule, music or video release dates, a publicist will be able to navigate a media plan to create visibility around activities you have forthcoming. In essence, a publicist has to have something to work with! If your schedule is actively busy, your publicist should and will be even busier creating more opportunities for you!

Probably the most important factor in determining if you are ready to hire a publicist is if you are financially ready to support a national media effort to enhance your music platform. Many times artists have created music, are getting a few gigs and may even be preparing for a CD release with independent distribution.  The missing step is that you haven’t budgeted properly to accommodate the PR portion of your marketing plan. A professional PR firm or person could cost anywhere between $800 to $2,000 per month. Make sure this is added to your budget projections when you are establishing the overall marketing plan for your music project.

If you are truly ready to take your music and ministry to the next level, have established the ground work for your career and have a viable product ready to introduce to consumers, you will need PR to aid in achieving higher goals. The publicist has a job, and that’s to tell the world about you and your music. If you’ve reached as many people as you think you currently can, then you’re ready to hire a publicist to help you reach the world.

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About The Author

Benita Bellamy

Benita Bellamy is a Marketing and Public Relations executive who has emerged to the forefront of the music industry.  She is the founder and President of The Bellamy Group which in its first three years of establishment has been named a top 10 Independent Marketing and Promotions company by The Gospel Industry Roundup, nominated for a 2011 Rhythm of Gospel Awards - Marketing and Radio Promotions of the Year, and named a GMWA/GAG Radio Promotions Person of the Year.  Benita develops marketing, publicity and branding campaigns for Christian and Gospel artists as well as for public personalities, ministries and small businesses.Benita spent 5 years with EMI Christian Music Group/EMI Gospel as Marketing Manager working with Stellar and Grammy Award winning artists Smokie Norful, CeCe Winans and The Blind Boys of Alabama, Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers, Bishop T.D. Jakes and the Potter’s House Choir, Aaron Neville, Darwin Hobbs, and many others. With a stint as Label Manager for Sanctuary Records Groups’ Reggae and Catalog division, Benita managed projects for legendary reggae artists Steel Pulse, Luciano and the late Gregory Isaacs.From 2005-2007, Benita was recruited to develop the National Promotions Department for Light Records and was eventually elevated to Vice President of Marketing leading the new radio and retail promotions team with emphasis on team structure, integrity and dedication to music ministry.  Light Records roster included:  Shirley Caesar, Youthful Praise, RiZen, Evelyn Turrentine-Agee, Bishop Paul Morton, Zie’l, Coko and Judith Christie-McAllister.Benita is a member of The Recording Academy, The Gospel Music Association, The Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy, is on the Board of Directors for Gospel Effects Production and Ministry – Charleston, SC and Board of Directors for the St. Louis Gospel Announcers Guild.