So you have determined you are ready for a national PR campaign for your music project and career.  You’ve searched, received referrals and met with PR consultants and you’ve found the right match.  Congratulations, you have a publicist, now what?  Your publicist is now a part of your team and is your connection to media.  There are basic elements, tasks and procedures you and your publicist will engage in, but in order to get the most out of your PR campaign, there are a few details you should know and steps you must execute in the partnership with your publicist.

Make sure you and your marketing team provide your publicist with sufficient tools – advance music, several professional photos, music and blog video clips and marketing collaterals (sales copy, one sheets).  This sounds kind of silly, but you’d be surprised at how many artists don’t provide publicists with new music and information until the project is complete and the artist is on the road.  A PR campaign launches months before your music is out in the marketplace.  Your PR person cannot be the last to get information about your project or career.  They are the first to get it!  Your publicist should receive advance music (sometimes before mixing and mastering) and information so that they can begin to establish how to effectively communicate your message to the world.

Communication with your publicist is a must.  You and your team should meet weekly with and provide your publicist with a frequently updated schedule of your tour dates.  This is vital because a publicist can arrange various media opportunities for the markets you visit, but they have to know everywhere you go.  Give your publicist your calendar of dates in advance.  There are television outlets that must have weeks advance notice in order to book you on their shows (live or taped) and some outlets have production schedules planned months in advance – you don’t want to miss out.

With your publicist knowing every city and date, this maximizes your visit to various markets and saves on your marketing travel budget so you don’t have to double back into a market just to facilitate a high profile media interview that could possibly garner you a tremendous amount of exposure.  It’s your publicist’s job to garner as much strategic and positive visibility as possible everywhere you tour.  

Being involved in community or charitable organizations will also help your publicist maximize your PR plan.  I call this “Your Cause”.  This could be your involvement with the Boys and Girls Club, cancer research, local shelters, etc. Being active and contributing back to your community is first being a passionate humanitarian, but in addition, it adds depth, credibility and integrity to you as an individual and eliminates the monochromatic perception the public has of some artists.  It adds to your story, something interesting the media and the public can further engage in and it expands your fan base.  There are fans everywhere!  It’s your PR and marketing teams’ task to find innovative ways to reach them.  Your involvement with entities outside of the normal entertainment circle is a great way to expand your brand and it gives your team another resource in reaching new consumers.

Making sure you communicate and provide your publicist with advance information about your music and career is a must!  Your publicist will work hard on your behalf and it’s up to you to engage in and maximize all opportunities that are created to advance your career.

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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.