The Truth About Music PR by Quin Marshall
You have a booming fashion website that is niche centered. When did you decide to start handling PR for musicians?
Why thank you! Ok, bear with me. I don’t meant to be long winded but I believe in being clear and concise. If someone can learn something valuable from this interview then I've done my job!
So, I’ve worked for huge corporations for over 10yrs before I started my PR firm tracycainmedia.com and my fashion website, allthingsfabandfly.com. I left corporate in 2010 after working for Monster.com for 5yrs as a successful marketing and public relations executive. At the turn of the year in 2010, I decided I wanted to be more fulfilled and make a difference in lives. So I went on a limb and decided to start my business and help people directly and be rewarded by the outcome of the feeling of helping an individual get from point A to point B.
There are so many entrepreneurs that could be super successful with the right person backing their project. The fashion website actually came after the start of my company, TracyCain Media Group. My fashion website came second, solely as a hobby. I created Things Fab and Fly, in 2011 to, once again, help people. The goal was to develop a platform for emerging brands to showcase their fab and fly brand to a niche audience that wouldn’t necessarily have seen their product otherwise. I didn’t realize my hobby would turn into a success! The great thing about it is, it allows me to have an additional platform for my PR clients.
A lot of artists are confused in regards to promotion. The concept of making music is easy yet the process of promoting it is difficult. How are you able to balance their needs with the harsh realities of promotion?
You know what? Good promotion and a good product go hand in hand. This is a harsh industry. Many artists confuse the duties of a manager and a PR rep. First, the artist needs to understand your job duties and description of your profession. Your publicist is there to promote, persuade and keep your music or brand relevant. I love to see an artist with drive, patience, talent, determination and thick skin. The artists job is to create a great product for the listeners. My job is to promote and publicize it. This is a true partnership. A marriage of two crafts.
The artist had to trust that I have their best interest at hand and I have to trust the artist will follow my lead. The harsh reality is, there are thousands of people out there doing the exact same thing that you are. Therefore, you have to stand out and be different. Think about what makes you different from the other millions of artists doing the same thing? It’s so important to provide the media with something interesting and innovative to share with their audience.
A lot of artists expect coverage right from the start due to a sense of entitlement. How do you deal with entitled clientele?
OMG! This is such a great question! Even though I have run across that only a few times personally, I have received tons of inquiries in which I had to turn down because of that unrealistic expectation. I lay everything out from the beginning. I want my client to succeed. Their success is my success. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees to this. A good publicist will explain that from the gate.
Some artists feel like just because their friends said their music was great means that the whole world will thinks so as well. Not true. Everyone should come into this game humbled. Understanding the fact that, for some artists, it takes years to break thru. I don’t deal well with the sense of entitlement. Because to do this effectively, you must have patience and have a realistic expectation. It takes time to beat down some of these doors, and when you do, who’s to say that media outlet will even feel your product? But a good publicist will keep trying until someone says “Yes”
I offer 90 day trial contracts so that my client and I can get a feel for one another and see if this will be a good fit. I’ve only had one client that was so extremely impatient that we couldn’t further the contractual commitment. He felt his product should have been in the media after 6 weeks. Which is a very unrealistic expectation to have. Does it happen sometimes, absolutely. But not to be expected. You have to invest in your future and look at this as a business plan.
How important is relationship building and maintenance in the PR world?
Relationship building is super important. Having a good relationship with a media outlet means getting your request to have your clients music listened to before the other 75 submissions for that day. Now, the kicker is, the owner of the media outlet still has to like what you are presenting. So, that’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place. Your image, your product and your goals. That media outlet may not be a huge fan of your music, but may love your image! That could be your in. How many artists out there have very mediocre music but a fly image? MOST of them. And on the flip side, there are some phenomenally talented artists that didn’t have good promotion.
Would you mind sharing some common PR myths?
Myth #1 - Now that I’ve hired a publicist to represent my brand/music, I am going to be a celebrity. FALSE
Myth #2 - A publicist should do the same thing as a manager. FALSE
Myth #3 - My publicist has a relationship with media outlets so I am guaranteed to get a publication. FALSE.
If you would like me to expound on those myths or anything else, tweet me! @MsQuinMarshall.