For over many years Quite Great have been helping bands and artists to develop with an integrated team covering online, press, radio and TV so naturally we will be a little biased when considering what to look for when choosing a PR agency but most of all make sure the company firstly is a real PR agency as sadly there are a huge number of services that look like they are PR when you Google search terms for music PR when in actual fact these are what I tend to call ‘button pressers’ which is basically a huge hit out on mail chimp lists then collating them to give the client a list of who has actually opened the blanket mail out , almost like a survey system.
Understand what your Music PR company will be doing for you
Make sure you talk to the staff who are going to be helping you, make sure you fully understand what you are letting yourself in for and anyone stating they will definitely get you radio play on front line stations or on major sites etc. approach with caution as unless the PR company owns that particular media outlet then to coin an old phrase, Talk is Cheap! Fully understand what you are paying for and the reporting structure. There are plenty of horror stories related to us of bands who think they have been ‘ripped off’ by PR companies but in actual fact on many occasions they have not really understood the service and believe that the impact will take place magically, when most of the time with developing acts the agency is simply acting as the deliverer of your music brand to media outlets and if you are unsigned then the job is even tougher as you are competing with major label priorities for space of all kinds.
In many ways the onus is on the company not to take on artists that they feel are out of their comfort zone and to make some kind of promises that will cause bad feeling. Check the background of those in charge make sure that the person has actually got a full background in the media they profess to be an expert, there have been a growth in companies that have excellent search engine terms on Google so you find them easily but actually they are using technology whether it be ‘bots’ that the likes of mixcloud fight against every day, that makes it look like you are getting real listens, plays etc. when actually there is an element of smoke and mirrors. Often we are being told by bands that they have a service offered to them that is the same price as it costs to paint a room, if this is the case beware that the person maybe be closed aligned to painter and decorator than a PR person.
Good, Bad & the Ugly
The reason our Label Services and DIY label is popular is because it gives the control to the artist allowing them to outline key areas they wish to gain feedback and ideally coverage from, and also guarantees certain areas where foundations can be built. Many see the service exactly as it is meant to look which is a service that doesn’t secondary A’n’ R an artist and a service that literally allows the artist to ‘rent’ a team to staff their ‘label’ for the duration of the agreed campaign. But ultimately it is the public who will decide the impact of the campaign assuming the agency does deliver some tangible PR, get your reports, check progress is being made and discuss the good, the bad and the ugly with the team and this will allow you to take control which is always important to all developing acts.