Indie Doctor: Music PR gurus share tips for best campaigns

If the world of music PR feels completely alien to you, you’re not alone. Trying to explain the ins and outs of what a PR exec does is a head-scratcher for us, so we’re not going to try. Instead, Indie Crush has asked the guys on the inside to shed some light on their world and share some hot tips for artists preparing to approach PR…

PR is a service.

We take what your music, take who you are, and try to sell you to the media. We get the word out about your music, about you as an artist and get as much coverage as we can.

Be organised and know what you want to achieve– realistically.

You have to understand that the really big areas are incredibly difficult and mostly, the artists that do get on there have a big record label and a lot of money behind them.

Whatever kind of music it is, come with a clear idea of who your audience is.

The ideal clients will have a really good hook in terms of what their angle is and how they’re different from the rest of the crowd. Then they’ve done their bit and that’s where the PR company comes in and shouts to the right people about them.

The worst clients are the vanity people.

They are going off their own opinion of themselves and have completely lost track of what’s good anymore. They usually have no idea of the current music climate, how they fit into it, or what success actually looks like.

Have everything ready.

Have the tracks ready and photos, and a plan for how you want the campaign to look. It’s all good if we take it away and do our thing but if you’re not sure what you want, it’s hard to get the results you want.

Do your research.

If you want to be on the radio, be aware of what radio is nowadays– mostly online and completely detached from a way of making money. What does being in a magazine actually mean other than you’ll possibly cut it out and put it in a frame? If the readership is less than 60,000 then actually that magazine is only doing the same job that perhaps two tweets could do.

If you’re an entirely new artist, set your expectations accordingly.

What you should expect to get from a campaign is a base. We will help you get a foundation that you can then work from. PR makes you more well known than you currently are. If it turns out that your music is so incredible that the media eat it up, that’s great, but don’t expect to be on Pitchfork tomorrow…

Be willing to work with us.

The campaigns are so much more effective if we can talk with you, get things from you. If we’ve got an interview for an artist, we need them to quickly respond so we can get the coverage and move on to the next thing.

Budgets are flexible.

It really does work around you. Here, we take the budget you have and work the campaign around that amount. A certain amount of money will cover certain areas.

PR doesn’t come with a guarantee.

Don’t expect anything because despite promises from PR companies, and however much you spend, there’s not even nearly a guarantee. Don’t go to a PR company if you want to make money, that’s not what PR is.

Every Monday we invite a music mogul to put their finger on the pulse and prescribe hot tips, sound advice, and reliable remedies for independent artists. Got a question for an Indie Doctor? Tweet @monkjackpublish using the hashtag ‘asktheindiedoctor’ or email us at