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Ask Arie

Ask Arie

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Saturday, March 10, 2012 • Ask Arie

Social media has become such a powerful tool that Publicists and apprentices alike are finding creative ways to acclimate such sites into PR campaigns.

Question: "Is social media replacing the celebrity publicist?" - JB
 
Of course not, on the contrary! Publicists are excited about the opportunities social media outlets such as Facebook, twitter, instagram and tumbler offer to their clients. Social media has become such a powerful tool that Publicists and apprentices alike are finding creative ways to acclimate such sites into PR campaigns. We encourage clients to be more active on them. We urge them to promote new projects, events, and increase awareness on anything that raises positive attention for the client's benefit.
 
A Great example of when social media goes right is Kanye West's tweets announcing the launch of his design company. With a couple of keys on his smart-phone West had the web abuzz. He notified millions of like-minded people of the speculated groundbreaking, available job positions, his aspirations for the company, the premise behind it and much more. Although he made theofficial announcement before his PR rep could, this does not take away or undermine their duties one bit. Publicists notify the media via an official press release or statement and the media notifies the public. These steps before social media were and in some cases still are very time consuming, taking attention away from more important duties. However, now celebrities are able to spread the word and get the ball rolling within seconds.
 
There are also examples of when Kanye needed the support of his PR team with his many "What the hell was he thinking" moments. Celebrities for the most part know what not to say in public forums. The reality is they are human. Their expertise consists of their particular talent(s) and not necessarily how to maintain their direct relationships with the public and the public's interest in their personal lives. The same social media outlets used to share great news are also used to issue apologies and thanks to the warp speed of cyber space these apologies normally come before their PR rep can issue an official statement on their behalf. This is actually perceived as more "sincere". Let's be honest who actually takes an apology from an unknown person behind the curtain seriously? Most statements issued on behalf of someone are perceived as very detached and disingenuous. Social media is removing this cold element and although this alone will raise the question, "If celebs can now directly apologize on their own, why do they need Publicists?"
 
Answer, social media will never replace the human element and physical work that goes into maintaining the lucrative brands developed around celebrities. Social media is praised for its fast delivery and ability to connect the entire world with one press of the "Enter" key. It displays the exact reasons why more then ever publicists are needed to maintain the overall stability of quality information that upholds the public's interest in the clients.
 
 

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Sunday, September 18, 2011 • Ask Arie

Although lines can become blurred depending on how hands on your public relations rep may be, normally publicist have nothing to do with...

"Arie, Is it my publicist's job to book me for shows?" ____[at]hotmail.com
 
Ummm... NO! [Laughing] if publicists wanted to book people for non-promotional performances and manage their entire careers, we would be managers....
 
Although lines can become blurred depending on how hands on your public relations rep may be, normally publicist have nothing to do with getting you booked for concerts, music collaborations and other back office business, these are the responsibilities of your manager.
 
A publicist's duties vary from client to client but typical representation may include but not limited to:
  • Get positive press coverage for his/her client
  • Pitch and handle all interview requests
  • Organize press tours
  • Network with journalists and bloggers
  • Event RSVP
  • Build awareness of talent via print, radio and online social sites
* These are just a few of many general responsibilities
 
If done the right way in conjunction with a well-organized marketing campaign along with client/ management participation you should gain that much needed exposure making it easier for your MANAGER to book you for shows etc. There's no one thing or person that works better then another when it comes to building a successful career in entertainment. Everyone must do their part.
 
Good Luck!
 
Do you have something you'd like to know? Send me an email: contactsaidarie[@]gmail[dot]com and on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo
 

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Sunday, August 28, 2011 • Ask Arie

Ari, I was interviewed for a local music mag and some of my words were distorted and weren't completely accurate to what I expressed. What should I do?

"Ari, I was interviewed for a local music mag and some of my words were distorted and weren't completely accurate to what I expressed. What should I do?" - F1

[Laughing] This isn't that uncommon in entertainment journalism. One important fact to remember is 99.9% of all publications both free and paid subscriptions have a bottom line and that is the dollar sign.

Why you ask? The higher the readership publications have the more companies will want to advertise in them; bringing more revenue. Cha ching!!!

What attracts people/readers? Drama and excitement so if facts for a general interview aren't exciting enough the editor or writer might take the liberty of "spicing" it up a bit. And it's all legal as long as it's kept as open speculation and not slandering someone's character.

My advice's, if you're not happy with the article/write-up contact the writer and inquire why the edits were made, and they may have a worthy answer for you and of course you always have the option of contacting the editor as well.

But, take heed and think. Was the article actually harmful to you? If not and you're just not happy because your words weren't posted verbatim, I would just let it slide and appreciate the free exposure. They could have easily scrapped the entire piece.

You don't want to start burning unnecessary bridges over minor details.

Good Luck!

Do you have something you'd like to know? Send me an email: contactsaidarie[@]gmail[dot]com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo

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Sunday, July 31, 2011 • Ask Arie

I suggest starting local and connect with establishments catering to the artist genre you represent and see if they host reputable showcases, open mics, concerts etc.

"I saw what you were talking about on a website. I want to ask if you have any suggestions on good spots to book shows paid and unpaid for an artist I'm working with?" - GMoney

Answer: [Laughing] if there was a list of just that, wouldn't all of our jobs be that much easier?.... I suggest starting local and connect with establishments catering to the artist genre you represent and see if they host reputable showcases, open mics, concerts etc. that your client can participate in. Performing at these types of events will help build a physical buzz and brand development while putting you in the company of like-minded people to network with.

It's also good to look into regional and national music conferences that offer opportunities for indie talent to perform. Some of the larger more established conferences offer infinite opportunities for emerging artists. Google & due diligence will provide you with these events.

Regardless whatever avenue you choose booking shows for emerging indie talent is a full time job that takes the ability to properly network with the right people. If all else fails look into retaining a reputable booking agent.

Good Luck!

Do you have something you'd like to know? Send me an email: contactsaidarie[@]gmail[dot]com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo
 

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Monday, July 18, 2011 • Ask Arie

The internet has created so many different ways to achieve profit from free projects, events etc.

Q: "Arie, Is there a way to turn a profit with "free" projects?" - S.M.
 
A: Short and sweet.... Yes, absolutely, especially in this day and age. The internet has created so many different ways to achieve profit from free projects, events etc.
 
First and foremost you must establish a fan-base or give possible supporters access to projects via an interactive, easily navigate-able website or blog, and use social media ( i.e. Twitter, Facebook and Myspace) etc. to your advantage. People like supporting what they have a connection with.
 
Once there's consistent traffic to those sites and a solidified following all you have to do is provide a project that can be branded or is marketable. This means creating QUALITY......
 
Next jump-start a campaign which entails giving something away for free that people will be interested in. If satisfied 9 times out of 10 they will purchase other things you put out and increase public awareness, CD, digital album and concert ticket revenue. Cha Ching!!!
 
Good Luck!
 
Do you have something you'd like to know? Send me an email: contactsaidarie[@]gmail.com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo
 

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Saturday, July 02, 2011 • Ask Arie

Please keep in mind, if each person you "share" your music with, didn't voluntarily give you their email then YES you are spamming them and should remove them from your mailing list(s).

"Ayo Arie, I've been sending people my music through email and been receiving mad responses asking me to remove contacts and s%#t from my list. What should I do?" - Amhir
 
My question for you: Are you spamming people? [Laughing] Please keep in mind, if each person you "share" your music with, didn't voluntarily give you their email then YES you are spamming them and should remove them from your mailing list(s).
 
I'm not sure you fall into these categories, however in this industry there are two main ways people get the email addresses of those who they don't personally know: ONE: From some idiot who contacted them and a million other people without knowing proper email etiquette aka "BCC" and TWO: They are gifted with the alpha and omega of email lists of both industry insiders and pop culture civilians via a good "industry" friend who slips it to them with a note that says "you didn't get this from me!".
 
If this is how you've been able to contact thousands of people, then STOP IT! You don't want you or your music to be looked at as spam.
 
My advice..... The best way to share your music with those who actually give a crap is to get creative when you have people's attention. Pass around an email sign-up sheet during your live performances and events. Those people in attendance OBVIOUSLY have interest in you [Laughing] OR set it up where in order for people to be able to download your next great piece of musical work for FREE, they must first sign up for your mailing list. (This may also entail you having fans, but I'm sure you're already working on this process) [Laughing]
 
So with those two suggestions, take a moment and clean up your current email lists and get started on finding ways to properly collect the contacts of others.
 
Good luck!
 
Do you have something you'd like to know? Send me an email: contactsaidarie[@]gmail.com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo
 

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Saturday, July 02, 2011 • Ask Arie

...just like other media, these music supervisors receive hundreds of packets a week so you want to keep your submissions organized, direct and to the point.

"Peace Ari, I hear a lot of indie music on reality T.V. shows. I don't have a publicist, but want to submit my music. How should I do this?" - Miller
 
Isn't reality TV amazing and mind numb-ingly addictive all at the same time [laughing].
 
Anyways, there are a few things to remember when submitting...
 
For starters find out who the music supervisor is for the program you are interested in and if they accept unsolicited material. Many studios and large production companies don't. Once the submission guidelines have been established, continue with your due diligence and make sure you're targeting the right show for your style of music, its demographic etc. You don't want to send Disney a track that's perfect for the next generation of "Menace to Society" [laughing].
 
It's also important to remember, just like other media, these music supervisors receive hundreds of packets a week so you want to keep your submissions organized, direct and to the point. In this case I'd suggest submitting all your material via old fashion snail mail with your music on a CD accompanied by an organized (easy to read) track list and all artist information. Labeling each track is very important.
 
After submitting everything it's always good (and deemed appropriate) to confirm receipt of material. I'd suggest via email. Don't call or stalk [laughing]. Once you know your material has been received, go about your life. In television once you're in their system if they want or need your music, they'll pull it and notify you.
 
There are never any guarantees that your music will get picked and placed, but submitting your material definitely increases your chances.
 
Also REMEMBER: Clearance problems are always an issue (i.e. rights to music, actual ownership etc.) Make the publishing and master info as noticeable as possible, especially if you control both.
 
Good luck!
 
Do you have something you'd like to know? Send me an email: contactsaidarie[@]gmail.com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo
 

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Monday, May 30, 2011 • Ask Arie

98% of magazines have this information available online under the section labeled Media Kit and for those very few that don't should be able to provide you with the same info via email or good old fashion "snail mail" upon request.

"As an indie artist I stay up on my monthly music magazines. Occasionally, there are stories and interviews in them that I know I would've been perfect for. Is there a way to know what magazines are going to cover before they hit the news stand?"
 
Ab-so-freaking-lutely! All organized media outlets have Editorial and Production calendars that provide a list of the major stories their publication will cover that year, by month and the publication's "Issue", "Copy" and "Sale" aka newsstand dates.
 
I know all this stuff sounds like it may be "top secret" [laughing] but, you'd be surprised what useful info's on your favorite media websites; besides the latest gossip.
 
98% of magazines have this information available online under the section labeled Media Kit and for those very few that don't should be able to provide you with the same info via email or good old fashion "snail mail" upon request.
 
Anyways, once you've located or received this information, contact the publication to find out who's the editor and/or journalist covering the piece that peaks your interest. Once you know who to contact it's very important to find out their personal deadlines and submission guidelines, especially due to the fact many big stories and interviews are worked on or completed as much as three months before the posted dates on the Editorial and Production calendars. You don't want to miss your window. So contact the right people a.s.a.p.!
 
[Side bar: It may also be a good idea to do your due diligence on the journalist] This extra step will familiarize you with their writing style and personality.
 
Normally, most editors and journalists encourage the creative input of those who take the time to contact them with valid, useful and entertaining information. So good luck and remember there are never any guarantees, but there's always the possibility of making great connections.
 
Do you have something you'd like to know? I'm here every week answering your questions. Send me an email: contactsaidarie[@]gmail.com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo
 

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Sunday, May 15, 2011 • Ask Arie

Despite what most think press releases are quite simple to draft. Especially if you stick to one important rule "Keep it simple!"

"How do I go about putting together a press release/press blast for a song for an artist I represent?" - Justin W.
 
Despite what most think press releases are quite simple to draft. Especially if you stick to one important rule "Keep it simple!"
 
Seriously, especially when it comes to announcing the release of an artist's new song, event, and things of that nature. Now, you say "Gee Arie, why must I keep it simple and as direct as possible?"
 
Fact, your press release is one of millions sent to various media outlets and daily news wires. You ONLY have 15 seconds if that to convince editors and program directors why they should cover, interview or attend what your press release is announcing. Don't lose their attention trying to sound overly professional and wordy with nonsense no one cares about. Cause, please believe, you will get passed over to the trash w/in the first 3.5 seconds if your point doesn't appear to be in the next sentence. Think I'm lying??... Try the wordy game and keep me posted on your results. [Laughing]
 
Press releases are nothing more than the 5 "W's" and 1"H" (depending on the topic): Who, What, When, Where, Why and the occasional How. [Takes you back to grade school right? Go figure.] Hell some press releases are literally in the format of:
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact Info (Blah, Blah, Blah)
 
Title
(Sub title)
 
WHO:
WHAT:
WHEN:
WHERE
WHY:
HOW:
###
(Indicates end of release)
 
While other releases are in the invisible format, without listing each "W" factor. You may use whatever format floats your boat. Below are a few links to some very useful sites with FREE press release templates. Also, a great resource is Google. By Google-ing press releases similar to what you're trying to draft, you'll have a better idea of how such releases should look.
Good luck!
 
Do you have something you'd like to know? I'm here every week answering your questions. Send me an email: contactsaidarie@gmail.com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo
 

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011 • Ask Arie

No matter what you decide, proper marketing and public relations is almost as important as the music you create.

"Arie, I'm about to release a national project. My budget is low. Is it better to spend money on marketing or public relations?" - Stevie
 
Although there is a fine line between the two. Before I can answer your question I will need you to answer mine....
 
Do you have an established-self-sustaining fan base? Think about it and answer honestly [laughing], take your time, [Jeopardy music plays in background] like Katt Williams "Don't worry I'll wait"...
 
Okay, time's up! If the answer is NO (and yes, "no" includes only being known in your hometown, immediate family, friends, city and state) then I'd suggest starting with marketing. Why you ask? Marketing aka "pay for post" is guaranteed placement of your posters, album cover and other promotional art in key places (i.e. magazines, blogs, music sites, night clubs etc.) Placement in these prime locations make impressions of your brand in the subconscious minds of those who come in contact. This is very important!
 
Also, don't forget to utilize free marketing by submitting your new music and videos to sites, independent/college radio, and DJs for rotation and placement [consideration]. These basic and inexpensive steps give the public a chance to hear your music, possibly leading to new fans, and additional interest in you. Hence the power of marketing.
 
Now, if you've already established a brand and reliable fan base, invest in public relations and notify your existing fans and familiar media of your new projects, tour dates, in addition to conducting interviews. These fundamental steps may possibly catch the attention of those whom have seen your brand previously and now want to know more about you.
 
No matter what you decide, proper marketing and public relations is almost as important as the music you create.
 
Oh yeah and a fact to remember: 
 
Avoid interviews and reviews for pay. When people know you cut checks for coverage they're less likely to believe the good press given. Of course the media outlet gives you feature interviews [when no one knows who you are] or five stars your latest album.... YOU PAID THEM TO!
 
Good luck!
 
Do you have a question for me or something you'd like to know? I'm here every week answering your emails on industry how-to's and important Do's and Don'ts. Send me an email: contactsaidarie[at]gmail.com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo
 

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