You hired them but are they 'really' working for you?

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So you decided to get serious about your artistic career and you’ve made a plan, set up a budget, filled in all the initial blanks you should in order to propel yourself forward and into the arms of success. Great! Now the question remains, “Will this effort towards a heightened state of professionalism and investment in my career really benefit me?” Honestly, in most cases it will definitely be a boost, but only if those whom you’ve purchased the services of are about their business and about you. Unfortunately this is not always a situation in which you get what you pay for.

A few months back I got the normal email pitch for an artist’s music placement on one of my sites, from a pretty well known agency that over the years I’ve grown to look forward to getting releases from. They’ve always seemed to be about the artists and have made proper strides to get where they are recognized for their work. Their client list has grown exponentially in recent years. I’ve become a bit thrown off by some of the artists they’ve come to represent but that’s neither here nor there. The fact remains that my relationship with them has been one of clear communication. I felt comfortable knowing they were doing their jobs especially for some of the artists the represent that are personal friends of mine. Until…

Earlier this year I receive an email from them about this one group. After watching the video sent to me, I felt the material was interesting so I posted it on my site. I send the agency an email with a link to that post and a day or two later they let me know they’ve gotten it with a simple thank you response. Fair enough. When a PR company sends out anything about an artist they’re looking for at least some bit of exposure. That exposure online generally comes in the form of a placement (digital inclusion of streamable/downloadable music or video), blurb or review and in the best case scenario a request for an interview by the publication pitched to resulting in a prominent feature.

I wanted to do more than just post a video. Doing ‘my’ job I glance over the original email pitch received , scrolling down to find that they were in fact fielding for interview spots. It should be simple as making that request so an interview could be set up, right? Well, I did that and received no response. I figure, sometimes emails disappear into the void never to be seen by their intended recipients. Not a problem. I follow up with another. About a week passes and I finally get one. It includes a bonus apology for their ‘tardiness’, a jovial reaction to the request for an interview with the group and the assurance that it would be all arranged asap. It never happened.

You don’t have to be an artist to understand how terrible it is to pay for a service and not get what you’ve paid for. Unfortunately many aren’t aware that those they’ve hired are simply not working for them. The ability to send mass emails to lists of contacts makes a PR company not. I personally feel that there can be no varying level of commitment  you put behind each of your clients. That’s like loving one of your children more than another. At the end of the day your clients success is really your own. But that’s just me. I suggest that you do your research and feel out whoever you hire, because you can’t expect a profitable return from a bad investment towards your career.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Great question for artists to think about! I’d like to offer a different perspective though as someone who works at a digital marketing company.

    Believe it or not, many
    interviews fall through sometimes because managers or the artists themselves
    don’t care enough to do it or to set up a time to make it happen. You would think that
    when an artist pays you money to work their project, that they would be 100%
    down to do whatever you need them to do. The reality is many artists go to
    these companies, give them a check, and then think that magically they’ll have
    100,000 friends and followers and be on PerezHilton, NahRight, and 2DopeBoyz
    without themselves doing any additional work. It takes everyone working as a
    team, as a unit, to take advantage of the opportunities they may be presented
    with. When there is a weak link in the team, it affects everyone.
    That said, of course sometimes that weak link can be the company you hired, but
    just wanted to clarify that that is not always the case.

     

    A good tip for artists to make sure
    the company you hired is actually working is to have a brief weekly call where
    you can update each other on what’s going on, the week’s priorities, etc. That
    can make a huge difference in a campaign.

    • Thanks for dropping a note Elkin. Yes of course you are definitely right in what you’re saying. Fortunately your perspective comes from being a part of a company that actually does work for their artist.

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