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Fran, you might be "delighted" to work with such a publicist, but you'll be waiting a while. You see, there's a 10th critical thing you need to know about working with publicists that Ariel hasn't mentioned here: The ratio of truly competent music publicists to talented musicians willing to pay them is HEAVILY weighted in favour of the publicist. In other words, good publicists pretty well pick and choose who they want to work with and they have ZERO incentive to work with someone who doesn't want to compensate them fairly for their work. The entertainment business is chalk full of scammers who will happily sell you a bill of goods and take your money. But if you actually do your research and find out who the successful independent artists recommend, you'll notice that the path starts to lead back to the same collection of names. MOST of the time, if you're working with one of those truly competent publicists, you'll come away feeling like you got your money's worth -- provided you had expectations that were in line with your actual status in the market. However, publicists don't control all the factors that impact your coverage and that's why good ones will never charge based on results. A publicist can have a great working relationship with a high profile journalist, but the journalist might hate your music. A publicist might be able to persuade a journalist to write about you but then the story gets cut for space. If a major story breaks, pages of entertainment coverage can be wiped out to make room for it. Publicists can bust their butts pitching three or four writers at a single publication trying to interest someone in your work...but sometimes, no matter how hard they work...fate just isn't on their side on this one. But you know what? At the end of the day, those journalists still heard about you from someone they respected. Some of them listened to your album. Some of them maybe even liked it. And when you play that town again, you're that much closer to hitting the jackpot PR wise. If you don't want to pay for that, fair enough. But ever since the internet shifted the music business to a more entrepreneurial system, where we no longer have big corporations serving as training grounds for junior professionals like publicists, we've had less and less solid new talent entering the field to provide competition. So if you're hoping to find competent publicists who will put their income on the line to guarantee you results that are beyond their control to deliver, well, you might be waiting a while.
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Sep 12, 2013