So this month I have to question the value of professional PR companies.
What do they do that the artists cannot do themselves? I recently had cause to communicate with one over a form they wanted me to fill out!!
Yes, as a radio presenter I get bombarded with MP3’s and links to tracks by all sorts of artists as part of a scattergun distribution by certain companies in an effort to market their clients music.
They are paid by the artists to market a CD or album or tour because they have such a wide network off organisations and DJs wanting to play the music they are promoting.
So why the form? well of course that is to give them feedback on who is actually playing the music so they can prove to client they are doing a good job.
I objected to that approach and made it clear that if they want to find out which tracks I am playing they should follow my playlists, web page and social media. That way they would be providing a service to their clients without burdening the recipient broadcasters.
Until recently the one activity handled by a PR company on behalf of the client that required an expense was posting out CDs. Today, distribution is usually done by email, links to MP3s an dropbox transfer. These are of course free and open up the opportunity for wider distribution though I question the effectiveness??
I don’t actually know how much a PR companies charge for their services or how much they are really valued by the artists that use them?
My guess is that they may take some of the effort out of reaching a network of radio presenters and reviewers but whether they really add value? well, I suggest that is open to question.
Like many of my colleagues I prefer the personal touch.
The artist who sends their latest piece of work and follow through with social media connection and help promote the show that features them.
So often these connections lead to long term relationships and benefit everyone involved and a much reduced role for the PR company.