MFM ‘s 2nd ZOOM Webinar: “Effective Ways to Market and Promote Your Music in 2020.”
Report by Dawoud Kringle
On Thursday, September 17, 2020, MFM, in cooperation with the Manhattan Producers Alliance (MPA), presented its 2nd Zoom Webinar: Effective Ways to Market and Promote Your Music in 2020. The webinar was co-hosted by MFM member and co-producer / host of the MFM Speaks Out podcast Adam Reifsteck, founder of Teknofonic Recordings, and Jeffrey James, founder of Jeffrey James Consulting.
The purpose of the webinar was to discuss music publicity and promotion, building a fan base, promoting one’s music and how to craft the perfect pitch to improve your chances at getting reviewed and your music noticed in today’s digital landscape.
The first topic discussed was the difference between promotion / public relations, and marketing. In a nutshell, marketing focuses on market trends and revenues. It monitors the evolution of market trends and the varying behavior of target consumers, and makes sure advertising collaterals are in place. It conducts marketing campaigns based on factors such as behavior, age, gender, income, etc. among consumers. Its successful return on investments is immediate.
Public relations, on the other hand, focuses on brand awareness. Its role is to create awareness about your brand and build a relationship among target groups; the audience, media, and community influencers, for the purpose of promoting and maintaining brand awareness. It is an organized action, the objective of which is to initiate media attention and multimedia coverage. Unlike marketing, this is a time consuming process; its effects are not immediate.
Reifsteck mentioned that the ideal is to make these two processes work in concert. He also pointed out that he, as a label owner, concentrates on marketing, whereas the artist management must concentrate more on PR.
James offered some practical PR strategies. The first thing he discussed was the importance of a properly worded press release. Most will tout how great they are (“not to be missed”). Most editors don’t care about this; they only care if something is happening. He used a press release as an example of how to present this information: the first paragraph concentrates on what is happening (in James’ example, it was a piano recital), and the info on what, where, when, links (with contact information at the top and bottom of the press release), etc. He also shared a PDF listing from Carnegie Hall with useful contacts to send the press release; and suggested registering with Musical America (https://www.musicalamerica.com/).
The question arose of the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a PR firm. The advantages are that a PR firm has the ability to deliver brand awareness to places an independent artist may not be able to reach or influence. The main disadvantage is that it is costly.