Ever wonder what a publicist does or what their job truly entails?
The following article comes from AMW Group, a proud partner of DMN.
If you’re an entertainer and you’ve been wondering if you should start looking for a good publicist, it’s in your best interest to learn more about them. It’s also important to learn what their specific function should be within your career. You’ll be better equipped to find the team that is best suited to your personal brand, and able to operate on a professional level with that team once you find them.
So who better than to learn all of the best inside information from than a very talented entertainment publicist? Meet Naomi Grandison, one of AMW Group’s gifted publicists who has helped to grow the careers of a variety of artists.
How did you get started in Public Relations? What pushed you to pursue this specific area of the field?
During college, I had an internship at a small recording studio in Ohio. I met a lot of awesome artists who just didn’t know how to promote themselves and get their music heard. Talking to them and realizing how much undiscovered talent is out there, I wanted to go into a career where I could help talented people of all kinds break into bigger audiences.
How would you describe what you do?
My job is to get publicity for my clients who are looking to make a name for themselves. I start each campaign by reviewing the client’s material and working out a campaign strategy, collaborating with the client on their specific needs, and figuring what audiences we want to get the client to be in front of. From there, I spend the rest of the campaign consistently reaching out to new media targets, adjusting strategy based on the campaign results, booking interviews, prepping for new material to be released, and communicating with the client to keep everything moving forward smoothly. I’m constantly building relationships with bloggers, journalists, podcasters, radio show hosts, and more as I go, so that my network of contacts continues to expand the more campaigns I run.
What education and skills are necessary to do this job?
Writing is a big skill. Much of this job is writing emails, writing pitches, messaging clients, writing press releases. Being able to write multiple types of copy in a concise, personable, professional manner is crucial. Another important skill is organization. When you’re working with multiple clients, you’ve got emails and messages coming in from everywhere. You have to stay on top of your clients’ interview bookings and be sure to keep communicating with your media contacts. As far as education, I don’t think there’s any single path. I have a BA in Communication Arts, and I minored in Marketing. I learned a lot from my education and it set me up for success, but I think that in PR, you learn the most from experience. Whatever your path may be, I recommend getting into multiple internships and trying to start networking and building relationships as early as possible.
What is a common misconception about what you do?
People think that doing a PR campaign will bring you big results quickly. PR is a slow-moving process that requires a buildup of efforts in multiple areas. Your social media presence, your branding, your content, your relationships — all of these things will contribute to how successful your PR campaign will be. Above all, it takes time and consistency. Bigger media will be uninterested until you’ve built up a solid foundation and have proven that people are interested in you and your work. So you have to value all the small and medium-sized placements in between, respecting and appreciating all the relationships you form on the way, because you never know what can happen.
What type of requirements do you think an artist should have to fit each campaign level?
I can’t stress this enough — you NEED professional photos. First impressions are everything, and crappy photos cause people to immediately lose interest. If you don’t have the money for a photo shoot, that’s okay — these days you can get great photos on your phone camera, if you take the time to research how to shoot good photos and edit them. No matter where you are, you need to invest your time into getting some good photos.
What characteristics would your ideal client have throughout their campaign? Your least ideal?
Communication is huge. I often need the client to send me info, respond to interview questions, upload new photos, etc., throughout the campaign. If I can’t get a hold of the client, it can take much longer for me to get placements because every media outlet is looking for something different. In the same vein, my least ideal client is one who is not readily available, that I have to message them two or three times before they respond and it takes them weeks to send me the information I asked for.
Do you have a particular type of campaign that you enjoy working on the most?
I love good music, so I’d have to say working with a talented artist to get their music heard is one of my favorite things to do!
How do you prepare a client for the media?
There’s a lot of things that go into this. Some of the most important prep that comes with being media ready is the client’s responsibility — for example, professional photos are a must. A clear, cohesive, and interesting brand. A strong social media presence has huge advantages. If those items are properly prepared, it makes my job easier and yields better results for the campaign overall. I do make sure to review the client’s branding and social media early in the campaign and offer suggestions on how they can improve, but the best situation is when a client has thought these things through BEFORE starting the campaign.
How do you personally measure the success of a campaign?
I think a campaign is successful when we’ve gotten the client in front of new audiences and they’ve been able to tell their story and engage with their audiences in a way they haven’t before. Engagement is key when it comes to the success of a Music PR campaign, and when you start seeing the client’s customers or fans becoming invested in their work and their brand, that’s when you know the campaign is successful.
What are your goals for the future?
My hope is to continue supporting artists, helping them to spread their message and their art to the world. One of the things I love about what I do is the chance to make a difference, to work with gifted people to promote meaningful messages. As I continue working with clients of all backgrounds and with all different types of talent, I hope to learn new things from each one of them.
To follow Naomi Grandison on LinkedIn go here.
AMW® is a marketing and entertainment group that provides a wide range of marketing and event platforms throughout the World. AMW Group partners with leading brands, companies, and media to help bring growth to their businesses through marketing, communications, and special events. Learn more