Ariel Hyatt, CEO and Founder of Cyber PR, joins her good friend Suz A.K.A The Rock/Star Advocate on her podcast, to debunk many common PR and Social Media myths for independent musicians and discuss what you can expect in her latest best-seller, The Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity. Topics of conversation in this podcast include the first steps to take when you think you’re ready for PR. This is PR made easy with Ariel Hyatt & The Rock/Star Advocate!
Highlights of the Podcast:
How Ariel has managed to stay in the music biz for 25+ years & how “the hustle” kills curiosity and passion
Suz asked Ariel what keeps her curious and passionate over a span of over 20 years, and in which the music industry has gone through many iterations, and a global pandemic. Ariel says her ability to stay passionate about her job is at the true core of all of it she loves artists. she loves music. She says in the podcast “that’s always at the core of it. And I have, I think, I hope, a deep understanding for the plight that artists face, and I love working with artists”. Working in music is where she’s most comfortable and where her heart lies. On the topic of always needing to be aware of changes in the industry and keeping on top of things, you have to make sure you remain interested in what you’re doing. If you’re not, then you’re not going to make it in the long run. The whole idea of pedal-to-the-metal, hustle all the time with no stopping, is a sheer recipe for not staying curious and not staying passionate.
Why relationships are the backbone of PR
To be successful at PR you have to be successful at creating relationships, and, for the most part, creating relationships is about excellent communication.
Most successful artists have excellent communication in the creation of their art. The communication problem is not in the music. It is also, often, not in the aesthetic. They’re quite good at the branding, “I look really good on Instagram and what I look like matches what I sound like,” It’s very rare that an artist comes to me and says, “I don’t know the first thing about my brand at all, the color, or the way it should look” right? But where there is a struggle, it’s with the sheer amount of communication discipline that you need to have in order to be good at publicity.
The truth is if you don’t understand the basic, foundational PR things, you’re going to suck at it, and that is also the same as Social Media.The good news about both of those disciplines is most of what is necessary is all learnable. It’s all learnable. When it comes to PR, it all comes down to the relationships you build with the media, people in your community, and your fans. It’s a peoples game and you gotta play.
Why PR is never the first thing you should spend money on in your music career
“Press is important. It’s part of your portfolio, and I always say publicity should never be the first money that you spend in your career. Never”. The first money you spend in your career, of course, after creating the music and making it sound as good as it can humanly sound, is in figuring out how to connect with fans. Period.
The first step to take when you think you’re ready for music PR to be made easy
The first step above anything all, is do your homework. It is so important. You need to research and figure out if you can afford a certain publicist.
The second thing is, is deciding if the Publicist or PR company is the right fit for you and your music. Ariel mentions she’s done work with clients before where she was not the right fit because she has no knowledge of how to publicize for instance Brazilian Jazz. You also have to keep in mind that publicists are excellent at selling. That is one thing to always kind of keep in mind, what is your budget? How much money feels like the right amount of money for you? And then you want to work with someone that you like, that you feel like you resonate with, that you feel like really gets your music.
Number one obvious rule, they should listen to your music. They should send you a proposal that makes sense. They should be there to answer questions. Ariel and Suz agreed it does take some doing – it’s just like dating you don’t just go with the first one that looks the best. You need to listen to what they have to say and how they appropriately treat you since this is going to be a long-standing relationship and most all, you’re about to be parting with thousands of dollars. So if it doesn’t feel right, then they’re not the person for you, and there are many, many more fish in the sea.
If you made it this far, and now you’re wondering how Ariel can juggle an unimaginably full plate, still rising to the top and banging out yet another best-seller. Suz keeps the ending of the podcast lighthearted and motivating by saying she’s not a magical unicorn although it may seem like it, but because she’s built an incredible team to help her and she leads with her mission in sight at all times –creating tools to help musicians flourish. Some final encouraging words from Ariel “This is an industry steeped in relationships – with colleagues, with collaborators, with critics, with fans. Focus on the relationships, not the numbers. The rest will come”.