This is an excerpt from Ariel’s 5th book The Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity.
Writing The Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity got me thinking about all of the forms of communication that musicians must know how to navigate which also fall under the category of “PR.” There is so much more to music publicity today than simply communication between you and the tastemakers who may grant you exposure – music journalists, blogs, podcasts, TV, radio, and playlisters. I created The Musician’s Communication Map so that you could have a visual representation of all of the domains where a solid communication strategy is necessary. You can download the PDF for FREE at the bottom of this blog post.
As you can see, this includes, traditional media, social media, and in-person engagements. All of these communications foster an understanding of and goodwill toward a person. As a musician, your “publics” includes your fans, the media, and the industry, and you will need a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships in all areas.
This is you. This can refer to you as a solo artist, a songwriter, a producer, a band, or to you and your team. Note: if you are a band or you have a team and they are willing and able to participate in some areas, your work becomes exponentially less.
Throughout the book, I have included artist highlights to bring the center of this diagram to life. The commonality among all these artists is they inherently understand the Musician’s Communication Map.
Some artists, like Maya Azucena, have advocated for themselves by building a strong brand based on their vision and morals. Some artists have collaborated with industry advocates and publicists to help them expand on their vision, like Joe Deninzon and Ilyana Kadushin. Eli Lev, Heather Mae, and Rich Genoval Aveo have fearlessly mastered “in real life publicity” (IRL PR) by bonding deeply with their tribes. Their stories are included in the book encourage and inspire you.
Your brand, of course, starts with your music. Visuals are also a part of your brand. Your choice of color scheme, fonts, logo (if you have one), photos, your single, EP, and album artwork all factor in as well.
Your brand also incorporates your signature story which should answer the question of what separates you from all of the other musicians.
Website Copy is also included here and the style you choose on your website sets the brand’s conversational tone. Break down your signature story into shorter bios for your social channels. And your merchandise is a major form of communication as it’s a reflection of your brand and how your fans represent you to the world.
Your brand immediately gets extended to your audience through your social channels, and creating a communication plan that is cohesive and interesting is an integral part of how you’ll grow as an artist.
There are a mind-numbing amount of social channels to keep updated and of course, each one has different parameters as far as what you include as your bio, link, and visuals. Last but not least, there’s continuous updating and posting.
Many artists overlook how they appear on all DSPs yet they are crucial as this is where fans listen to your music and may want to discover more about you. Make sure all of your DSPs have updated bios, photos, and social links. Plus, you will have to take extra steps to submit to Pandora and get in control of your artist profile on Amazon.
By now we all know that unless you are willing to pay at least something for ads you will not be visible on many social channels. Running ads effectively and testing what works is another communication channel and it will take attention and testing to get a formula that works for you.
Social Media Manager
If you hire a social media manager, it is up to you to be sure that you are constantly checking what content performs well and what needs to be adjusted.
Many people set it and forget it, but it’s and it will be up to you to make sure your SMM is doing everything he/she possibly can to attract new fans and increase engagement and followers.
Want to see the whole strategy in action? Download the full Communications Map freebie below!