Behind the scenes with Momentum PR
Blog by Louise Dodgson under Media
Mandy Weetch has been working in PR for 10 years and is the managing director of Momentum PR. On the books they have Paolo Nutini, Ash, Placebo, JLS, Scouting For Girls, Sandi Thom, James Blunt, Marina & The Diamonds, The Dunwell Brothers Band (from Leeds), Paloma Faith and many more.
How important is PR for bands these days?
PR is probably more important now than it ever has been, it doesn't just encompass print media but online and digital media too and the whole package can really make a difference to an act starting out, or even a big profile act looking to expand upon their core fanbase.
What advice do you have for bands that are just starting out?
Be your own brand manager and work as hard as you can to promote yourself and you will reap the benefits. There is always one central thing in common with the acts we work with who succeed, and that one thing is hard work.
Every one of our acts, no matter what genre or how big they are, they all have put in hours and hours of dedication and commitment to their music and promoting themselves. Sometimes it can be hard doing a week of interviews or promotion and a lot of the time you are repeating the same thing over and over again. However, our artists know that it's the key factor in developing their profile and that if you work hard at promoting yourself well, and this applies to unsigned bands too, then your career will reap the rewards.
Go out and speak about your act to everyone and anyone who will listen, get yourself gigs and promote yourself on every available portal (online, social media, local press and TV), get yourself a story to promote yourself and, most importantly, interact with your fans and give them a reason the stay a fan. Even better, give them a reason make their mates fans of you too.
What do you look for in a band when deciding to put them on your books?
I know it's a cliché but you just know when you are listening to an act whether they are promotable or not and if the music is good enough to cut it.
Who would be your dream band to represent?
Radiohead. Every single member of the band is a genius. A tour manager friend was telling us last week that he worked on the OK Computer tour and that it was by far the best tour he's ever worked. I was very jealous. Best band. Full. Stop.
What’s the worst / best thing a band can do to get noticed?
Worst thing - being arrogant, especially to media and lying to get yourself noticed. The truth will always find a way out. The best thing, I guess, is self promotion and giving stuff away for free really does help these days. If you want to get noticed, tour the length and breadth of the UK and try to find alternative angles to promoting a tour. One of our bands, Stars and Sons, recently did a tour where they asked the public to help them book them to play gigs and set themselves a ‘30 gigs in 7 days’ challenge. The tour was a great success and they got lots of lovely coverage. It’s all about setting yourself out from the crowd and trying to be as unique as you possibly can.
Do you find social networking a help or a hindrance?
A BIG help. The more promotion you can do the better. In the old days a feature ran and that was that. Well now we can promote it on our Facebook and Twitter pages, promote it on our website and send it on to the label and artist managers so they can promote it on the artist’s web pages too. It benefits both the publication and the artists.
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