What Publicists Do For Artists

June 21, 2015


(Originally published on February 28, 2011)

A wonderfully talented young singer from Western Canada e-mailed me. She asked:

• What would a full publicist/artist relationship entail?

Ah, responding to something as open ended as this is a bit like getting Einstein to explain the Theory of Relativity in four minutes. (Not, obviously, that I think I’m Einstein!)

But here was my response:

It would/could/sometimes should involve all, some, or none of the following:

* hand-holding (a.k.a. career guidance)
* enjoying a mutual belief in other other’s talents/skills
* writing bios and press material
* writing press releases – and thinking up stuff to write them about
* helping create a visual image for the artist
* more hand-holding (a.k.a. helping solve relationship problems)
* hiring photographers, video makers, and other support people
* writing grant applications (or, in my case, finding grant writers)
* arranging media interviews
* getting an artist on TV and radio
* more hand-holding (a.k.a. media coaching)
* supervising other public events
* refusing to arrange in-store appearances (remember Spinal Tap?)
* helping find an agent
* helping find a manager
* helping find a publisher
* even more hand-holding (building confidence)
* helping launch a new CD/video
* getting artists connected with other artists further up the food chain
* promoting tours from here to there and back again
* helping get opening gigs and headline appearances
* driving the artist to the gig
* still more hand-holding (a.k.a. maintaining confidence)
* asking the artist to pay $750.00 – $1,500.00 a month for at least four months

Does that help?

PS: It didn’t help. The artist liked everything except the final point. Ah, well, that’s the music biz!