You are paying and counting on your publicist to tell your story honestly, accurately and in a manner where they will generate awareness and successfully connect you with other industry professionals looking for an artist just like you.
Do they really know your story? Have you given them what they need to get the job done?
Do they believe in you and what you want to accomplish?
Do they see you as a one-off, or someone who wants to go the distance with you?
Do they believe you’re ready for the next step?
The PR pros I respect the most could have at least 20 more clients right now. They say a polite but encouraging “no” to those they don’t “feel,” or to those whom they don’t feel have something big enough to promote at this time.
Does your current or prospective PR person know how to write? Ask for some samples, or ask them for an example of how they would communicate your story to busy people whose email addresses are jammed up.
If they take more than a couple of paragraphs to convey what makes you stand out among the current landscape of performers, conductors and composers, you may want to keep looking.
Are they connected to the “players” in the industry?
Who are their current clients? Are they successful? Can you contact those clients to get a recommendation?
I hear from artists who think PR is unnecessary, or an unnecessary expense. Or, they feel that PR costs too much.
Some just don’t understand what a good publicist does. Many have been burned in the past, so I understand.
I remember my first radio broadcasting course at Los Angeles City College. The instructor, Joe Nixon, began the first class by saying this.
“One day you’ll be sitting in your apartment watching TV, reading the paper or having dinner. There will be a knock on your door; you'll answer, and you'll be greeted by a nice person who asks, 'Is there anyone here in this apartment who would like to get in to radio?'
He paused. “That will never ever happen, even if you're God's gift to radio."
A good, connected publicist, one who really knows and cares about you, is invaluable. They are worth recruiting, investigating and asking detailed questions. The good ones are worth your money.
And once you've hired the right person, check in with them regularly, asking them for progress reports.
That's what you're paying them for: progress.