The Experts Weigh In on Press



Name: Lily Golightly

Company: Effective Immediately PR

Prominent Clients: Paper Garden Records, sami.the.great, Nightmare River Band, XNY



Name: Kaytea Moreno Elst

Company: xo publicity

Prominent Clients: Paper Tongues, The Memorials, White Orange, The Winter Sounds



Name: George Corona III

Company: Terrorbird Media

Prominent Clients: Tycho, Mux Mool, Dntel, Brown Bird, Emily Wells, Yelle


What are a few typical responsibilities of a publicist?

[LG] A publicist by definition is responsible for increasing public interest for their clients. I coordinate with bands to make sure that they get placements in the dailies and weeklies (and sometimes television and radio interviews) in every regional market when they are touring, as well as spreading their b(r)and awareness by pitching them to national and international outlets for coverage – whether it be spotlights, reviews, features, or inclusion in “Best Of” lists in major magazines and tastemaker blogs.

[KME] To get press coverage, tour press on a client. Provide accurate tacking reports, maintain current and good relations with media. To provide good material in a timely fashion!

[GC] To secure as much coverage as possible for an artist, from large national outlets, to smaller niche outlets. Most importantly though, to be as responsive as possible to any requests that come in, in order to capitalize on any potential coverage opportunity. 

What are some misconceptions bands have about what a publicist does?

[LG] Without a publicist working on your team, there’s no strategy in place for the release and most likely very loose or no tour press. Then the band will release the album and won’t be able to garner reviews for it. Having a publicist is just as important as having a solid record.

[KME] That you will get every front cover and feature in every magazine that we send your CD too. Press is never guaranteed and things don’t happen overnight!

[GC] That we’re magicians. Or because we’ve worked with X artist, that the same trajectory will happen with Y artist; every project is different.

What does a publicist offer that a band typically can’t accomplish on their own?

[LG] I have built solid relationships with writers and bloggers. I also know what kind of music certain writers prefer and also how they prefer to receive it. It can also be very time consuming for artists to try to pitch to press themselves while continuing to write music and tour. It’s my job to do the dirty work for them.

[KME] Contacts are what I truly believe you pay a publicist for. It takes years and years to develop a contact list with home addresses, personally emails and keeping up with the multi-positions some media hold. Let alone remembering all the different submission guidelines and likes and dislikes of editors!

[GC] Relationships going back many years with a variety of outlets, writers, and editors, and the associations that come along with being on [our] roster.

How long will you typically work with an artist?

[LG] Our campaigns range from 4-6 months at a time. As a band you always have to be looking ahead and planning not only the record you are putting out, but the five that are coming after that. We work with bands who want to continue building the momentum that we create with them – frequently for years at a time.

[KME] 6-8 months and sometimes even longer IF the client keeps me up to date and are go-getters!

[GC] Usually 3-6 months per project. We get asked to do one-month “short campaigns” frequently, but those aren’t ideal because the expectations are through the roof, with not much time to execute.

If someone wanted to get into the profession, what advice would you give?

[LG] Try an internship and form relationships with the publicists that you are working with. They can be very helpful in teaching you the ins and outs of the business. Your mentors can also be helpful in finding you connections for job placements.

[KME] Intern, intern, intern.

[GC] If it’s working in music you want to do, intern at a company in your city, or move to a city so that you’re able to do it. Everyone I know, including myself, started at that level.


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