10 | All About PR with Rock/Metal Publicist Curtis Dewar

Curtis Dewar of metal/rock PR company, Dewar PR, and I break down the ins and outs of PR.
We talk about how to get the most from your campaign, whether to hire a pro or DIY, should you even bother with it and so much more.

PR and marketing go hand in hand. We talk a lot about the fact that PR is not the be-all and end all in getting traction going on a new release.

We also discuss that PR is all about relationship building. There are many things local bands can do to start cultivating these relationships. It may seem like a lot of work but it’s really not!

Resources & Links

I highly recommend Curtis’s podcast with Matt Bacon, The Dumb & Dumbest Podcast.

I also highly recommend following Curtis on IG as he posts music industry tips and tricks DAILY. There’s a lot of value there.

He also runs monthly challenges on aspects like social media, sales, video and more. They’re usually a small investment like $50 a month, I’m always in these groups and he gives daily actions for you and your band to take that will get you better in this area. Keep your eye out on his IG of when the next challenge is running!

I also mention My PR Course – PR Made Simple: How to DIY Your Campaign. This is for bands who are releasing their very first single, haven’t done any PR before and want to give it a go or really don’t have the budget to hire a pro.

I strongly believe professional PR is worth the investment however there are instances where bands can and should run the PR themselves. If you are wondering whether this course is for you then check out the details below!

Show Notes

  • Curtis specialises in getting press for rock/metal bands including reviews, guest columns, interviews and news items.
  • Press is important because if no one knows who you are, you can’t sell tickets, CDs, downloads or progress forward.
  • It’s not the field of dreams. You can have the most amazing art and product in the world and no one is going to buy it unless you market and promote it.
  • PR helps you become credible as a band. Perception is important.
  • How do you know when you’re ready to do PR? When you’re trying to monetise or recognition.
  • You have to ensure your music is of high quality before embarking on PR. If you’re not sure, show someone in a band that IS getting press, bigger support slots etc. and ask them.
  • How much should you budget for PR? Curtis charges $500USD a month. It depends on the company, do your research. Find a PR that’s working with bands your size and figure out the budget from there.
  • PR can’t guarantee results – they can’t force media to publish you. They have built the relationships to get your news/release in the hands of the right people but can’t force them to promote you.
  • Timing will impact the success of your release i.e. releasing around festivals here in Australia is not advised as most of the content schedule will be taken up by festival coverage
  • PR is not the only way to promote your release/show etc. You can’t expect a PR company to get results if you’re not also putting in the work to promote yourself (on social media and beyond).
  • One of the easiest ways to network is to start writing for a publication or working in the industry in some way casually or as a volunteer
  • Bands can do their own PR, but you must know WHAT to do and how to do it in the right way. If you want to go DIY, I highly recommend you take my PR course.
  • There are hundreds of thousands of submissions to media a month. There were 700 releases last month alone. A PR company can break through the noise
  • Labels will get often priority as they pay for advertising (media are a business). But also, a lot of crap music gets sent out. The media need a way to filter this for time efficiency.
  • If media choose to publish something on a small band rather than a band like Metallica or Slipknot, they’re losing money because they won’t get as much traffic to their website. Therefore it’s a pretty shit go if a publication does promote a small band and that small band doesn’t share on their socials and do everything in their power to drive traffic to the article.
  • PR is a long-term game. It‘s all about building your profile with the tastemakers. PR should be done for pretty much every release.
  • You can’t measure a change in perception.
  • Marketing & PR go hand in hand. You have to market yourselves alongside getting press.
  • If you’re worried that you’ll annoy people on social media by promoting your band too much, please read this article right here!