All posts by Tessa Harrison

Our Guide to Music Festival PR and Promotion

With hundreds of festivals now popping up in Britain each summer, we are swamped and no doubt spoilt for choice with our options. From the longstanding Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds festivals, to the young and growing festivals such as The Secret Garden Party, Boomtown Fair and Wilderness – there most definitely is something for everyone. The British Festival industry makes millions each year, and it’s no surprise that more and more people are catching on and hopping on the festival bandwagon by starting up their own.

You may have seen all these new festivals emerging and thought to yourself: “Hang on a minute, if all these Tom Dick and Harries can start up and run a festival, then what is stopping me from doing the same?!”

While there’s a lot to prepare initially – the planning, the licensing, the booking of acts, sorting out your traders and general logistics – the hurdle that festival promoters find most difficult to overcome is the promotion and gaining enough organic interest from the public!

Here are some of our Pete’s top tips for Promoting Your Music Festival.

 

Social Media Strategy

It is good practice to have a solid plan of how you’re going to keep your audience up to date on all things related to your festival. You should set up an official festival accounts on Facebook and Twitter and start posting content way before you release tickets.

You need to create a buzz and let people know that you’re here!

Schedule in posts for when you know you’re going to be announcing something exciting like a headline act, or when you’re first going to release your tickets.

Having a giveaway competition on social media is a great way to gain followers and interest. You could offer a pair of free tickets as a prize, and to gain an entry all people have to do is follow and share your posts. Just one idea!

 

What’s The Hook?

Quite Great offer all elements of promotion. Our services range from online to radio, to TV to print, but we always love to stress the creative aspect of what we do: Finding the elements of the subject that will spark the interest of the media!

Your headline acts will be a head turner, your exciting line up will definitely draw folk in but it’s our job to explore what makes your festival exciting and different to everyone else’s.

We will look at strategic focus, aiming creative PR ideas towards the appropriate audience and not pointless ideas that initially look good on paper, but fail to drive sales.

 

‘Divide & Conquer’ is Key to Successful Festival PR

Divide everything up and find a niche area that will attract media interest. Look at each subject in detail and find a story to develop. This should happen naturally, and fairly easily!

 

Pay Attention to Detail

We would always take into account arguably most important aspect of any story and that is the presentation. Imagery and branding must be on point, relevant and memorable.

One of our favourite creative ideas involved a boutique festival supplying headphones to sheep in a nearby field so they didn’t get bothered by the loud music from the local dance festival. Nice touch!

 

Build a Story

Building a story for a festival helps to build a profile… which then allows for more opportunities for gaining vital media listings etc.

Not many festivals have the benefit of being a longstanding festival, such as Cambridge Folk Festival (which sells itself and has no need for PR – apart from selling out the tricky Sunday tickets) through to the likes of Glastonbury – which has been going so long and is a total global institution that the PR is primarily vast media relations.

There are hundreds of festivals and the lesser well known need strong and constant PR to drive sales and drive the brand.

For more information contact us on Skype –quitegr8 or email –ask@quitegreat.co.uk

ONLINE PR FOR MUSICIANS IN THE UK

For over a decade Quite Great have been helped musicians from right across the spectrum to gain online PR activity and recognition.

From legends such as Mick Jagger to acts like Newton Faulkner, major compilations from the likes of Ministry of Sound to simply helping growing acts grow that little bit faster. We operate a very simple method of online development that encompasses creating foundations for our acts to build on throughout a series of release patterns.

The first thing to do is make sure there is activity. This sounds obvious, but the important thing to you as a new or developing artist to get your music seen and heard, hence with our network of music blogs, entertainment sites, release postings etc.

We rapidly develop deliverable PR activity for our clients that then sets up the focus on hitting the bigger and more influential hype-machine blogs, the Pitchforks of the world, The Huffington Post  through to the NME onlineGuardian online  and everything in between – hence driving video views and making sure that those searching for your band’s musical style come across you rapidly.

The PR campaign does not involve taking over your social networking – that is another service. That of digital and social media development (the online PR side) is all about building an online presence via targeting to our vast array of bloggers, and music journalists through to online radio shows focusing on making sure results are gained. We have been helping acts grow online since pretty much the birth of the internet, as a tool to help promote artists; you only have to look back to the likes of Sandi Thom to know where our creative heart lies.

As a small label or developing artists, the online campaign would fit alongside the structured ten week development patterns. This would add fuel to our efforts to gain radio play and traditional print media.

Although online PR is a focus, we do not let that be in a vacuum, as without an integrated plan the online promotion will rarely bring about commercial success.

This is how the first release lines up – building up online activity, combining automated postings and impromptu postings, then approaching sites to find out what they think, and if they will feature the music.

Regular reporting between our team and yourselves, along with the flow of ideas, is vital. Once we have online growth we target selected online local radio, community stations etc. to gain plays and feedback, and allow us to use these plays as building blocks.

With the build up of online PR activity, we then get our radio plugger to hit all the key relevant stations of the UK and find out what they think about the track, if they wish to play it as well as discussing interviews. With the online PR growing further, we add local print, and look to creative angles to fully exploit opportunistic national news media.

By the final stage of the campaign we will have reports relating to relevant press, online, radio. Hence your online PR campaign is the springboard to a focused team strategy.

Essential Guide: Getting Your Music Noticed & Heard

“What type of music promotion and PR is going to get me as an artist noticed?”

At Quite Great we strive to find the key ‘angle’ that will help us generate creative, effective music promotion.

For over twenty years, and whilst Head of PR at Polydor –  overseeing releases for Geffen, Motown, Fiction and Mother – it was always important to consider a creative idea that could really help a release to grow.

That is what Quite Great have done for many years: sitting down, listening and understanding what makes the artist tick… along with the back story to how their music is created. All of this helps the press and online buzz.

This creative thinking relates to all different types of music from classical to rock and indie to urban. Everyone has a story to tell.

Finding The Story That Sets You Aside

When approaching us to discuss the label services we offer or just individual services, always make sure you are ready to discuss the small details behind your music.

Think of what would be relevant to develop. For example, we have had acoustic artists touring the UK along the canal system, stopping off and performing at pubs, dance acts who get spotted by labels singing behind beauty counters, bands who create artwork from rubbish, folk singers who have lived in a tree, rock gods who are rumored to be buying football teams, former waitresses singing for their supper who end up performing to Brad Pitt and George Clooney and getting a major label deal, classical acts busking to raise money for charities, the list is endless…. The fundamental thing is to look at where the story fits into the release pattern, and not to try and make an idea fit if it is not going to help the artist gain media coverage.

Don’t forget , there is a great opportunity once a news story is online, or once a radio interview or series of radio interviews have taken place.

Radio play, word of mouth, discussions in the work place, talks in bars all = potential fan growth. Having an angle/story to back this up will help word spread faster, as it’s a talking point.

This is what we like to see as the best PR for music artists, the ability to work artists and discover the story that will hit the headlines.

ADELE ANNOUNCES RELEASE DATE FOR “25”

‘Rolling in the Deep’ creator Adele managed to cause mayhem across the country last weekend, as a thirty-second clip of a long awaited new track was played during the ad break during The X Factor. Less than a week later, she has revealed the release date for her highly anticipated new studio album – 25.

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The superstar shared a photograph of herself via Instagram this afternoon, and told her followers that it will be released on 20th November. This is her first ever Instagram post and in her first day on the platform she has already obtained 45k+ followers.

Adele recently compared ’25’ to her last record, ’21’, and told fans that it really shows where she’s at now in her life:

“My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record. I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. But I haven’t got time to hold onto the crumbs of my past like I used to. What’s done is done.”

She added: “Turning 25 was a turning point for me, slap bang in the middle of my twenties. Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully-fledged adult, I made the decision to go into becoming who I’m going to be forever without a removal van full of my old junk.”

We can’t wait to hear the new album!

How To Become The Biggest Band In The World

So now you’ve stepped outside of the rehearsal studio – or your family garage – you have the songs, you have what you feel is the image and elements of stage craft and yes… of course you have your social networking tools at your finger tips. The next step is to become the biggest band in the world or the biggest artist in the world.

If you don’t want this then pack up and go and work in Morrisons (other supermarkets are available) or head to the office job that should really simply be the means to fund your dream. Certainly up to the age of 25, anyway!

First things, first – get known locally!

The first step to becoming the biggest band in the world is to become the biggest band in your street. Start the buzz… Experiment… Don’t worry about the major venues. Find somewhere where people are.

Success isn’t waiting for you, you have to go and get it!

Head for a street near you and build your audience. Don’t worry initially about the data capturing, just get out there and feel the lack of interest from the public. Understand how much they just do. not. care. about what you are doing. Check out their eyes as they make a determined effort not to take any notice of you. This is what you need to understand, the world is not waiting for you, you are waiting for the world.

The moment your music connects with a listener

Notice the feeling when someone – just one person – starts to connect, and stops and listens. This is the first step to your efforts to become the greatest music act on the planet. I know it sounds daft, and you would much prefer to rush back to the wonderful online advice about “how to sell your music on the net”, but it is this moment that will be the starting point. And ‘why?!’ I hear you cry…

Because someone no more that a few feet away will take the time out and wants to hear and look at you. Again, hold back on your desire to follow online PR tips for unsigned bands and do not allow the words DATA CAPTURE to spoil the moment. Live the dream as this might be as good as it gets.

The first fan is important

Okay, so depending on what happens next this first fan could end up being your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend or just more likely the person who tells someone else.

Your friends and family really matter when starting out in a band

Now it is important to remember that you aim is to become the biggest noise in music down your street first. Naturally, you will need to move quite quickly but the experience will be truly fulfilling as friends, family, next door neighbours etc. are vital in building your understanding of what you are all about.

Sample audiences to test your music on

Again, don’t forget this process of street building is likely to take a month – maximum! You need to be motivated. Invite absolutely everybody to come to your front garden/green/garage to hear you and see you for no longer than twenty minutes (just a taster/way to get a feeling for what you will be unleashing soon).

Interaction is key to making your band a success

Now, this is where you ask them to bring their phones and interact with the birth of a soon to be legend. This kind of event is also worth informing your local paper about, as again, if it is a truly quiet day and you have families attending there is a chance that you will get your first media attention. “Why should this happen?” You ask?

Well…

Reaching out to the local media

Well in part because you made the effort to contact them , if they do not turn up make sure you take hi res images of the event , the odder the better and send them to the picture desk of your local paper with just a few words basically telling them to contact you, if your timing is right you will end up in your local paper and then being interviewed on your local afternoon show on the BBC, why?

Because you are creating something interesting – not very interesting admittedly – but interesting enough on a slow news day to draw attention to yourselves.

And yes, okay, now it is fine to mention social media. (From this point, as long as you have gone to the effort of making sure your band/artist’s name is emblazoned on the backdrop of the pho-tie fence, house, garage door, in the trees and so on…)

Also, another tip: with the photo maker sure it is:

A) In focus

B) Interesting

C) Fits a headline (i.e. snappy one liner to make the sub editor’s job easier)

Then you are on your first step to world domination!