PR in the Music Industry: My New Client Journey

By Audrey Taylor

Jumping into something new can be scary, and doing PR work in a new industry takes a big leap. For myself, learning how to navigate public relations in the music industry has been a learning curve with ups and downs. 

This semester, I have had the pleasure of being on the PRactice team for Adam Paddock. Adam is an Ohio State University student who built his singing and songwriting career out of his dorm room. Throughout the semester, we have worked to solidify his brand through researched media lists, media relations, and social media content creation. It’s been a fast-paced lesson on the music industry, as well as how to do PR when the brand you’re working with is a person.

When it comes to working on PR in the music industry, you must remember the music PR landscape has changed over time. According to this Splice article, some of these changes include fewer media outlets covering musicians, increased difficulty in building a loyal fanbase, and fans now having direct access to their artists via social media. This is why social media platforms can be crucial for artists to engage with their audience and form personalized connections with fans. Because of this, our main goal for the semester has been to help Adam solidify his brand and his image through social media. We conducted a social media audit, made sample social posts, and created a strong strategy for improving audience engagement.

I found that creating content for a musician is different, and arguably more difficult, than creating content for a brand. A lot of an artist’s social posts are extremely personal and relevant to their lives, something a PR team might not have full insight into. We worked on understanding Adam’s tone of voice, knowing the topics he was interested in, and adopting his personality into our drafted posts.

To get a good start on managing a musician’s social profiles, it’s important to make a consistent posting schedule. Before you jump right into this, it is important to learn the 3 Steps to Take Before Building a Content Calendar so that you understand when, why, and how you should be posting. Having goals, objectives, and a specific audience will make content creation much easier. Due to our efforts this year, Adam was verified on multiple social profiles including TikTok, Youtube, and Spotify!

As always, there are barriers when it comes to working with an artist. Artists have busy schedules because they are constantly balancing their music careers with their personal lives. With Adam, we turned our attention towards improving his Twitter profile so we could take the stress of creating Tweet off his back. What I never realized before working in the music PR industry is that Twitter is an on-the-spot type platform that is extremely personal. It was hard for my team to create Tweets that reflected Adam’s life because, well, we are not Adam. So, we shifted our goals around to focus on Twitter strategy. To succeed on Twitter, you must be consistent, relatable, and innovative. Tweets go viral when they are timely, so we researched current trends. We come up with hashtags, people to connect with on the platform, and ‘template Tweets’ for Adam. This is one way we had to problem-solve to avoid client-based issues that I’ve never experienced in other PR industries. 

Besides Twitter, we wanted to get Adam some earned media coverage. As I learned this year, media coverage is a requirement for an artist to get verified on social media and solidify their popularity. Using targeted media lists and specific pitches, we secured upcoming features for Adam in WOSU and Columbus Underground. These were big wins for us and the client! All in all, working with Adam was a fantastic introduction to PR in the music industry. You never know how interested you’ll be in a new industry until you try it!

Adam Paddock is an indie artist with a new sound. Make sure you check out Adam’s LinkTree and Spotify. I have had so much fun working with Adam Paddock and the rest of the team this semester. I am looking forward to future projects and seeing what Adam has in store for his music career.

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