By finding this article, you recognize the importance of public relations (PR) for musicians. For that, congratulations! You know that being a musician is similar to being a business entity.
But how long does it take to see PR results? And how can you measure their success?
It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to see music PR results. However, many variables are at play, including the loftiness of your PR goals and your existing network connections.
Patience is key to building your PR. You must sustain high effort over a sizeable time frame to showcase your ambition while adapting to your audience. As you read on, you’ll uncover effective strategies to oil the gears of success.
What is PR in Music?
PR stands for “public relations.” It isn’t just about musicians. Actors, politicians, corporations, and small businesses must handle public relations to remain relevant.
If not, well, you’re probably familiar with the term “PR nightmare.” You cannot promote a brand (or band) that has scratched against the grain of its audience with controversy.
With artists in career infancy, the ice is even thinner. One misstep can ruin future opportunities. Meanwhile, one clever PR decision can multiply your fanbase. For these reasons, it’s abundantly clear why good PR is so important.
Ultimately, PR is about gaining exposure. There are two sides to effective PR:
- Growing your audience
- Connecting with your existing audience
The first one is straightforward (in principle more so than in practice). You leverage social media, news outlets, and good old word-of-mouth to let people know you exist. In doing so, you encourage people to give you a listen. If people like what they hear, they’ll keep an open mind for any future songs or live shows.
Connecting with your existing audience is also fairly obvious. Nevertheless, many artists overlook it in their pursuit of the former goal. In this instance, PR is showing your listeners more about who you are, what your music represents, and more. If done correctly, you can convert casual Spotify/YouTube listeners into people who buy tickets to live shows.
How Long to See PR Results for Different Strategies
Nowadays, there are myriad PR techniques — many of which did not exist two decades ago. Understandably, some methods will deliver results quicker than others.
Note that speed isn’t everything. Just because a method is slow doesn’t mean it is ineffective. These guidelines will help you assess if your PR campaign is underperforming or if the sluggishness is typical.
How Long to See PR Results for an EPK
Because an electronic press kit (EPK) depends upon prior experiences, it usually takes one to three years to see noteworthy results. Nevertheless, building an EPK is darn near essential.
On second thought, that’s not entirely true. How about building an EPK is absolutely essential? Yes — this is more accurate.
A press kit is your portfolio and resumé. Without one, audiences know nothing about you. How are they to know how talented you are?
Ultimately, a phenomenal EPK is persuasive and moving. It combines a strong value proposition with a demonstration of talent. Thus, measuring PR success for an EPK is simple — it gets you gigs.
An EPK gives live music organizers a glimpse into your musical character. If you don’t already have an EPK, here’s what’s typically included:
- Artist bio
- Strongest tracks
- Album art
- Music videos
- Social media tags
This list may be intimidating if you’re new to being a musician in the public eye. How do you build an EPK without a bunch of reviews, performance photos, and followers? Fortunately, you can piece together an EKP as you go. Start with what you do have, even if it’s just a few track samples.
How Long to See PR Results in Social Media
Social media is one of the quickest PR methods we discuss. While rare, it is entirely possible to rise from obscurity to being well-known in just a few weeks.
Barring tremendous luck, seeing PR results through social media can fall within an extensive range. Nevertheless, a rough estimate for great social media results is 4-6 months. Keep in mind that this is a general guideline and is not tailored to musicians.
Just because it’s typical to see results in this timeframe (with an effective campaign) does not mean you will. You may see impressive PR gains in two months or less. Additionally, it could take a year or more to see your desired results.
Do not measure results by how quickly they come. Measure results by their impact. Longevity and fan loyalty beat being a fad. A small, highly-engaged fanbase beats a large and disconnected one.
How Long to See PR Results Through Blogs
Getting featured on a blog remains a strong PR method. However, results will vary greatly depending on which blog you choose. If done correctly, you can see results within a few days.
The best element of reaching out to blog owners is that you don’t need to rely on building a fanbase from scratch. A blog with thousands of monthly visitors has the power to refer stunning amounts of traffic to your social media page, Spotify profile, and more. Getting featured on several blogs amplifies the effect.
So, how do you get featured on blogs? It’s simple: you ask.
Most blogs have a “contact” section with various ways to get in touch with an admin. Most of the time, you can send an email directly to the website owner. The challenging part is getting someone to read your email — especially if the blog is booming.
When pitching to a blog, be sure to write a killer subject line and a persuasive proposition. Just know that even with a perfect email pitch, you won’t get a response from every blog you contact. But the more you reach out, the higher your chances become.
How Long to See PR Results Through Radio
Radio has gone from a mainstream broadcasting medium to something rather niche. While you can work on your PR with the help of radio stations, it isn’t the most cost-effective strategy.
We’re not saying to turn down any opportunities. If you have connections with a local station, go for it. However, if you really want to have a notable affect on PR, you need to appear frequently on the airwaves. One ten-minute interview, for example, will only be heard by those who are tuned into that radio station at the same time.
However, radio isn’t completely irrelevant yet. Radio stations remain a localized source of media that cater to the unique tastes of its community. Furthermore, if you live in a city with a noteworthy station, getting to talk about your music during a popular timeslot is a worthwhile opportunity.
Ultimately, radio is not typically the best option for musical PR. That said, there are a few situations where it certainly can be.
Thus, PR results via radio could take anywhere between a few days and an eternity.
Final Take on Measuring PR Results
There is no single go-to for measuring PR results. Furthermore, the concept of “PR Success” has a unique definition for each musician. It could be that you want to be your town’s top cover band. Perhaps you are a solo artist who wants to go platinum.
For social media results, you can look at clicks, views, and engagement rates to determine the effectiveness of your campaign. With an electronic press kit (EPK), the most obvious measurement is how frequently you get booked for live shows. You can tell if a blog post is working well by referral volume. You get the point.
In the end, effective PR does at least one of the following:
- Grows your audience
- Gets people talking about your music
- Turns casual listeners into avid fans
Any evidence that points to one of these things is a positive PR measurement. Fortunately, there are a variety of great distribution platforms beyond what we’ve covered. Don’t limit yourself!
Electronic press kits (EPK), social media accounts, blog interviews, and more are examples of popular tools for building your musical brand. Public relations (PR) is just as important for a musician as it is for any corporation or political campaign. Done right, you can make people fall in love with your music and beyond.
Alas, there is not a single method to measuring PR. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore. A combination of PR strategies, when combined, can deliver significant results. The hardest but most vital part of these results is patience.
PR can take a few months to a few years. Quicker methods, like social media and blog posts, may grant results in a week. However, even these can take longer than think they should — and that’s okay.
If you can achieve your goals quickly, that’s a sign you’re doing a great job. If not, there’s still a chance that you are doing well. Ultimately, PR is a long-term strategy with which diligence and commitment bring generous rewards.