How do you choose a PR company?

I’ve been wracking my brains this week about what to write about and an email from another PR company just dropped into my inbox and it shocked me so much, it spurred me to log on to my website and create this blog.

As well as being a radio plugger and PR agent myself, I also do a weekly radio show and because of that, other PR companies “plug” to me. Most of these PR’s are decent folk, working with great bands to get them the best airplay and online coverage possible. Most of these PR’s send decent submissions to me, too.  But today, I received 2 back-to-back emails from the same company and they were both appalling.

Why so, I hear you cry?

Well, they were both impersonal, sloppy, messy messages and contained just a couple of sentences each – which told me nothing about the band or the release – gave me just a couple of social media links for them and a download link, so I could click through to a folder, download a track and see if I liked it.  Well, I didn’t really want to faff about as in one of the folders, there were 3 tracks – and still no information about the release.

There aren’t many DJs or radio producers that have time to plough through a folder listening to 3 tracks (or sometimes more), but I clicked on one, downloaded it and had a listen. The actual music was fairly decent – but it was a 192 KBPS MP3 which isn’t a high enough quality for most radio stations, so even if I wanted to play this song, I couldn’t. For my Pluggin Baby Radio show, I require WAV’s in order to play a track. There were only MP3s in the folder.

Another point worth making – as there was no information about the band or the single, even if I *had* chosen to play it, I’d have then had to go away and research the band and the release – thus using up even more of my precious time. So many errors made for these 2 submissions. And I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed because I don’t have time to mess about when receiving submissions from other PR companies – and I’m annoyed for the bands because they’ve handed over hard-earned cash for that “plugging campaign”.

It was a waste of everyone’s time. So, the point of this blog? Musicians/bands – before choosing a plugging or PR company, do your research. Look at their socials – are they active? Does it look like they’re getting results for their clients? Check their roster and message people they’re working with. Get some feedback about that company. Think about the three R’s:

ROSTER, RESULTS, REPUTATION.

And another note to add, if a PR company takes your money and doesn’t ask for any press assets, then ask them what the hell they’re going to be sending to radio and press on your behalf – cos they sure ain’t gonna have time to hunt around themselves for it. They’re too busy firing off emails left, right and centre to thousands of (generic) email addresses without a care in the world about how that email reads or whether they’re giving you the best chance of airplay or coverage.

Scoundrels.

And if you’re a PR company taking someone’s money to push them out to your contacts, put a bit of effort in, will ya?

Rant over. And breathe…

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