Opinion: Dear artiste, keep calm and let your publicist handle it

by Ojonoka Agudah

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In this age of social media, I have found that having a publicist has become even more necessary because social media can ruin your brand in just a few seconds and so, you need someone you can trust to help man your social media accounts.

Publicity is giving someone a reason to talk about you. For an Artist, if you are not being talked about, it means your music is not being listened to and therefore no one is buying your music and so you are probably on your way to becoming irrelevant in the industry.

So, as an artist, why do you need a publicist? First, it is one thing to have talent and create good music, it is another to get people listening to and talking about you as an artist months after your song is out.This is where a publicist comes in.

A publicist is the liason between your music, your image and the public perception of your brand.In other words, the Publicist helps you create and build your brand into one that is relatable to the public. The major job of a publicist is to create a ‘BUZZ’ around your career through the media (indirectly to the public) and these days, social media (direct interaction with the public). A publicist will get you talked about in magazines, on TV, blogs e.t.c and will help oversee projects that relate to your brand so as to attract the right public attention. For instance, I was particularly impressed with Burna Boy’s PR camp during the campaign for the release of his debut album L.I.F.E, because they did something most Nigerian artists fail to do; they produced L.I.F.E Merchandise (t-shirts, beanies, facecaps e.t.c) for the album.

Producing merchandise for tours, and albums is a very important PR campaign for most international artists because it helps in creating more buzz for an artist’s work and what’s more, some people who aren’t fans actually buy them and that’s definitely publicity!

Having a Publicist means you have someone that will be your eyes and ears when relating to people, because your publicist tells you what to say, what to do, and when to be quiet or “shut up” (very important). Like Olivia Pope in the American hit TV show ‘Scandal,’ your publicist is always available for damage control and is ready to spin the story to your advantage and keep you out of AML’s ‘Celebrities Behaving Badly’ feature (LOL).

In this age of social media, I have found that having a publicist has become even more necessary because social media can ruin your brand in just a few seconds and so, you need someone you can trust to help man your social media accounts. Which is why for most international artists, you will find that their accounts are labeled ‘official account for…..’ and most times their accounts act as more of a fanpage for the brand than a personal account.Even when it’s a personal account, the publicist controls what goes out to the public.

Basically, having a publicist means you get to have access to their networks and connections and so you have a higher chance of getting your music played regularly and of becoming a household name, than if you try to push your brand yourself. You get to have someone maintain a consistent image of you that the public will come to love and most importantly, your publicist is the voice of TRUTH in your camp! This is because your publicist will tell you what works with your brand and what doesn’t (e.g this is why Kanye’s camp was upset with his Kim K love life.. .story for another day). Your publicist will tell you what the public thinks about you whether good or bad and work towards creating the best brand for you as an artist.

Do not get it wrong though, your publicist does not control your personal life, but creates the ‘Life’ you want the public to know and get accustomed to.

So, when in doubt on your image or pr crisis, dear artist, keep calm and let your publicist handle it.

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This article was published with permission from Africamusiclaw.com

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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