We have the fortunate job of getting to review new art, whether it is music, literature or movies, and interview the artists that we love. The reason we have access to a lot these artists is our relationships with public relations companies and their teams, like Amanda Blide and the Hollywood-based LaFamos. In a lot of ways, PR is a thankless job that is often overlooked in the industry, but a great PR team can be the difference between breaking out as an artist or being lost in the shuffle of Apple Music or Spotify.
Luckily, we had a few minutes to chat with an outstanding PR professional to get her perspective and insight on the public relations aspect of the music industry. So, I would like to welcome, Amanda Blide!
Lemonade Magazine: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! So in a lot professions, the facilitators are often overlooked. How does your business, LaFamos, in public relations affect the music industry day to day?
Amanda Blide: PR is an important thing to have, once you are ready for it. One thing I like to say is: Just because your song or album is on iTunes or Spotify doesn’t mean anyone knows it’s there.
My job is to make sure potential fans find it and hopefully become a long-term listener. We do that by telling (and sometimes creating) a story. Most bands are so involved in their project that they can’t see it from the outside, so they need someone with a different point of view to find their story then pitch it to the media. That’s easier said than done though. PR is all about contacts. Anyone can find an email and send a music link, but is a music writer more likely to open an email from a stranger or someone they have a relationship with and have worked with several times in the past? That’s where my role comes in to play!
LM: That is so true. We receive a ton of emails daily and it can be daunting to sort through them all. PR is a very personal thing as well. How do you go about choosing who you represent?
AB: For me, it’s about asking myself a few different questions:
Would I listen to this music on my day off? Do I get a good vibe from this person that I think we will have a successful working relationship? Do I think the contacts I have would write about this artist or band?
It’s important to me that an artist feels like I am part of their team and that I’m worth what they are paying me. Some people have really unreasonable expectations, for example – they want a review in Rolling Stone, but have never released a single or have no fan base – so I need to evaluate their expectations to make sure we are on the same page. Ultimately, I want to make sure that I can do a good job and if I feel like it isn’t a good fit, I won’t take on the project.
LM: What was it like the first day on the job trying to sign that first artist?
AB: I was lucky enough to go to a music school where I knew a lot of bands and artists who trusted Hunter [Scott], LaFamos’s Head of Marketing, and me. They knew we were trying to get our careers off of the ground just like them. So a few friends took a chance on us and we ultimately proved ourselves. From there, our roster grew through word of mouth referrals and the occasional live show where I’d introduce myself to a band I liked and see if we could work together.
LM: I guess it really is about who you know! What would you like people to know about representing an artist or band’s public image?
AB: It’s not as easy as it sounds. You have to make sure everything you do, every press opportunity you take, every brand you endorse, etc. is cohesive with your public image. Sometimes we will get a fantastic press request that we have to turn down because it doesn’t fit with the artist’s brand. You also don’t want the artist’s
brand to stray too far away from who they are at heart. If you are a total fake, the fans will figure it out eventually.
LM: There have to be some fantastic perks. Please share a few!
AB: There are definitely a lot of perks! Getting to go to lots of concerts for free is a definite plus. Meeting new people and traveling new places is great as well. I also love that I get to be a part of the whole process before a single or album is released. I get to hear the earliest demos and then see how they evolve. Another thing I love is knowing the meaning behind why a song is written or the story behind the lyrics. Lots of bands don’t like to share that with the press because they want their listeners to connect with a song in their own way, but I often know the real story.
LM: So cool! Thank you again for taking the time. We really appreciate it!
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