It happened again this week.
Two Publicity Hounds called and asked for my recommendation for a publicist. They expected me to rattle off a list of my top three choices, including contacting information.
As I stated in my ebook “How to Hire the Perfect Publicist,” I rarely if ever do that because I don’t know whether the most important element of hiring a publicist is there. That is, great chemistry between you and your publicist.
I was hanging around at Bill Stoller’s message board today and found an interesting response to a question on how to hire a publicist for a music company.
Pierce Mattie of Billboard magazine responded with a helpful comment:
“The best thing for you to do is to shop the music artists that your record label competes with that get good press. Then find out who their PR firm or publicists are and approach them. The best thing when shopping for a PR firm is to go brand to media, media to publicist. Find the recording labels in the music industry that get the best press, then source their PR contacts. I would also suggest you call Billboard Magazine, Spin and Rolling Stone and ask them who they get the best press materials from and who they love working with.”
I love that suggestion. If you try doing the same thing, don’t be surprised if busy journalists won’t take the time to talk to you. Multiple deadlines loom almost daily. But if you do find somebody eager to talk, pay attention. When I worked in the news business, I always knew who the best two or three PR people in town.
Tip: After chemistry, the second most important quality to look for in a publicist is a track record of successes. And don’t forget to ask for references.