Telling a Compelling Story: Why You Need a Music Publicist

Kafilat Awotayo

December 21st, 2021

![]( Nigerian music already went around the world and back with Fela selling out some of the biggest stages globally – albeit with Afrobeat without the “s”. Today, artists like Wizkid, Davido, Ckay, Tiwa Savage, Rema, Fireboy, Burna Boy are pushing a new wave of Afrobeats from Nigeria to the world and the rise of a new renaissance sparks conversation on how these artists have positioned themselves for success and how every move, calculated or not, fits into the bigger picture. The music industry like every other creative industry is packed with talents trying to stand out and it has become increasingly evident that finding that path to success requires much more than talent alone. Artists are beginning to adopt strategic Public Relations (PR) systems around music promotion and their personal brands. They are beginning to understand PR as the engine to shape public perception and the importance of integrating Publicists into their teams to ensure the message accompanying the music is solid, relevant and resonates. The role of a publicist is to ensure information about the artist is spread throughout the public using paid or earned channels. The truth however is that people can see beyond the branding and the stories told to fit into a narrative. So, why then do artists need publicists? Although the digital age has created countless channels for streaming, expanding the reach and worldview of todays’ artists and as their art develops, they need professional support to help them grow. What integrating PR tactics in the mix does is help with spotlighting the artist, artists are able to benefit from a Publicist's ability to oversee, shape, and frame the “big-picture” while offering an informed perspective on how to communicate the artists’ activities. Artists need publicists to tell a compelling story. A story that is consistent, true to their journey; sparks interest or conversations, and ultimately position the artist in the spotlight. To achieve this seamless integration of PR activities, you must approach PR with a long term vision and while a publicist is not at the top most priority of a budding artist, it's important to note a publicist can skyrocket your career once it starts to take off. “You should like your publicist, and they should like you,” - Ariel Hyatt. The Publicist-Artist relationship is a unique one but one thing is clear, your Publicist needs to be in alignment with your vision, your short term, and long-term goals. Generally, publicists are hired on project basis but having one be an integral part of day-to-day operations helps with ensuring consistency in the tone and message of the artists’ brand. Artists need publicists to tell their stories and a great story, well told, has the potential to reach and influence readers to buy into an artists’ brand.

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