A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay.
By Stacey Piggott.
Blow Your Own Trumpet – A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay is a book for self-managed artists, budding music managers and music industry students. It was written to dispel a few myths and provide a collection of tools to help the reader promote their own music or that of the band they are representing, without handing over cash to a third party. A book of ideas, guidelines, philosophies and stories telling the many pathways one can choose to create a media presence in Australia.
Blow Your Own Trumpet highlights what to look for and what to expect if you do decide the time has come to engage a third party to promote and service your music, and also includes advice from artists from different genres, at different levels, who outline what moves they have made to get where they are now.
Featuring stories from Henry Rollins, Vikki Thorn (The Waifs), Gareth Liddiard (The Drones), Ray Ahn (The Hard-Ons), Dan Sultan, Carlo Santone (Blue King Brown), Dan Williams (Art vs Science), Lucius Borich (Cog, Floating Me), Mia Dyson, Illy, Kieran Carroll (The Beautiful Few), Ash Grunwald, Stavros Yiannoukas (Bluejuice), Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring), Laughton Kora (Kora) and industry folk Matt Granfield (Memery Digital), Dom Alessio (Triple J), Matty Woo (manager of The Beautiful Girls), Dave Batty (manager of The Jezabels), Nick O’Byrne (AIR).
With fourteen years industry experience behind her and a small team at her side, publicist Stacey Piggott has been lucky enough to work with some of her all-time favourite local and international artists. She’s executed PR strategies for major awards events and charity shows, and run campaigns for some of the country’s most loved music festivals. Over the years she has developed an intense passion for original independent Australian music and the people who make it.
Running campaigns for artists like Cog, The Jezabels, The Drones, Mia Dyson, Bon Iver, Neil Finn’s Pajama Club, Henry Rollins, Ash Grunwald, Gareth Liddiard, Augie March, The Waifs, Blue King Brown, The Beautiful Girls, The Fearless Vampire Killers, festivals like The Falls Music and Arts Festivals, All Tomorrow’s Parties – I’ll Be Your Mirror, Sunset Sounds, and Coaster, as well as events such as Wave Aid and the ARIA Awards has given her a diverse range of situations to draw experiences from.
“My advice to bands who are starting out: don’t be a shit band! That’s a good start.” – Gareth Liddiard – The Drones
“People like me have to do every interview there is … I have always thought that keeping mystery around an artist is stupid…. We would call papers, magazines and weeklies, asking if they wanted promotional materials. We were our own press agent at that time. It’s not all that hard.” – Henry Rollins
“If you’ve never written a press release, now’s the time to start. It’s one of your main press tools and it helps you define where you are at in the moment. Check out other bands’ press releases, blogs and bios. Get a feel for the creative writing that resonates with you and don’t be afraid to just have a go.” – Carlo Santone, Blue King Brown
“The internet has been around my entire career. It’s a great, cheap/free way of getting in direct contact with your fans – or at least more directly – and it has helped me a lot in promoting what I’m up to. I think it’s vital for any act to stay on top of their online presence and maintain a fairly regular updating of it. It’s not hard and people really appreciate it. I pay much more attention to artists I like who have a lot to say than those you don’t hear from often.” – Illy
“My advice to anyone is to plan, plan, plan, and split up the work. Allocate tasks within the band to those members who are better suited to ‘pitching’ to various media, or enlist the help of friends you trust who are into the band and give them certain jobs to do.” – Stavros Yiannoukas, Bluejuice
“To get airplay we looked at radio stations and tried to focus on the presenters that played our style of music. Some presenters found us at festivals as well. Coming from Melbourne we listened to 3RRR and PBS, and we heard our songs played on those stations. They love their local acts and we were blown away when we heard our songs.” – Dan Sultan
“We needed someone who understands that we aren’t the type of band who needs or wants to be thrust in people’s faces. Not every band is the same; they all are after different things. We still need that quality in someone now, even as we are more advanced in our career.” – Mikey Young – Eddy Current Suppression Ring
Blow Your Own Trumpet – A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay is available now.