By: Courtney Fogle (@courtnxyfogle)
Ryan Romana, founder and president of Press Junkie PR, was kind enough to speak with me for this episode of PR Hangover. He started Press Junkie in 2009 after working for years in the music industry at record labels and other music related companies. His team is small, just three hard working individuals that represent numerous clients and work with the media. Check out their team and find Press Junkie PR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Working with Artists
The first step when working with an artist is to get their bio, press photos, any artwork they’ve had done, and past press clips. They find out if they have a management team or a label. Next, they try to get an angle on the artist. They introduce a creative, artsy narrative that is more interesting to the press. Their press releases are less AP style and more creative, reflecting these narratives.
Ryan makes sure he connects with his potential clients’ music. He says the magic of the music industry is that an artist might look and sound just like Adele and have the same marketing plan, but they don’t resonate with the media and public. Sometimes it takes two or three albums for an artist to receive their recognition.
The brand, image, and look are helpful. Visual representations such as album artwork and music videos that are unique help get the artist more media recognition.
One of Press Junkie PR’s main focuses for their clients is media relations. They work with mainstream publications, drafting narratives about their artists in a way that interests a specific beat. Building relationships with the media is crucial. Press Junkie PR does research on media outlets and certain journalists in order to determine who would be interested in a specific story about their artists. Instead of sending a bulk email and wasting journalists’ time, they develop trustworthy and mutually beneficial relationships.
Press Junkie PR works with many international artists, some of which he mentions are from places like Cuba, Africa, and Peru. “You can shift media’s attention based on what’s going on currently in the news,” Ryan says. He gives the example of one of his artists being addressed by the media after he spoke about immigration in his album. Since immigration was currently hot in the press, they were highly interested in his narrative.
Record Labels vs. Independent Artists
When working with a record company, PR professionals can benefit from the help of booking agents, promoters, managers, and more. Ryan says that if you don’t utilize your resources and work with a team, you can’t really capitalize off the PR momentum.
However, Ryan feels that major record labels are a little more difficult to communicate with. “There are more hoops we have to jump through to get approvals,” he says, such as legal, copyright, and more.
On the Independent side, if the artist has never worked with the press or publicists, PR professionals have to do more explaining to help them understand exactly what they need.
One of the most rewarding parts of Ryan’s career is helping artists get to the level they want to be. For example, this year out of a total of five Reggae Grammy nominees, Press Junkie PR had three. “At the end of the day it’s about making sure the campaign delivers for the artist and hopefully takes them to the next level,” he says.
To listen to this PR Hangover episode, click here!
Courtney Fogle is a junior studying Advertising and Public Relations. She is currently the Podcast Director for PRSSA and an account associate at GrandPR. Courtney is a singer-songwriter, with hopes to combine her love of music and PR so that she can work in the music industry managing artists and their brands. In her free time, you can find her listening to music or taking pictures of her cat, Oliver.