Published on February 18th, 2009 | by FuNkwoRm23
Lola Sims / Publicist: What is PR?
Lola Sims is a publicist from Atlanta and she loves what she does. I interviewed her because she plays a very important role in increasing awareness for artists.
For those who don’t know, what is PR? PR is basically Public Relations, which is the management or the overseeing of the information that is distributed to the public. This could be information on a company, brand, person, or in my case a music artist. As a PR, along with the clients input, decide how they are portrayed in public and better yet are their first line of defense when it comes to crisis management
What does a publicist do? Publicists are the liaison between the media and their client. Whenever you see Kanye West, Plies, or Beyonce on the cover of a magazine chances are they pitched them to that outlet which allowed them to get the cover. Now with bigger artist, who are more established, magazines are often the one’s to reach out first since that artist has a following and is able to help sell the media outlet to the consumer.
How long have you been in the business and what attracted you to this particular part of it?
I have been doing PR now for a little over 2 years. I first got started through a friend of mine Aaron Lucas who was at the time working for Slip N Slide. He had an artist named Deuce Poppi he needed a little help with and I was there for them even though at the time I was mainly doing freelance writing. Anyhow we started getting a lot of looks and placements and they gave me the go ahead to start helping with the other artist. It was big learning experience for me really. It also helped launch me on my PR path. What I didn’t know I looked up or sought examples of. I also ended up entertaining for a lot of the bigger publicist in Atlanta which only helped me sharpen my skills.
How important is your role in an artist’s career? Public Relations plays a very big role in the development and progression of an artists’ career. Publicists basically get the word out to the consumer through magazine, Internet, and broadcast placements. They create a sense of urgency and excitement around and artist that helps that artist reach new and old consumers. If its an independent it also helps catch the attention of major labels or company’s looking for artist to invest in.
Who have you worked with and do you only work in a particular genre of music? As I mentioned before, when I first started out I was working with an artist name Deuce Poppi who was signed to Slip N Slide in Miami. From there I went on to do small projects like bio’s and write ups for artist at CTE and Collipark Music, all while building up my connects and meeting new people. I pretty much stay in the Hip Hop genre but have been tapped to do R&B and Inspirational artist. I did well with the R&B artist who was later signed to a major record deal and I am still working on the Inspirational artist, which is a totally different avenue than what I am used too. So its all about adapting and learning new things.
What challenges, in your opinion, do independent artists face as it relates to getting themselves noticed?
I think some of the challenges that independent artists face is that they don’t know where to start, who to reach out to, or what to send. A lot of indie’s make the mistake of sending an editor or journalist every single song they have ever done all at one time, instead of sending an introductory short email and maybe a link to their music or myspace. They also have to start exercising patience and have tough skin when it comes to this music business. Everyone isn’t going to like their music and they have to realize that. Don’t get upset or down, just work harder and turn them into a fan. I can’t tell you how many artists that I have met that when I initially met them I wasn’t digging them. On the second or third time around I was genuinely a fan and saw potential that I hadn’t seen before. I say all this to say Independents need to learn how to work smarter not harder and keep in contact with the people they do meet and have impressed. That is really 9 tenths of the game, since everyone in the industry, media, and consumer are all looking for the next big thing you have to stay visible and in contact.
If someone is interested in your services, how can you be reached? I can be reached quite easily through email at LolaSims@gmail.com. All email correspondence goes straight through to my phone so I’ll definitely get the email and hit them back as soon as possible.
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