I was pondering the significance of public relations recently and was trying to discover how it can be useful to those who aren’t actual practitioners.
Formerly, it seemed to me PR had been given a banner that said only sophisticated and social media savvy companies can use it beneficially. But when I really got to thinking about it, I have used D.I.Y. PR before efficiently without the help of a company and without even realizing it.
I’ve played in multiple rock bands over the years…well, more like super weird, hipster Indie bands that used too many sentimental lyrics. While playing in those bands, I played at least a hundred or more shows. Playing those shows took planning and networking. I even had a list close to four pages long with the contact information of local venues, promoters and other bands. I would contact promotional agencies on a regular basis and conduct correspondence with them via email in order to get us put on bills.
I was also constantly promoting shows and festivals we were scheduled to play through the use of social media, flyers and merchandise. But those flyers didn’t create themselves out of thin air. I had to network, again, with designers who understood the art of promotional material. Luckily, I became friends with some great artists who ended up doing the artwork and layout for the majority of our flyers (both digital and print) for free. The same goes for the artwork on the merchandise we sold.
I planned photo shoots for our album covers and Facebook cover photos. I set up schedules for recording our music at local recording studios. I oversaw the making of sketchy, shoddy promotional videos that we posted all over Facebook in order to get laughs from people to lure them into listening to our music. I took care of budgeting the money we made off of shows and merchandise sales, and invested it into more photo shoots, recording and merchandise production. I even ventured through local downtowns and cities networking with people in coffee shops and on the streets, giving pitches about my bands’ music and trying to sell tickets.
When I really started thinking about PR and how it is useful to the average person, I realized I myself acted as a DIY PR practitioner for a long time without even realizing it, and you probably have too in your own little way.