Industry Insider: On The Map PR
We brought in the big guns to help out our budding musos for the latest One76 Industry Insider. We asked Emily Chueng from On The Map PR for her insider info on how to build hype before releasing a new track, and why it’s so important if you want to be heard in 2021.
How to build hype before releasing a new track: Why it’s so important in the music industry
1. Why should you build hype before releasing a track?
It’s so important to build a buzz for a song pre-release to give the track its best chance of life once it’s out. The more people you have chatting about your song, the more interest there is out there for media to jump on and support you, and general word of mouth will snowball from there.
We’re big believers in setting up track and video premieres to land before a song is released, this gives us as publicists a strong foundation to then be able to pitch to other media. Our approach usually is … “oh Rolling Stone premiered this track from these guys, you don’t know who they are? Everyone else does, jump on board, it’s not too late”
2. What are the best ways to build hype?
• Set up strong premieres. Since premiere content will always get shared on socials (as it offers a first listen for fans) it’s safe for them to assume there will be a bunch of new people jumping on their site to stream/watch the new track or vid. Usually with a more dedicated fan-base who will likely listen/watch the whole way through. Even if it is just friends/family etc tuning in, it will still give them the ‘time spent listening’ and also gives them an opportunity to reach a possible new regular reader to their zine.
• Activate socials and begin teasing the release at least 4 weeks in advance.
• If you have any muso pals, get them to assist in building the hype by asking them to tease your new tunes also.
• Have you got an e-newsletter? Def start collecting email addresses the old-school way and start engaging with your fans via EDMs. There’ll never be any withholding of mail if you’re able to email direct, unlike social platforms where you’ll have to pay to reach your own audience!
3. What are some tips for getting playlisted on Spotify?
Utilise your Spotify for Artists platform effectively – don’t rush the setup and ensure you are selecting the right genres for your music.
4. Why are pre-saves important? And what are your recommendations for getting more without coming across as desperate?
Pre-saves are particularly important if you’re hoping to chart. All pre-saves will count towards the chart the week your release lands. It’s not as hard to chart top 10 as it used to, so even indies can work hard at nailing a solid pre-save campaign, and a chart on release will mean your PR and team will be able to build an even bigger hype for you – the story might then become “Rolling Stone had this to say and the charts backed it up with the song landing in the Top 10 on release”.
5. Should you hire a PR company before a big release? What should you expect to get out of it?
When you have enough momentum out there for your songs and you’re armed with strong releases but feel the biggest roadblock is not being able to reach a large audience, you’ll know you’re ready to engage in PR. PR is the pursuit of media exposure, engaging a publicist is about hiring someone to utilise their media relationships in order to make sure your song gets heard by the right media.
The plight of an indie musician is all about cutting through the noise – how do you get media to press play on your song when they have 100 other songs from unknown acts sitting in their inbox? You employ a publicist with a roster that is relevant to you, as their relationships should ensure the song gets heard and then the song needs to do the talking from there… and if the song fits with the other acts they’re working, media will know roughly what to expect before they press play and the PR can also use their roster as leverage to help get your music away.
6. What should you avoid doing before the big release?
• Don’t share all your new press images too early, you need to save new content for media to run on release.
• Don’t go overboard with the SELL on your socials posts. Your audience is following you for a reason, so they likely don’t want you to all of a sudden only talk about your new single and ten times a day. They still want to see your other more consistent posts as well. We suggest you follow an artist with a bigger audience than you and see how they work their socials into a release.
• Make sure you’re aware of the deadlines and timelines going into a release. Songs can’t be ingested onto digital streaming platforms in a day, and videos always take longer than anyone anticipates, the videographers included, so allow a week of grace to ensure you’re not all pulling all-nighters for 3 days to try and get it completed in time for the premiere.
For more music insights check out our 5 Tips for Producing a Solid Track by the man himself, Codie Latour. Or if you’re looking for some pointers on getting booked, check out our must-have EPK guide for fresh musos.
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