Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

October 11, 2007

Me in E! Online (or Bob and Britney, Together Again)

As Ariel Hyatt and I discuss in our Indie Music Publicity Bootcamp, effective PR is not just being proactive about contacting the media. It's also being ready and responding quickly when the media contacts YOU.

Such was the case yesterday when I got an unexpected voice mail from a reporter for E! Online doing a story on -- of all people -- Britney Spears.

Apparently, Jive Records is moving the release of her new album up two weeks. The reporter wanted opinions on the release date shuffle from two "experts." She found me while doing a Google search online.

You can bet I was surprised as anyone to be asked to comment on the troubled pop princess, especially after spending years building a reputation as the "indie" music marketing guy.

But here was an opportunity for exposure on a well-read web site (albeit tabloid-esque) run by the same company that produces the E! Entertainment channel and the Style Network.

I had to act quickly. The reporter left just enough details on her voice mail to allow me to formulate some ideas before I called her back about 15 minutes after she left the message.

I decided to take a stand and deliver an opinion with a little edge to spice up the story. The conversation didn't last long. But before I hung up, I asked if she could identify me as the author of the Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook (my most widely known title).

Well, at the moment, "Britney's Label in a Hurry" is the lead story on the site's home page. Here's one of the quotes she used:

According to Baker, the problem is of Jive's own making. "To me," Baker said, "it seems like another pathetic ploy by the traditional music industry. It shows their desperation -- in the same way she was rushed into the VMAs."

The only other person quoted in the story was the director of charts at Billboard magazine, who took a more polite stance. And, sure enough, I was identified as "author of the Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook."

Lesson: By all means, be proactive and pursue media exposure. At the same time, be ready when it comes knocking on your door. And respond quickly with something the journalist can use.


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