This week the Musicvein Advice Series swings by the offices of Purple Reign PR for a quick chat with owner Monique Pennie.
Established in 2009 Purple Reign PR based in South East London, started off small but has quickly grown in status as a company that gets results. Working with a wealth of clients across the UK, Europe and USA, they focus on maximising their clients PR opportunities in all mediums of the media through branding, promoting and positioning.
“Here at Purple Reign PR our ethos is to work with integrity, passion and a sense of purpose to empower others in accomplishing their goals.” Says Monique “We think creatively and strategically and we’re dedicated to all of our clients both nationally and internationally.”
Musicvein: What are some of the benefits to artists in hiring a PR company?
Purple Reign PR: Having a PR person as part of your team is very beneficial. Often we have breakthroughs in areas where artists have met blockages as our industry peers respond better to us (PR reps). As an artist, a PR firms contacts book can be an artist’s best friend, by proxy of course, as the PR person will know the right people to get your material to/in front of that can and will give them the right and needed exposure. It also allows the artist to feel more supported. If your PR person/firm is proactive, they will remove some of the pressure from the artist in regards to getting the material reviewed, air play, sourcing gigs, liaising with venues for gigs and launches – thus allowing them to simply concentrate on being an artist i.e. song writing, studio time, rehearsing etc.
Musicvein: What advice would you give to artists looking for a company to work on a campaign?
- Pick a company that works with your genre of music. Seems an obvious one but Thursday afternoon listening sessions at Purple Reign PR offices have thrown up some major surprises!
- Be prepared to put in the work required as we the PR company can only do ‘so much.’ You the artist must invest just as much.
- Communicate, Communicate oh and…Communicate! Artists – keep your PR person in the loop. If things change, develop, you’re running late, sick or your cat has died, whatever, ALWAYS inform your PR person – especially if any or all of the aforementioned happens while you’re on route to an interview your PR person has organised for you. If you’re late (and not called ahead) or worse still don’t turn up – it makes the PR person look bad/unprofessional.
- Have realistic expectations
Musicvein: What made you choose PR as a Career?
Purple Reign PR: PR seems so natural to me. I’ve always worked in and around the ‘field’. I’ve worked as a Press Officer, Marketing Exec, Marketing and Communications Officer, Publicity and Advertising Co-ordinator. All have elements of PR within them, so I suppose its no surprise that I do what I do now.
Musicvein: What are the Pro’s and Con’s of what you do?
Purple Reign PR: Pro’s – there are many! As a Publicist in Music PR it is very rewarding to see your clients flourish and grow. Particularly if they’re a young emerging artist. Similarly, it brings just as big a smile to my face when I see one of my more ‘established’ artists doing very well, from embarking on their first tour, gaining great reviews from music sites – especially Musicvein, to climbing the charts – you name it!
Cons – hmmm, much like Eric Roberson, I’m a music fan first, so listening to music brings me immense pleasure, BUT! as part of my job I get sent A LOT of music by artists for me to consider them as a client. That’s when I have to put my Work/Critique ears on and it can sometimes remove that element of fun. Another Con, is you have to attend quite a few events, gigs, open mics etc, so some weeks I’m out after work every other night. Couple that with the fact that I love to go to concerts as there’s nothing like experiencing music live – it can all start to feel like work. Sometimes I have to make a point of saying to myself; “Tonight is fun NOT work, Switch your ears to Enjoy.”
Musicvein: What qualifications do you think a person would need to pursue a career in PR?
Purple Reign PR: Media, Communications , PR and Journalism
Musicvein: What personal characteristics would they also need to have?
Purple Reign PR:
- Very good interpersonal skills
- Great communication skills
- Trustworthiness. Your clients often open up to you about things
- The ability to say ‘No’ when needs be
- Self motivation
- Be able to work independently and within a team
- Be able to meet deadlines
- Be able to multi-task
Musicvein: Finally any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share?
Purple Reign PR: Network. Be nice to people as paths will always cross. Be humble and gracious – remember your ‘Please and Thank You’s’ and finally, I’d like to share one of my favorite quotes; ‘Where one cannot Compete, One must Aspire.’
Next week Lawyers, Martine Alan and Elliot Chalmers give their advice on Music Law.
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