One of our artists, a wonderful entertainer, called me a while back and proceeded to ask me: “Hey G, is it okay if I don’t do PR?” I almost said yes, but I said: “Hell no, why would you ask me that?” This got me to thinking why any musician would ask such a question. Well… because the term ‘PR’ sucks.
So what is “PR” anyway?
It sounds like such a chore. So mechanical. A “PR Manager”… what is that exactly? When we were performing in the Philippines there was a stunningly beautiful American Filipina girl doing PR with a nametag that said “PR Manager”.
As soon as she spoke to you, you felt that she was smiling with you and buying you a drink because, well, she was the PR Manager and that was what she was supposed to do in the first place. People felt she was being insincere because of the title, eventually, the managers got it and removed the dumb nametag.
What do people want from you?
The artist’s question kept on nagging me so I called a meeting with a bunch of our bands and asked: “Please tell me what happens when you approach customers to do PR? What do people want from you? What do they actually say?”.
One musician said: “Well, usually they say “Hey, you guys are great, I love your band”. A female singer said: “They tell me I’m beautiful and they love my voice”. Another said: “They ask me if I want a drink and some of them welcome us to their country and hope that we enjoy their culture”. Suddenly, everyone looked at each other and felt almost arrogant and realized how blessed we truly are as artists.
This music thing cannot happen without people!
The fact is that as musicians/artists we are blessed, but this music thing cannot happen without people. It is 100% a people business. The product (band) is people. The customers are people. You make music with people and you play for people. Without people, you have no job.
The next time you walk on stage, remember when you were in the audience watching your favorite band and how you looked at them in awe and with respect. We all have had this moment as musicians, as people… Don’t forget to look at your audience straight in the eyes and say: “Ladies and gentlemen, you could have been anywhere tonight but you chose to spend your precious time with us. Thank you for being here. We truly appreciate it and we’ll give you our best show and make your time worthwhile”. Say it with all your heart.
As soon as the show is done go into the audience even before you dry yourself off and give them the biggest smile. Meet them as human beings with lives and families. Don’t shake hands robotically. People know when someone is just going through the motions. We owe them that much because we are them. It’s not PR, it’s music and humanity at its best.
Thank you for reading. It’s good to be el-live.