Premiere PR Firm for 25-Plus Years: A 2019 quote in Music Connection about SRO PR’s enduring success and influence in the industry remains relevant, as the firm launched in 1995 by veteran rock journalist and publicist Mitch Schneider as MSO (Mitch Schneider Organization) closes in on its 30-year anniversary: “One of the world’s premiere public relations firms... (the) roster is eclectic and encompassing. It includes various styles and genres, superstars, musical legends, festivals, award shows and emerging artists. That diversity enables them to obtain coverage in multiple outlets and mediums, from underground to mainstream.”
Eclectic History: The company was rebranded to SRO PR that year to reflect the promotion to partner of Marcee Rondan, who joined Schneider’s previous company, Levine/Schneider PR, in 1989. Establishing itself as an indie powerhouse, SRO PR’s dynamic array of clients over the years includes David Bowie, Tom Petty, Janet Jackson, Rod Stewart, Soundgarden, and it has represented Ozzy Osbourne since the company’s earlier incarnation the late '80s. Schneider and his team did publicity for Coachella’s first dozen years and this past year was hired to work with Powertrip, Goldenvoice’s heavy metal festival that takes place on the Coachella grounds. With offices in Los Angeles, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego and Las Vegas—where Schneider relocated in 2020—SRO PR’s team of publicists includes Lyndie Wenner, Kelly Walsh, Andrea Faulk and Hillary Smoot, who was brought on board for her extensive Vegas-centric portfolio and to build the company’s presence there. Schneider is proud that in all incarnations, his company has been a female-strong company.
The More Things Change: Even as music consumption has morphed into digital and streaming and social media drives fan and artist interactions, Schneider says the goal for major acts (which he calls “the lottery tickets of PR”) remains the same—getting them on the network morning shows, “Saturday Night Live,” Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Rolling Stone, etc. Major guitar magazines are also highly coveted, as SRO PR’s recently scoring covers for Brian Setzer on Guitar Player and Vintage Guitar prove. “Legacy clients still want to get into print,” Schneider says. “There’s an expression I heard when I first got into the business: A cover is a cover is a cover. Print and TV remain supreme.” In the current environment, he and his team have to keep up with niche websites in country and hard rock, which have largely replaced major print magazines. For bigger names, podcasts like Marc Maron’s are a coup as well. For up-and-coming indie artists, a clever approach is necessary—like photoshopping Vegas alternative band Crashing Wayward’s debut album onto an image of the groundbreaking Sphere venue.
Lead Single Foreplay and Social Media Impact: Back in the day, PR firms like SRO would do campaigns around full albums as they dropped. These days, there has to be equal focus on getting attention for lead singles and video (aka “musical foreplay”) to keep fans engaged—especially for artists who are not major stars or going on tour. Often these artists will want a video premiere on a specific high-profile website. One of the other major changes is that artists used to hire publicists for a full year to see a project and tour through. Now, it’s more likely to be three to five months because once the project is out, some artists can coast on social media and keep fans entertained and updated there.
Contact SRO PR 818-266-9285