The Mitch Schneider Organization (MSO) is one of the world’s premier public relations firms. The MSO roster is eclectic and encompassing. It includes various styles and genres, superstars, musical legends, festivals, award shows and emerging artists. That diversity enables MSO to obtain coverage in multiple outlets and mediums, from underground to mainstream.
How has public relations changed in the new music business?
Everything changes all the time. This is not a business that remains the same for long. Now, it’s more than simply getting press coverage. You still need press and publicity, but it also includes branding, marketing and social media aspects.
How do you deal with those additional responsibilities?
Our responsibility hasn’t changed that much. Most of the time, management and artists rely on us to sell out shows. We use a lot of different marketing techniques to do that––interviews, TV appearances, email blasts, social platforms and press.
How has the Internet affected your job?
It has become a big target. We used to take out ads in publications. Now, we not only do that, we also have to be Internet savvy and utilize blogs, playlists and social media to reach as many fans as possible.
How do you establish a brand for an act?
It’s about building a story. It’s not always about the music––it could be about the artist’s life. When we represented Matchbox 20, we set up interviews for Rob Thomas so he could talk about his life. He was actually homeless for a while. That was the pitch that helped to brand him as someone who could overcome adversity.
How does branding get attention?
Artists are competing against millions of other artists, and they need to stand out. It could be their life story, their lyrics, their message. You need to dig in to find what inspired them, what their message is and what triggered it.
There is so much music being released. How can artists break through all the noise?
There are several ways. Make it exclusive, with private links. Put out a clever “lyric video” that helps to establish your brand. Don’t do it all at once––set up times when and where you are releasing it. It’s a process that brings people to your material.
Can artists do it themselves?
They can, but it takes a lot longer. A PR company can get attention quicker. We have the relationships and the connections. With the right amount of lead time (two to three months) we can make a difference.
How do you work with management?
Often, we act like a manager because some acts don’t have a manager. We’re seeing more and more of that nowadays. When they do have management, we strategize and suggest ideas that would generate the attention they need.
What ultimately brings attention to an
In this era, media gravitates to artists who have already been validated by other outlets. You need reviews, interviews, playlists and social media all working together. You have to be consistent across all platforms to establish a strong brand.
If you were an artist today, what would
I would do a clever “lyric” video. Visuals are very important. Image is the attraction, sometimes more than the music. Everyone wants to see a video now. •