Amanda Blide is the Director of Publicity at LaFamos PR, Branding & Social Media. She has over 10 years of experience with several prominent companies (The Firm, Atomic Music Group, Verona Management) as an artist manager, tour manager and publicist. LaFamos is a full-service company that serves the independent artist community, focusing on press coverage, lifestyle marketing and brand awareness.
Why is branding important?
When you establish a “brand” it sets you apart from everyone else. Today, artists need to stand out. If they don’t, they’ll be just like everyone else and get lost in all the noise other artists are making.
How do you find your brand?
It’s not always about the music. Many artists may be doing similar things musically. You should focus on your interests, what you’re into, what you stand for, and what you’re passionate about. That way you can relate to people in a more personal way, beyond the music.
Do you mean artists should build a personal storyline?
Absolutely. It should be something that relates to other people. Where did you grow up? What are your experiences? What challenges have you overcome? Why are you a musician? How did you become who you are today?
LaFamos specializes in “lifestyle” marketing. How does that contribute to a brand?
You need to find some connection with your audience. And sometimes that’s about your interests and things you care about. It could be fitness, health, rescue pets, or a certain cause or charity you are committed to. Those things will help establish your brand. The nice thing about lifestyle markets is that people support lifestyles by buying your music and merchandise.
What if an artist’s perspective is controversial?
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it could get you attention. A lot of musicians talk about politics. And while it could be divisive, it could also gain fans.
How important is image today?
It’s superimportant. Fans like to see visuals, i.e. photos and videos. We often work with photographers, stylists and creative consultants to create a signature look.
Your company also focuses on social
media. Why do you do that?
We have a dedicated division just for social media. It’s the fastest and easiest way to connect with fans. The problem is a lot of artists don’t know how to engage their fanbase. They consistently promote and hype everything they’re doing, and fans fall out.
You need to engage fans and treat them like friends, not a commodity. If you do it right, you can attract super-fans rather than casual fans.
How has this new approach affected the public relations profession?
PR used to be about pitching magazines and the press. Now, there are many more outlets, like blogs, playlists, streaming services, live video streams, websites and, of course, social platforms. You need to change and adapt to the times or you will be left behind. •