How 4 Publicists Work Their Indie Acts

LAFAMOS PR & BRANDING
lafamos.com
Hunter Scott (Co-Founder/Head of Marketing & Publicity)
Indie Act: Smoke Season (smokeseason.com)

MarchFeature_SmokeSeason

This company’s specialty is working with indie acts. Founded in 2007, LaFamos is an entertainment PR and Branding firm with a commitment to helping creative professionals take advantage of today’s new digital era. Leading the PR effort is Hunter Scott. He recruited professionals who look at the industry as a creative network of individuals benefiting from each other’s contacts, ideas and inspirations. It is that type of creative thinking that makes their PR strategies successful.

Do you approach indie projects differently?
Every campaign is different. Different genres require different approaches and goals. You have to analyze the project to see its purpose. We like to start from the end––the ultimate goal––and work backwards to strategize and create a tailor-made campaign.

Who determines the goals?
It depends. It’s great when clients have specific goals, but sometimes they may not have any ideas. In that case, we would determine them.

How do you determine the right type of indie campaign for each act?
We make sure we understand the project and have new clients fill out a questionnaire that asks about their hobbies, interests, lifestyle, music, associations and goals. That way we get an insight into who they are and what they want. We then design a custom media plan and create a compelling story that will get them attention.

How did the your “case-study” client come to you?
Smoke Season came to us through word-of-mouth. They had no manager, agent or label. They wanted to attract industry: management, agents and labels. They believed in organic growth with a grass-roots approach.

Do you have a minimum commitment time?
We like to get a six-month commitment, as an initial period. Three months is minimum.

What was the focus of your campaign?
We wanted to make it apparent that Smoke Season had a fan base. So, we initially focused our efforts on local blogs and press and presented them as an up-and-coming, exciting indie act. Then we expanded coverage to tastemaker music sites like Pitchfork.

Did anything unusual happen during the campaign?
They played Sundance Film Festival and we did advance promotion for it that got great results. In fact, we discovered it was easier to get them coverage outside of major markets, like Los Angeles and New York.

What results did you achieve?
Smoke Season got a booking agent, played CMJ and signed a label development deal. Additionally, they garnered one million plays on Spotify and average 10,000 plays a week. So, they’re also making money.

What sort of accounting do you provide?
We limit ourselves to only 20 clients at a time, and report results immediately, sometimes several times a week. And, we always send out a monthly report.

How important is social media?
It’s a big part of all our campaigns. We even have a specific division (TrendSocial). That’s dedicated exclusively to social media. But if the focus is to get new fans, you have to realize that press (online and offline) attracts new fans—social media maintains them.

Is it easier if an act has management?
It can be. Half of our clients have management and/or label support. That can be helpful due to their connections and reach.

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