A Passion for PR: There’s a certain brilliant irony to the fact that the major sub-headline on the “about” page of Milestone Publicity reads, “We Live and Breathe Publicity.” When Founder/CEO Mike Gowen, who launched the full-service Nashville-based firm in January 2019, followed his love of music to the Musicians Institute’s Music Business Program, he didn’t even know PR was a thing.
Everything changed when Gowen took an internship at a public relations firm and realized the importance and impact a diverse, strategic PR campaign could have on an artist’s career. Throughout the next decade, working at several prominent firms in Los Angeles, he learned the ins and outs of the business, developing what he calls “different layers of experience” working with both icons and unknown indie artists in a multitude of genres. “From the beginning,” he says, “I learned that successful PR is about building and nurturing relationships. Once I got to the point where I had all the systems in place and was able to have clients perform on late night TV and appear on prominent magazine covers, I felt my experience and risk tolerance level were at a point where I felt I could launch my own firm.”
Clientele: Over the years, Gowen has worked with countless icons of all genres, including Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Andy Grammer, Billy Idol, Brian Setzer, Dada Life, Dream Theater, Dwight Yoakam, Godsmack, Heart, Jerry Douglas, John Fogerty, Kiefer Sutherland, LIVE, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones, System of a Down’s John Dolmayan, The Smashing Pumpkins, Tommy Emmanuel and Wynonna Judd. His current clients include Dave Stewart (inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year as Eurythmics co-founder), Lonestar, Gaby Moreno, independent pop/folk artist Theo Kandel, the music trailer company Ghostwriter, a Nirvana NFT series and Compass Music Group, among many others.
Milestone’s Mission: The firm is a blend of traditional big picture visionaries and modern-day PR specialists. Gowen and his team understand how to navigate the micro and macro media spaces that consist of blogs, podcasts, print publications and their online counterparts, radio, regional and national television with an unparalleled work ethic. Their focus is to effectively and impactfully tell their clients’ stories through secured media coverage and generate overall awareness. They do this by leveraging a combined 25 years of experience working closely with the entire media landscape, taking a nuanced approach to each genre and having a keen understanding of the art of the pitch and capturing widespread interest.
Cultivating PR Careers: Gowen chose not to name his company after himself because he felt it would create a ceiling where all its growth and development would be tied to him solely, rather than a culture where every publicist can thrive. In addition to helping artists, his goal with Milestone Publicity is to help the people next in line; giving young publicists a chance to launch and develop careers “so that those who work at Milestone can get to where I am now at a faster, more efficient pace. He plans to expand the company to include a Los Angeles office in the near future.
Contact Milestone Publicity, Jessica Bonner: [email protected]