Here’s What a PR Checklist Looks Like for Established vs. Developing Bands (From a Music Publicist)


PR campaigns for established bands are obviously different, by nature, than PR campaigns for developing bands. Boiled down to base parts, bands with history have very different press kits, needs, and unique goals moving forward at specific stages in their careers. Bands that are just starting out and are launching their first PR campaigns don’t need to do much surveying of the landscape, nor do they need to spend a lot of time deciding what to do and what not to do; at this point, everything is and should be doable. Translation: Developing bands are not usually in the position to decline press opportunities or get precious about things.

Here’s a basic rundown of a PR checklist for an established band vs. the checklist for a developing band. Since you probably fall into the latter, this will break down how things work.

Established bands
These are the key things an established band and its publicity team or PR agent need to consider before the start of a fresh album campaign or cycle. These are the questions that the label, manager, and publicist discuss amongst themselves. Imagine it like a dialogue in a meeting.

Music protection
When do we service?
What watermarking methods should be enacted to protect digital music and to avoid potential loss of sales?
Should we do watermarked CDs?
Could we offer Haulix-only digital servicing?
Should we have the media come into the office and listen?
Can we create “listen once and destruct” private streams?
This discussion is critical.

Press targets
What press should the band do that’s “new”?
What press should the band stop doing, since it’s been done repeatedly already?
What are new targets that are realistic?
What’s the overarching goal for our press kit and press campaign on this cycle?
What ground haven’t we covered?
Should we keep doing what we’ve always done?


Servicing timeline
Who gets music first?
Which long leads will be serviced on the first run? Second run?
How close to release date will short leads be serviced?
Who’s on the “V-est” of the VIP list?
Content exclusivity
Who gets what?
What departments will get dibs on what content and when?
This has to be beneficial for band and for the outlet, in that order!


Will a radio campaign drive pitches for TV or touring?
How will that factor into PR?
How much will it help the ultimate goal?
Tour press
Which member(s) will do the tour press?
Can we spread requests around to avoid burnout from the singer (or whoever handles the bulk of press interviews) doing too many interviews?


Online press
What new outlets or angles can we explore here?
How can we maximize the band’s digital profile?
Should we write columns? Contributions? Guest blogs?
Should we target new lifestyle publications?
What’s fresh or what haven’t we done that we should do?
This is not all encompassing. But it does comprise all of the key questions and elements that need to be asked and considered.


By Amy Sciarretto