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What Is Publicity?

Jana La Sorte By

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This is the second in a new series for All About Jazz. The goal is to assist independent artists primarily in understanding how the media works and how best to work with the media to achieve the desired result: coverage! Please let me know if these columns prove to be helpful and if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover.

  • Publicity is a subset of PR.
  • Publicity is the only PR tactic that relays information to a "gatekeeper" audience -the media -in order to get to the larger audience: the public.
  • The direct audience for publicity is the media most important to the client's objectives.
  • A person who works in publicity is called a publicist.
  • A publicist in jazz usually works with a record label, an artist or an organization to get their information to the media that covers jazz: reviewers, critics, writers, radio programmers, television producers, internet editors, etc.
  • Record labels often have staff publicists who hire independent publicists to focus on specific artists and CDs, because there is too much work for the label's publicist.
  • Independent publicists -like myself -are consultants to the label, artist or organization for agreed-upon periods of time and money.
  • Whoever hires -and pays -the independent publicist is the direct client.
  • The publicist's goal is to get the client's information to the media in order to obtain coverage for the client and its CD, show, event, etc.
  • "Coverage" for jazz can mean a CD review, a show review or preview, an interview feature story, a radio interview, a TV appearance, etc.


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