Publicity in the Digital Era
Everyone's aware the music biz is undergoing a paradigm shift at the hands of advancing technology, but how has this specifically changed music PR? What is the impact of music blogs and online media? How many blog posts does it take to equal a national magazine cover? Does online buzz convert to album sales? And when did everyone switch to indie publicists?
Dev Sherlock is a member of the elite team at Hype Machine, one of the world’s most influential music sites, where he works with artists, labels, bloggers and, of course, publicists. A defector from traditional media, he is a former magazine editor and journalist, published in Rolling Stone, Q, Billboard, NME, Musician, Guitar Player, Time Out, Details and The Rolling Stone Album Guide. He was also a Talent Relations exec and Producer for Clear Channel Radio.
Lucy Robinson is a publicist at the label group Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian based in Bloomington, IN.
She represents many high-profile bands including Black Mountain, The Tallest Man On Earth, John Vanderslice, Moonface, Gauntlet Hair, Lia Ices, and Damien Jurado. She has worked on the publicity team for Grammy Award Winning artist Bon Iver since 2007.
Hard work and passion are the cornerstones of Life Or Death. This full-service public relations, marketing and management firm is built on a simple principle: there is no middle ground in promoting music: it’s all or nothing, life or death. We don’t watch the clock while we’re working, we look at the long game. From celebrity seeding to TV opportunities, print placement to web infiltration, all that we do is based on building careers, not cashing out. We don’t put our faith in formulas. We believe in friendship, collaboration, transparency and accountability. At Life Or Death, every artist is family.
Heathcliff Berru founded Life or Death as an alternative to assembly-line style PR. He was tired of being handcuffed to a desk, of chasing big budgets and being distanced from clients. A Chicago native, he’d cut his teeth in grassroots show promotion before entering PR, then followed work to New York. There, he was virtually homeless, sleeping at the office or on the train while devoting every waking minute to press campaigns. By 2008, when Berru started his own company in Los Angeles, he’d earned its name. Today, Life Or Death has offices in L.A. and Brooklyn and is rounded out by Graeme Flegenheimer, Nick Dierl, Duncan Will and Stephanie Weiss — all young, full of fire and willing to risk all for the good grind.
Matt Hanks is a Vice President at Shore Fire Media in Brooklyn, NY. Some of his current and recent clients include Bon Iver, Neko Case, Nick Lowe, The National, St. Vincent, and Mavis Staples
Daniel Gill founded Force Field PR in Los Angeles in 2006 and officially launched the company at SXSW that year. Force Field PR is a boutique indie publicity firm focused on breaking new bands. Current clients include Real Estate, Yuck, Ariel Pink, Youth Lagoon, Toro Y Moi, Panda Bear, Frankie Rose, Dan Deacon, Mount Eerie, Neon Indian, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Vivian Girls, Lord Huron, The Fresh & Onlys, Woods & more. In the past, Gill has also played an important role in establishing the careers of Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Beach House, Tune-Yards, Dirty Projectors, YACHT, Deer Tick, Smith Westerns, Blitzen Trapper, Patrick Wolf, Bowerbirds, The Books, Portugal. The Man, and many more. He's also had the great pleasure of working with luminaries such as Daniel Johnston, Will Oldham, Sebadoh and Negativland.