Michaelis, Small, and Marvin created the first public relations agency – the Publicity Bureau in Boston in the early years of the 20th century. Ivy Ledbetter Lee was the father of public relations and formed the nation’s third public relations firm in 1904. The rest is history.
Publicity for today’s creative artist comes in all forms and is found wherever it can be seen and/or heard. Of course, you have to have the solid knowledge of your area of expertise and be able to offer a desired service. If you are serious about your art form, let the public gain insight into who you are and what your work is about whether it is through television news, commercials, online and/or hard copy magazines, social and business Websites, blogs, and the like. I’ve done TV interviews, been a talk show guest, newspaper interviews, magazine interviews, and conducted on televised concerts in the US, Canada, and Europe.
My journey started late in terms of media composer, but it has not hindered me in the least bit. It has been a challenge at times, however, that was due in part to my speed at learning my way around and thinking more as an agent would think; in other words, putting on a different “hat” other than the “hat” of a composer. Everyone’s efforts, everyone’s journey should always be ongoing.
For those that would like to see more of my methods of gaining publicity, I’ve attached a few links. I hope that you will follow each of those links, and let me know what you think. There are many different ways to gain publicity in a positive way. Maybe you have better ideas that you would like to share. The learning should never stop. Thanks for visiting and let me know what you think are the best ways to gain increased public exposure. Get going and enjoy the journey!
My business Website
My IMDb Website
My Facebook business page
My LinkedIn page
The following article covering one of my former music students, Deric Dickens, that was kind enough to mention me and I was happy to do an interview. You can also visit the Website.
As a composer (including my 34 years as a band director), I know what it is like to juggle schedules, teach music, music theory, critical listening, plan yearly budgets, adjust the spending, plan various types of trips, attend regional and national conventions, plan recording sessions, plan programs for concerts, and the list goes on and on and on. Frustration and sometimes the necessary 180 degree change of plans or change in the music composition/arrangement in order to deal with the unexpected can make life seem like its overwhelming.
All this also requires juggling with personal and social commitments, as well as family commitments and priorities. As my dad would remind me from time-to-time, it’s all about doing your best. He would say, “Have you done your best? Did you make your best effort? If the answer is yes, then no one can fault you. If you didn’t do your best, figure out what you need to do to get better and do it.”
One of my college band directors taught all of his students by his words and deeds using the most calm mannerisms I’ve ever been around. His mantra was, “Be kind to each other. It’s important.” Sometimes that may be difficult for you, but try to avoid negative reactions that can wreak havoc on your health and your personal and professional relationships. You may be surprised by the unexpected results that give you more positive feelings than you could ever realize.
Music people live in a world of continual learning, risk-taking, and riding on a roller coaster of highs and lows that are amplified by their self-expectation of perfection or attainment. Always do your best and try to enjoy the smiles from friends, colleagues, and associates when the effort or a plan produces positive results. Balance that with family as a priority and you will be a success. If you did your best, no one can fault you for any outcome. Ever.
As a composer, I believe it is important to pay attention to how different film directors think about and approach their craft, and ours. After all, we need to continually hone our collaborative skills since they are the focus for using our abilities successfully to serve and underscore the needs of the film, the TV show, or the video game.
For instance, I just spent last evening taking notes while once again reviewing the AFI Master Class where Spielberg and Williams discuss movie scenes that influenced their thinking and their collaborative process. My 34 years of teaching instrumental music, arranging and composing music, rewriting musical sections because they were too difficult or did not keep an audience focused, has everything to do with this business AND nothing to do with this business. In other words, I am still learning and making an effort to understand past the obvious. I’ve always truly believed that learning is a non-stop process; a continuous journey.
When I can, I prefer to learn from those that have already had success in this business. They have already forged ahead and are a wealth of knowledge and experiences. I have also discovered in my brief time of pursuing this path of composing for media that many within the category of experienced and proven directors and composers are more than willing to share their thoughts if the timing is correct for them. I would say to those just starting out to 1) zip the lips, 2) always be ready with your mind, 3) listen with empathy and deep interest, and 4) for Pete’s sake take good notes, 5) ask questions when the opportunity presents itself, and 6) be sincere as well as gracious with your compliments for their opinions and their time.
The attached Francis Ford Coppola interview presents his interesting perspective on the cinema. Some of the highlights include:
1) “If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before?”
2) “Try to disconnect the idea of cinema with the idea of making a living and money. You have to remember that it’s only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money.”
3) “When you make a movie, always discover what the theme of the movie is in one or two words.” (His explanation of why is quite interesting.)
4) “Napoleon once said, ‘Use the weapons at hand,’ and this is what a film director has to do everyday.”
5) Coppola discusses his idea from theatre and his use of a prompt book for his ideas.
6) When asked what the best piece of advice that he’s given to his children he said, “Always make your work personal. And, you never have to lie… It is very important for an artist not to lie, and most important is not to lie to yourself.” He also discusses how to handle questions in work or in life when you would prefer to lie.
7) What’s the biggest barrier to being an artist? Coppola answers, “Self-confidence always. The artist always battles his own/her own feeling of inadequacy.”