We had debated writing an article on this, but felt that it was important to do because if there is anyone out there who can benefit from things we have learned the hard way, it is worth it. While the names of the not-so-innocent have been withheld – the message is clear, so take heed.
We were contacted by a PR firm on the west coast via a social music site. This was their original email:
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: PitchFork Music Festival PR Inquiry
Date: 2014-07-07 23:17
From: The Not-so Innocent
To: Electrostatic Rhythm Pigs
I am trying to reach REDACTED. Not sure if this is a general band email but I had a chance to check out your Electrostatic Rhythm Pigs EPK
One of our music interns turned me on to your profile and forwarded it to me to check out. I’m not sure if anyone on our end may have contacted you yet about our PR Campaign and REDACTED series but I had a few questions that I was hoping to speak to you about.
First off all, I’m not sure if you currently have PR representation but I wanted to set up a conference call to discuss a PR Campaign we are offering new clients that includes a Press Release Campaign, a Two Week Social Media Campaign and a spot on our REDACTED MIxTape Series that will be distributed during Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this July. We have two spots still open on our Pitchfork Campaign this month in Chicago so if you are interested, we would need to speak with you this week.
The PR Campaign including the press release Campaign, Two Week Social Media Campaign and the spot on REDACTED is a flat fee of 295.00. Here’s an overview of it:
- A professionally written, approximately 600 word customized press release about your current music related news and artist happenings.
YES. They did do this.
- Automatic submission of your press release to over 7500 syndicated newswires, media outlets and music journalists.
NOPE. Never got this.
- 20 guaranteed online media placements of your press release in newspapers, blogs, magazines, etc with links provided.
NOPE. Never got this.
- A money back guarantee that your press release will be error free, published and with 20 verifiable guaranteed placements.
NOT REALLY – press release was error free but never got any kind of “verified placement”.
- A spot on our REDACTED. It will be distributed at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this upcoming July 2014. You will also receive download codes and cards that you can use to distribute to your fans at shows and online.
NOPE. If they did – we never got confirmation of it. Still to this day – cannot find where this supposedly is.
- A 14 day Social Media Campaign. You will be assigned a social media manager who will write, schedule and post compelling material on your networks including Facebook and Twitter.
NOPE. Never got this.
- Content posted by your Social Media Manger gets tracked and recorded in an easy-to-read report showing you how many retweets, comments and new followers your social content is getting. Also, so you know–REDACTED is not for sale. It is handed out as a free download card to festival goers. We will be handing out over 3500 download cards at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this upcoming July.
NOPE. Never saw any of this, or that it was ever done.
To give you an idea of the quality of press releases we produce and the media outlets where we often secure coverage in, you can check out these links:
REDACTED. Put it this way – we saw like two client testimonials. That should have been a red flag right there.
All of our work is results-driven with a money-back guarantee. Here are a couple of testimonials our music clients have recently given us:
I would love to discuss what your specific PR needs are and the details of this campaign, along with what song we would like to include on REDACTED. I can set up a time to call you to discuss it. Let me know if you have availability this upcoming week and the best number and time frame to reach you at.
Wishing You Success And Nothing Less!
1. ALWAYS get it in writing.
2. Even if you get it in writing, what will you do? Sue them for 295.00? You’d spend more in legal fees – scammers are smart in that regard – low fees mean a lot less likelihood of actually getting sued.
3. Verification of services should be offered at every step – you shouldn’t have to ask.
4. When you call like four times and don’t get a return call, it is probably a good indication that they are weasels, not serious PR providers.