Frequently, when we interview a potential new client, they ask “How will I know if the campaign is a success?”


That’s a question with any number of potential answers that depends on how the goal is defined at the beginning of the campaign.  Every campaign has its own goal: you might want to garner lots of CD reviews, or get tour press, or build a local following, or get a buzz going nationally.  There is no wrong answer to that because it’s based on want you individually want to accomplish.


Measuring the degree of success is not always something you can calculate.  A respectable number of media placements may be great but if pumped up CD sales don’t follow, you may feel the campaign was not successful.  But hold on – you’re not looking at the bigger picture.  By getting your name out there, you’ve built a foundation and people have learned your name and discovered who you are.  Next time they hear about you (i.e.: a DJ talks about you on the air, they see an ad for your next concert), your name will light a spark of recognition.  “Oh yeah, that sounds familiar…” they might think, and once someone has heard or read about you, they will sense recognition and be more likely to pay  attention to the information. Perception is half the battle.  If a potential fan knows your name/name of your band, you’re already miles ahead of all the other new bands trying to break into the public’s consciousness.  Score one for you!


Another measure of success is getting people in the media – writers, bloggers, editors, etc. – aware of the simple fact that you exist.  You’ve planted in their minds the seed of knowing who you are by virtue of the fact that they have been contacted by your publicist, sent a press release or two about your activities, serviced with a copy of your bio and CD (physical or digital) and had the chance to view your interaction with your fans via social media.  They may not write about you at that time but they have become aware of your existence and may provide coverage next time around.


Sheer quantity is not always the key to success.  Some campaigns might benefit more from placements in a select few media outlets that are “on target” with your goal.  For example, CD reviews in 25 local papers might be great but if you’re touring the North East and all that coverage is from West Coast papers, your potential ticket buyers won’t be alerted that you’re coming to their town.  Better to have a few interviews with outlets along the tour route heralding your arrival.


The name of the game is repetition, repetition, repetition for fans as well as journalists.  You want to make sure that you’re sending them only valuable/relevant content to keep your name in the forefront of their mind, but not so much that they feel inundated with irrelevant information.


Of course, a cover on Rolling Stone may be worth more than 100 blogs, but be realistic: are you really yet at that level?  Placement in 100 blogs is useful to create a buzz which ripples through the media and captures the interest of writers who want to know “What’s all the fuss about?”  That leads them to looking you up presumably online and seeing all the coverage you’ve accumulated up to that point.  That’s how the PR building blocks work.


In the end, your campaign will be considered successful if it brought your name in front of a myriad of people not previously familiar with you, and opened the door for you to move up to the next level.  Now that’s success!


ISL Public Relations is a top music PR firm based in NYC with more than 30 years experience in the industry.  For more information about our services, visit and make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter