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Godwin Mitchual Talks About The Importance of Music Publicists in Africa

Godwin Mitchual, a young music entrepreneur, is part of a growing community of African music enthusiasts who are interested in elevating African music by educating musicians and music brands on the importance of the music business.

Currently residing in Accra, Ghana in West Africa, Godwin Mitchual is the Co-founder of Unorthodox Media, Music journalist and Editor for Unorthodox Reviews as well as a publicist at UR-PR, a reputable music PR agency in Africa.

Godwin was fascinated by the power of social media and how it could affect the public relations of individuals or brands at an early age. Now with his PR agency UR-PR, Godwin Mitchual helps manage the reputations of mainstream and not-so-mainstream musicians by controlling their narrative and getting them featured in reputable blogs and media outlets.

UR-PR also offers music distribution as one of its microservices. This helps musicians sell their music on digital streaming platforms like Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Audiomack and Boomplay as well as music marketing services including getting artistes featured in reputable blogs and securing editorial playlist placements for musicians. 

In the span of his career, Godwin Mitchual has had the pleasure of profiling major names in the music industry such as Seyi Shay, Efya, M.anifest, Cheque, Vis-A-Vis for publications such as Pan African Music and Unorthodox Reviews. 

1. In your own words, who is a music publicist? 

That’s a good question to kick things off. In simple terms, a music publicist is any individual in charge of managing and handling the public image of a musician or any music related brand. 

2. Should musicians work directly with their Publicists? 

Not necessarily. Musicians are natural creatives who can get so engrossed in their creative process. They wouldn’t want to be bothered so much with the business aspect of music. So what I would say is as long as they aren’t being misrepresented, music publicists can work hand in hand with the manager of the musician, booking agent or his/her lawyer.

3. What is the role of a music publicist? 

A music publicist’s job is to tell the story of a musician or brand in a way that can influence the public in order to make them want to become a fan, follow your journey and listen to your music. It takes many years to develop the relationships and media contacts necessary to be an effective music publicist.

-We Help You Build Your Brand:

The main job of a publicist is to work on and amplify the brand of the musician. A publicist helps you create an image and helps you deliver that image through all media channels be it your social media pages, your interviews with the press, and even into your live shows and tours. The clearer your brand is to the public, the more features your publicist is able to secure. 

-We Shape Your Story: 

Having good music is never enough. You definitely need a great story. It’s your publicist’s job to find that story. Finding a workable angle for a story is not always an easy task. Sometimes a song’s theme may be so obvious, other times it may be so vague so it will take some work to identify a theme to best push your music campagin.

-We Secure Placements in the Press:

We get artistes featured in media outlets like blogs and even print magazines. This helps spread the word of your brand, what you stand for and to make people aware of your music. We secure interviews, guest blogs and convince music journalists to review your music.

-We can help with pitching for Editorial Playlists:

A publicist can assist you in getting on the best editorial playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, Audiomack by pitching to the curators. 

4. What should musicians not expect from a publicist? 

* Music publicists do not perform miracles: Just because you are paying a publicist does not mean they should guarantee you placement on any blog of your choosing. I always tell my artistes that they have to create a story for their fans to follow. Even if you can afford to pay, an up-and-coming musician without any label backing them getting featured on Pitchfork or Billboard for their first song looks unreal to me. I believe you need to pitch your song to websites that like and write on the type of music you do and as time goes on, you can pitch it to bigger ones and then continue in that way.

* Music publicists do not manage artistes.

* Music publicists do not run social media ads on your behalf.

* Music publicists do not increase Instagram followers.

* Music publicists do not get you gigs.

What is the difference between Music marketing and Music public relations? 

For maximum results with a music release campaign, Music marketing ought to work in tandem with music PR but they are definitely not the same thing.

For music marketing, the main goal is to make sales and get an increase in numbers whiles music PR has to do with showing the world what you want to show the world. I say this because one does not necessarily have to show the world who they really are but how they would like to be perceived by the world. Public relations has a lot to do with the branding of the musician.

How Do you define Branding?

Branding is simply the first thing, which mostly can’t be explained in a single word, that comes to mind when you think of a musician, brand or organization. When it comes to branding in the music industry, people often mistake it with the clothes an artiste wears and maybe the color of their hair or choice of hairstyle. Branding can be those things but not necessarily. The truth is these days, almost everyone in the music industry dresses and looks the same. What makes people stand out is mostly a combination of things and not just one specific thing.

How much does music PR cost?

A lot of money! lol. It actually depends on a lot of factors like who the publicist is and how long the work would take. If it is going to be an ongoing monthly agreement, for an established publicist you can trust, it is fair to pay between $2500 to $3500. If it is a one-time project job, one should be willing to invest a minimum of $4500 and a maximum amount of $10,000 depending on how long the project will last, the inclusion of photography sessions, and how experienced and sought after the publicist is.

Follow Godwin Mitchual on Instagram to follow his journey.