While some publicists aim strictly for A-list clients, Olivia Dikambi doesn’t mind delivering her services to lesser known talent on the underground and independent scene. In fact, focusing on this niche market has afforded her with a list of more than 50 clients ranging from rock to hip-hop to eco-friendly products. Rolling out spoke with Dikambi of I AM PR Agency LLC about overcoming the difficulties inherent in promoting new talent, the importance of educating her clients on public relations and the right time to seek help from a publicist.
You focus on many independent and unsigned acts. What are the particular challenges in dealing with this population and how do you address them?
They usually spend most of their budget on recording gear and end up having very limited funds set for promotion. Also, they leave a very small window for promo. Sometimes, they contact the agency a month prior to their release date, or once they realize their project needs PR to make an impact in the marketplace. In order to address these challenges, I make it a habit to provide consultations to both clients and prospective clients.
In dealing with new artists much of what you do is about educating your clients about all facets of the industry. What are some of the key lessons you try to instill to help them ensure longevity in their careers?
I make it my mission to inform them that PR is a lifelong journey. They will need PR at all stages of their career, so it is important to build with a PR agency early on to be guided in the right direction. I inform them to master all the other areas of their business, including properly communicating their goals to their management as well as being the master of their brand.
When do you recommend an independent artist seek the help of PR professional? Must they have a product for sale or is a mixtape enough?
The independent artist should seek a publicist as soon as he or she decides to pursue music professionally and no longer as a hobby. The PR department is a huge asset to any team as we coordinate the branding messages. Nicki Minaj had a publicist early on in her career when she was running the underground music scene.
For more information, please visit: www.iampragency.com.