Then it’s all about strategically getting this information out to the world in a timely manner.
But just as the shoemakers children have no shoes, I’ve been so busy working on publicity for brilliant Universal Music artists that I haven’t taken the time to officially communicate my own exciting news.
After almost 10 years in the PR game, with the last four and a half immensely satisfying years as the Senior National Publicity Manager for classical, jazz and catalogue artists at Universal, the time has come to launch out and start my own PR business.
So here it is…
Bec Brown Communications provides a publicity, media training and events service.
You’ll find me planning, pitching and managing publicity and promotional plans, running media training sessions and coordinating fabulous events and launches for entertainment and lifestyle clients.
My job is simple;
I make sure that my clients are seen and that their voice is heard.
Of course, this also involves careful, strategic planning and utilising my great media contacts.
But thanks in part to my many years at Universal, my expertise goes beyond traditional PR. Let me give you a little background…
Unlike most publicity roles, incorporated into mine was that of Artist Relations Manager. This meant being the go-between person for the artists / their management and the media / the record company.
Every day, it was up to me to make each of my artists feel valued, respected, confident, organised and supported.
This was across a huge range of personalities.
I looked after established, international artists like Sting, Paul McCartney, Chris Isaak, Dolly Parton, Andre Rieu, Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, Rufus Wainwright, Annie Lennox, Tori Amos, Macy Gray, Jamie Cullum, Diana Krall and Chris Botti.
There have been some wonderful Australian artists who I’ve worked with too – Marcia Hines, Olivia Newton John, Judith Durham, Melinda Schneider, James Morrison, The Idea of North, Katie Noonan, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and David Hobson.
Then there are the incredibly talented artists who are just beginning to develop a name here in Australia – and who I just know you’re going to be hearing a lot about in the coming years – acts like Alfie Boe, Melody Gardot, Sarah McKenzie, Matt Dusk and Ben L’Oncle Soul.
On top of this, I also managed the publicity for the back catalogue albums for stars like The Rolling Stones, U2, INXS, Queen, The Who, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.
The one thing in common between all these artists and their management were that they each knew five things about me;
1. That I’d get them positive interviews and stories, placed in just the right media outlets
2. That they were always top of my mind whenever I was talking with media
3. That I’d be meticulous and thorough
4. That I’d always clearly communicate with them what was happening and how we were progressing
5. And that each day, no matter what was going on, I’d be enthusiastic and greet them with a calm smile
Combined with creative PR that gives maximum bang for buck, these are all attributes that I’ll now be delivering to my new clients.
The plan for Bec Brown Communications for the next six months is quite straight forward.
I’m sharing these now so that you know what’s going on, and also to reinforce in my mind what I’m working towards (plus, there’s nothing like a public declaration to get me motivated on those tough days!)
- I will only take on clients that I can personally devote the time to, so that I can ensure that their publicity campaigns are successful.
- I don’t need to take on ten staff and 100 clients this year – 2012 is all about working with less clients but giving them the focus and attention that they deserve.
- Once structures are in place, I may look to expand, but not before first establishing a brand that is renown for delivering results.
Due to some forward planning, I’m grateful that I have the luxury to be able to hand-pick the projects that I work on.
My media friends have also told me how grateful they are for this as they know that the stories that I bring to them will be well thought out, credible and relevant.
So in my first few months of business, I have the honour of working with five artists.
I’ve chosen these five artists because I truly believe in each one of them.
HOPE – an album of inspirational and uplifting music featuring Olivia Newton John, Tim Costello, Stan Walker, Mark Vincent, Anna-Maria La Spina, The Idea of North, Andrew Naylor and Annalisa Kerrigan. HOPE is available now with part proceeds going to World Vision, so pop those Easter egg wrappers in the bin and buy something that’s substantial and lasting instead.
Judith Durham – two gorgeous new albums are coming at the end of April from The Seekers’ frontwoman and our first ever “international pop princess” (she was Kylie Minogue before Kyles was even thought of). Titled ‘Australian Cities Suite’ and ‘Gift of Song’, these albums both evoke a new name I’m calling “contemporary nostalgia” (or “modern vintage”, I can’t quite decide).
Paulini – with her cheeky single ‘Fireman’ steaming up dancefloors and an international tour schedule, this ex-Australian Idol with the powerhouse voice will be releasing her next single very soon. She’s also now writing all her own material – talented much?
Ben L’Oncle Soul – I am in love with Ben. He’s French, he’s soul, he’s geeky-cool. He’s Bruno Mars meets Stevie Wonder. When you listen to his songs, you just have to smile. Or dance. I do both.
The Tenors – they’ve been a hit on Oprah, have enormous industry respect and are already taking the US by storm. Formally The Canadian Tenors, they’re about to rebrand simply as THE Tenors (when you hear them, you’ll realise why they deserve this title). If you’re a fan of Il Divo, you’re going to love these lads – they’re charming, fun and oh-so-musical.
There will be so much more info to come on each of these artists – I can not WAIT to share all the details with you.
So now to answer the question I’m getting from everyone – what’s it like leaving the safety of luxurious offices as a manager at the largest record company in the world to starting my own business and working from home?
It’s been a funny first week. To have it all make sense in my head and so that I wouldn’t freak out, I had to give it a name – I labelled it ‘transition’.
I came back from a rejuvenating five days in Bali and was straight on a plane to Melbourne for the album launch for HOPE.
The next day I came down with one hell of a head cold and have generally felt hideous ever since.
Usually I’m an early riser and full of energy. I meditate, head off for some exercise and then I dive into the working day.
This week was a different story.
My man has had some of his own exciting work news and has flown off for a week-long trip. I didn’t want to make him sick for his adventure so, at nights, I camped out on the couch in the spare room with my tissues, cough medicine and water.
Of course, the spare room is no longer spare… until I move into our shiny new offices, for the moment, the spare room is PR HQ (albeit decked out very nicely, so I may never want to leave!)
So, yes, thanks to being sick and being kicked out of my bedroom, I spent the first week of my new job sleeping in my office.
I’d crawl out of bed directly over to my computer where I’d work almost non-stop from 8am – 6pm, then I’d crawl back onto my sofa-bed and attempt to sleep off this flu. The irony of giving up the big-corporation-expense-account job for some better work/life balance by working for myself, only to sleep in my office, has not been lost.
I do miss the face-to-face interaction with my colleagues but as many of the artists that I’m currently looking after come from my excellent old label, I’m on the phone with many of them on a daily basis anyway. I also feel that it won’t be too long until some like-minded staff join the BBC team, but more on that to come.
Apart from the flu, so far it’s all been brilliant. By being able to focus on a much smaller number of clients, my productivity has been through the roof. And with less distraction also comes a lot more space for creativity, which I can hand on to my new clients.
In the coming months, I’ll try and make sure that the shoemakers children are fitted in their finest footwear* and keep you updated on more Bec Brown Communications news as it comes in.
The Bec Brown Communications branding and website is still being developed but for now, you can contact me on;
Ph: +61 403 052 256
Thanks to all of you who have supported me on this new venture – and to each of you who continue to – I really appreciate it and couldn’t have done it without you.
* sometimes cool new sneakers, possibly rocking a good platform wedge and certainly, on occasion, fabulous sparkly stilettos.
Check these out by the way – I saw them at Wittner the other day. They are a bit out of control.