When thinking about who to highlight in this series, all of the dedicated publicists that we deal with on a daily basis definitely came to mind! We work with so many different people in this line of work and it’s been such a joy to pull them from behind-the-scenes and make them the star for a moment.
Erica D’Aurora, a current publicist with Muddy Paw PR, goes above and beyond for her clients and for us as a publication! We often find ourselves catching up with Erica and just checking in on the general status of life and everyone’s well-being between waiting for artist interviews or completed pieces. It’s so incredibly soul-warming to not feel like just a brand name or get lost in a jumble of publications that they deal with each day!
It was a no-brainer, pulling Erica into Behind The Band, as her work ethic and general approach to dealing with people far exceeds any expectation. She truly creates a bright light within the (sometimes very) long list of emails THP receives!
This series is all about those ‘behind the band’ and how important and impactful they are to the entire process. Because of that, we want to know more about your origin story. How did you get your start and what really made you dive into the music industry?
I got my start in March of
people out there who loved music from other countries and of other languages just as much as I did. The blog became a way for me to share my new favorite artists with those people who might have been looking for them too, but I didn’t know when I started it how important it would be or how much it would change my life
I graduated from college in 2013 with a degree in English literature, and at the time, the job market was not that great. By 2015, I still didn’t know what I really wanted to do with my life, although I always knew I had to be involved in music somehow. I just didn’t know what that looked like at the time. However, because of the blog, I started learning about PR, and I quickly discovered that PR was where I wanted to be. From there, I dove deeper, building connections with publicists and forming friendships with other people in the industry.
Can you please describe your current position and what all you’re required to do?
I’m currently a junior publicist with Muddy Paw PR. As a publicist, I work to get my artists seen and heard through interviews and other features that help spread the word about their work. I listen to their message, getting to the root of who they are as people, as artists, and what their music represents for them, and I work with them to find the best angle to present their projects to the media. I also help them solidify their brand by working with them on their social
“A large part of your success will be a direct result of your passion.”
Image courtesy of Erica D’Aurora
We know that, usually, with any job, there are moments where we all branch out and help with things that aren’t actually part of our job description. What is the craziest thing you’ve stepped in and helped out with?
On paper, a publicist is hired to secure features and sometimes help artists with getting their message across, but a lot of times what we end up being is the artist’s confidant and even their therapist. An encouraging voice to help them push forward. Each campaign is different—there’s never a campaign that ends up encompassing strictly what we’re “supposed” to do. We always
end up going a little bit above and beyond for our artists, and for me personally, it’s a true pleasure to do that. Our number one goal is to make sure they feel heard and supported, which can happen in an infinite amount of ways.
Are you currently working with mainly one band/musician or do you tend to spread your time out between multiple? What’s the biggest difference between the two experiences and how do you think it impacts your work?
I tend to spread my time between multiple clients, although there are times when I’m only working with one. But I’m currently working with multiple clients, among them Rändi Fay, an enchanting vocalist from Green Bay, WI, and Mohawk Bends, a super awesome indie rock band from Austin, TX. I’d say the biggest difference between the two experiences, of working with one artist versus multiple, is just the fact that you have to know how to balance the work.
I don’t think to work with multiple artists impacts my work, though. If anything, I think it helps me love my job even more. I
treat each artist as though they were my only client, and I work hard to make sure each is receiving equal attention and effort on my part. Being a publicist has been a dream come true for me, so I appreciate every opportunity I receive to work with new artists and my excitement and
passion to help their dreams come true is what drives me.
If your job did not exist, what impact do you think that would have on the industry and how would it function instead?
Honestly, I doubt that the industry could operate the way it does without all of the amazing publicists who are working behind the scenes. They are champions for their artists, helping to get the music into the right hands through reviews, interviews, and other opportunities. Publicists are
advice-givers and shoulders to lean on, and by doing what we do, we help give the artists more time to focus on what they do best: making music! If the role of a publicist actually didn’t exist, I think there would be a lot of awesome music being made that most people would never hear.
What is the best non-industry related advice you’ve been given, that you can apply to your current job, and who gave it to you?
That’s a great question! And it’s so hard to pick just one. But I would probably say to just believe in yourself, which one of my fifth-grade teachers made a point of engraining in all of our heads. She made us write that phrase, “believe in yourself,” at the top of every paper we handed in, and she’d give us extra points if we did. Now it’s many years later and I still remember it, so I guess it worked somehow.
But truly, if you don’t believe in yourself, and I think we all have trouble with this sometimes, you won’t be able to accomplish all that you’re meant to achieve in this life. And it applies to my job as a publicist as well. I think, as a publicist, it’s incredibly important to believe in your own work and to believe in your ability to help your clients’ dreams come true. Not only that but sometimes you have to be your clients’ greatest cheerleaders and remind them to believe in
themselves as well.
“I listen to their message, getting to the root of who they are as people, as artists, and what their music represents for them…”
Image courtesy of Erica D’Aurora
On top of that, what is a different piece of advice you would give to someone who is looking to pursue the same career as you?
To anyone who would like to pursue PR, I would say that a large part of your success will be a direct result of your passion. The music industry is tough and certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you have a true and genuine passion for the industry, and for the music itself, none of the
other stuff will matter. Your passion will drive you through the good days and bad, the ups and downs, and it will only benefit you—and most importantly, your clients—in the end.
Throughout your career, what has been the most stand-out moment that’s proven to you that your position is important and necessary?
If I had to pick just one, I’d say it happened this past summer, when I was working with the NYC rock band Silver Relics. We really clicked and it was an amazing and successful campaign. Not to mention that they are really enthusiastic about the work they’re doing. It felt like our excitement about working together was mutual, and I sincerely cannot wait to work with them again in the future. It was this campaign that solidified my love for PR and reminded me why I entered the field in the first place.
If there was one thing you could make people understand about your position, what would it be?
I’ve found that PR is often misunderstood, and sometimes it can be difficult to describe what I do to people who are not already familiar with the field. In the simplest of terms, though, I usually tell them that I help create buzz and awareness around music and the people making it.
Finally, as we’ve said, bands create ripples of all sizes and we’re truly fascinated by it. However, we all know they couldn’t do it alone and we’ve loved focusing on you and how you’ve impacted the experience of consumers and fans of music. Can you shoutout two or three people who is also part of the behind-the-scenes that you
think deserve more recognition?
One would definitely be my boss at Muddy Paw PR, Angela Mastrogiacomo. After connecting with her through my own blog, she quickly became the most amazing mentor for me, and one of my best friends. She is super supportive, and it’s great to have a boss that is so kind, so accessible, and so insightful. Most importantly, though, she has allowed me to grow in all the
ways I wanted to and needed to, and she continues to support me as I grow into the publicist I want to be in the future.
Another would be all of the bloggers and writers out there who help spread the word about artists and their work deserve the utmost recognition for what they do. Having been a blogger myself for about five years now, I know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into creating a platform that you hope will benefit both artists and listeners. It is the passion of these writers that [are] helping to drive the industry and propel it to where it is today, and publicists like me will be forever thankful for their love and effort.
Do you know someone in the industry who deserves recognition and you think would like to chat with us? You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Behind the Band” or send us a tweet @TheHoneyPop!
Curious where this began? Click here to read the article that started it all!
Interested in finding out more about what happens Behind the Band? You can check out our entire segment here!
Internal Article Images: Courtesy of Erica D’Aurora
Featured Image Source: Andreea Farcas for TheHoneyPOP.com