This is a great question and one that gets asked quite often. First of all, you won’t find a single PR firm out there that will work an unknown artist on a percentage. If you know of one, please tell us – it would be like finding Bigfoot!
Publicists have always been and always will be paid upfront. That’s how the PR business has worked since the days of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and it continues to work that way in the days of Britney Spears, P. Diddy and Eminem.
If you are buying a band’s CDs, listening to their music on the radio, and reading about them in Spin and Rolling Stone, someone is paying for publicity, whether it’s the record label, the manager, or the artists themselves. Managers and agents do work on a percentage, but no substantial manager with industry connections will touch a band without a proven track record of interest from radio and press and a strong fan base.
So, whether you’re a newly formed band or a seasoned artist, you need to invest in a PR firm that will get your name and your music out to the right media outlets. In the end, your image, your fan base, and your profit margin will all benefit.