This weekend, I worked the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York City with Sugar Mountain PR. We had four nominated clients who were up for a Grammy in the “best children’s album” category: Justin Roberts, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lisa Loeb and Gustafer Yellowgold.
This was my second year escorting our nominees down the Red Carpet, but this year differed because I had the chance to interact with the media. It's easy for outlets to overlook children's music among the Gaga's and Adele's but I learned a concise and compelling pitch goes a long way!
Tommy Sheppard and his son, Tommy Sheppard Jr., from children's hip hop collective, the Alphabet Rockers, talk to CBS News.
Identify what makes your client unique
I escorted the Alphabet Rockers, a children’s hip hop collective that creates socially conscious music. Reporters were interested in their social justice work and were also eager to talk to Tommy Sheppard Jr., one of the youngest nominees this year! Accentuating their unique qualities and timely mission helped secure interview opportunities.
Bring cheat sheets
The red carpet is chaotic and it is easy for the media to get inundated with pitches. Often there is a waiting list to talk to a particular outlet which is why it is important to carry “cheat sheets” that include essential information about your artist. An outlet may like what you have to say but tell you to come back later. Leaving a reporter with a fact sheet with information about the artist serves as a reminder not to forget about you in the chaos. Plus it is important they have correct spellings and social media handles to tag.
Have a strategy to navigate the crowd
Security tries to move crowds through quickly and discourages backtracking on the carpet. We didn't want to move through too quickly because once you reach the end you can't turn around which meant missing out on media opportunities. The Alphabet Rockers and I had a system where they would take photos ahead of me while I checked back on the waiting lists with secured media. This allowed us to make the most of their Red Carpet time.
Me and Sugar Mountain PR owner, Beth Blenz-Clucas.
During this whirlwind of a day, I understood the importance of a publicist and give even more credit to Sugar Mountain PR owner, Beth Blenz-Clucas. Publicists serve as advocates for their musicians, ensuring they are seen and heard by reporters, and helping them enjoy their special day in the spotlight.