Paving a new path in the independent music and film industries is the company Pressed PR – a boutique PR agency that solely represents independent creatives. Founded by Dawn Jones, Pressed PR was born out of a passion to empower musicians. “As a musician myself, I recognized the power of intentional and personal connections in the industry,” says founder and CEO, Dawn Jones.
Jones launched Pressed PR in 2017 as a passion project that would empower other independent artists to succeed. As a musician herself with experience performing, touring, recording, and writing music, Jones set out to develop a modern company that embodied the essence of intentional, personal, and innovative marketing with a team that displayed the strongest work ethic for their artists… Thus Pressed PR was born.
“Really, the idea came to me after an internship I had been a part of in college where I learned a lot about grassroots PR and marketing,” says Jones. “I saw how this band I was working for was doing everything…. Marketing their shows, acting as their own publicist, handling the finances, handling booking, AND finding time to create new music…. All while working full time to have money to pay the bills. It seemed like an impossible feat.”
After chatting with friends and colleagues in the industry, Jones realized that there was a gaping hole in the services that are provided for independent creatives. “So many companies at that time that catered to independent artists wanted the client to come to them with a certain amount of Spotify streams, or a certain number of followers on Instagram.
But how do you get to a place where you have those stats if you’re busy working on every single aspect of your brand just to keep it afloat? It’s nearly impossible to have effective growth without a team behind you. These artists needed someone they could trust, someone that would support them as a start-up band, someone that would be on their team regardless of how many followers they had on Spotify…. Someone that would BELIEVE in them and empower them to keep making music. I knew that I could create that team for them.”
Since its inception, Pressed PR has evolved to be a collective of publicists, graphic designers, playlist promoters, and other industry professionals that cater to clients in a variety of creative industries including music, film, and more.
“Pressed PR has always been about the idea that independent creatives NEED a support team to help them grow their careers efficiently and sustainably. So many people don’t realize the amount of work that goes into being a professional artist … It’s so much more than making a cool song that goes viral on Tik Tok.” In fact, it’s the new age of technology and social platforms that Jones says is both a challenge and an opportunity for independent creatives today.
“The cool thing about the way social media has changed the creative industries is that there is a much lower barrier to entry in the entertainment world,” says Jones. “But, on the other hand, that means the competition is even more fierce and the perception that an artist can “make it” from 15 seconds of viral fame is widely adopted… but not completely accurate.”
Having worked with artists ranging from those just starting out with their very first single to major acts signed to a label, Jones and the Pressed team have seen the full span of the music industry and work to implement the same strategies and PR tactics that mainstream artists utilize for independent acts as well. “It’s great when an indie artist comes to us after having hit a viral moment on social media, but then it’s up to us to take those 15 seconds of fame and try to turn them into something that’s long lasting and sustainable for that artist’s career.”
With social media also creating a lower barrier to entry within the entertainment industry, another challenge arises…. Standing out in a sea of never-ending talent. “This industry has ALWAYS been hard to break into and make a career out of…. But now that people can be discovered and launch their own careers from the phone in their pocket, the competition is even more fierce to stand out above the crowds,” says Jones.
This challenge is the basis of the advice that Jones has for any new publicists entering the workforce. “If you’re going to be a publicist in this day and age, creativity is a must-have. Publicists need to be able to think outside of the box for their clients and find new, unique ways to tie the client’s story into the current events of the world.” With media outlets receiving hundreds of pitches and submissions each day, presenting a timely and unique take on a story is the key factor for securing press placements.
“Timing and relevance is everything,” says Jones, “but second would be adaptability.” It’s no secret that PR is changing year by year as social media and technology continue to evolve our society and because of that, adaptability is key. Speaking about adaptability, Jones admits that one way she keeps up with the changes is by dedicating time everyday to research what’s happening in the world and within the entertainment industries. “If you’re not adapting to the changes within the industry, the changes in which people communicate, and the changes in perception of what’s important in society then you won’t be able to effectively communicate a client’s narrative to the world in a way that’s memorable and impactful.”
Despite the challenges of working in public relations, the Pressed PR team is eager to become the go-to resource for all independent creatives by providing a team that champions the creators of the world that don’t have the same resources and platform as mainstream entertainment moguls.
With their clientele landing on the pages of Billboard, Forbes, Huffington Post, and many others, it’s safe to say that Pressed PR is inching its way to becoming a powerhouse for independent creatives in the entertainment industry. “Seeing these creatives grow their fanbase, have the opportunity to present their craft to more people, and the empowerment to spend more time creating…. THAT is what inspires us to keep going. Knowing that we get to play such an integral role in their development is what fuels our team’s passion to keep innovating and creating a business that is more than a PR company, but a resource that clients can count on as a trusted member of their team.”