Metal Life Magazine Exclusive Interview with Chandler Poling (VP of CW3 PR)
MetalLife.com Interview With Chandler Poling (VP of CW3 PR)
By: Eva Jarkiewicz
Date: Aug 11, 2010
At San Diego Comic Con 2010, Chandler Poling was a moderator for the panel: “Behind the Music: Composing for Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Film & TV”. At that panel, composers Michael Giacchino (Lost), Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (Heroes), Nathan Barr (True Blood), Jim Dooley (Pushing Daisies), John Ottman (Superman Returns), and Jeremy Zuckerman (Avatar: The Last Airbender) all appeared to share a behind the scenes look at their work. They also discussed how they got their “big breaks” in the industry.
Metal Life Magazine reporter, Eva Jarkiewicz, was in attendence and was able to ask Chandler Poling the following question during the Q&A portion of the panel:
1. Metal Life Magazine: If you had one piece of advice for an unknown or up and coming band that wants to break into the industry (music for films/television or video games) what would it be?
Chandler Poling: “Never say No! Don’t turn down any opportunity paid or not, you never know when that broke producer could turn into the next J.J. Abrams.”
Metal Life Magazine followed up with Chandler Poling after Comic Con to conduct a more in depth interview:
2. Metal Life Magazine: At San Diego Comic Con, we asked you about giving one piece of advice to an aspiring band and the summary of your answer was “Never say no”. Would you like to expand upon that answer at this time?
Chandler Poling: “Continue doing what you love. If you love making music, don’t stop writing and creating. A large library of songs to choose from will never hurt.”
3. Metal Life Magazine: Can you tell our readers a little about your background as well as what CW3PR is?
Chandler Poling: “I am a publicist and Vice-President of CW3 Public Relations. We are a boutique PR Firm with a music branch specializing in composers for film and television, and also currently running the campaign for the animated musical film “Dorothy of Oz”. We work with well established musicians as well as up-and-coming artists. Our goal is to be proactive in finding unique opportunities for our clients to be seen and heard in the public. We consider ourselves ‘out of the box’ thinkers and out motto is “Keep doing what you do best and we’ll handle the rest”.
4. Metal Life Magazine: Why should a metal band consider a public relations plan?
Chandler Poling: “I believe anyone with a marketable product or talent should consider PR. Self-promoting is one of the hardest things to do as an individual and an experienced PR Firm can easily help mold a person, product or group to having a greater and more positive public awareness.”
5. Metal Life Magazine: At what point should a musician/band start to think about Public Relations?
Chandler Poling: “As soon as they have an album or concert lined up, or some potentially new and exciting news. PR Firms work best when there’s actually something to promote. Occasionally we will get clients asking us to help them get agents or gigs, but without a physical product to promote, it does make our job harder.”
6. Metal Life Magazine: What are the most common Public Relations mistakes that you see musicians/bands making?
Chandler Poling: “I believe almost all Public Relation ideas work to some extent if carefully strategized. The public can be a fickle market- some campaigns work well in some demographics and others don’t. Only promote products you truly believe in. It’s obvious when there are promotions behind a weak product that the artist or worse the publicist does not truly believe in.”
7. Metal Life Magazine: How do the Public Relations efforts and focus of a label’s PR Department differ from the efforts/focus of a firm such as CW3PR?
Chandler Poling: “Each PR Firm is set up differently. Label PR departments sole focus are to work within the Music Industry Market for maximum exposure to Music outlets like magazine, music editors, reviews, MTV, etc. CW3PR differs because we try to expand to multiple markets. We believe the industry is changing and that by cross-promoting a band with (for example) the Fashion, Technology or Charity Industries, they are able to stand out rather than be just drowning in the over-saturated Music Market.”
8. Metal Life Magazine: How much of a difference can a good PR plan make to the success or failure of a musician/band?
Chandler Poling: “We don’t always compare PR to album sales if that’s what you are asking. We consider a PR campaign successful when a good album review is placed, or an artist gets printed in a popular magazine. Those victories don’t always relate to album sales, although we hope they do! A good PR plan will increase your presence and reputation in the public. The quality of your product is what actually sells- it’s about making more people aware of it!”
9. Metal Life Magazine: Obviously an unsigned, unknown or up and coming musician/band may be working on a very limited budget. Do you have any suggestions on steps they can take themselves without a large expense to start down the path of a good PR plan?
Chandler Poling: “Ever since the dawning of Social Media, bands have had a free outlet to promote themselves to their target audience. People of all ages are using the internet at all times of day. Never overlook international fans, as they love music just as much as Americans and sometimes in a different way. As a cost-effective means of PR service, we offer hourly phone consultations with clients to ask targeted questions about PR. These consultations also provide the artist with a strategy – a sort of “to do list” – on how to best promote their product and think ‘outside the box'”.
10. Metal Life Magazine: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Chandler Poling: “Keep making great music! Remember, someone out there wants to hear you!”
Visit the CW3PR Website for more information.