Ep 41-Steven Swartz & Sarah Baird Knight on PR for Composers

Ep 41-Steven Swartz & Sarah Baird Knight on PR for Composers

Steven is the founding partner of Dotdotdotmusic, the leading public relations agency serving artists and organizations in the vibrant new classical music scene. Trained as a composer, with a PhD in composition under principal teacher Morton Feldman, Steven’s background includes journalism, radio, the recording industry, and PR. Prior to starting DOTDOTDOTMUSIC, he spent sixteen years as the director of publicity at Boosey & Hawkes.

Sarah Baird Knight is a publicist and partner at Dotdotdotmusic, specializing in ‘public relations for the modern age,’ where she has managed campaigns on behalf of John Adams (Nixon in China), eighth blackbird, New Amsterdam Records, David T. Little (Dog Days, Soldier Songs), Beth Morrison Projects (PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/NOW, 21c Liederabend), MATA Festival, American Modern Ensemble, So Percussion, Ted Hearne, and many others. Prior to joining Dotdotdotdotmusic, she spent several years as Director, Media & Public Relations at Boosey & Hawkes, where she represented the full roster of composers, including such luminaries as Elliott Carter (100th birthday), Steve Reich, Ned Rorem, and Meredith Monk. Sarah’s calling card is innovation: in her time at B&H, she rang in the 21st century with fresh new practices for e-marketing, contests, social media, content production, and event planning at Sundance and SxSW. She has presented talks on best PR and social media practices for various audiences, including the Music Publishers Association, Opera America, James Madison University, and Princeton University. A French hornist, singer, and songwriter with a background in music education, Sarah plays in the Brooklyn Wind Symphony, sings in the PSUMC Choir, and fronts the indie-Americana band, The Scarlet K.

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In this episode Steven and Sarah discuss PR and marketing best practices for composers.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Not doing enough
  • Composer websites
  • Offering something to the world
  • Building relationships
  • Providing value as a composer
  • Creating connections with the press
  • How to introduce yourself via email
  • Press etiquette
  • Meeting critics
  • Social media
  • Hiring a publicist
  • PR timing


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