"Arie, I'm about to release a national project. My budget is low. Is it better to spend money on marketing or public relations?" - Stevie
Although there is a fine line between the two. Before I can answer your question I will need you to answer mine....
Do you have an established-self-sustaining fan base? Think about it and answer honestly [laughing], take your time, [Jeopardy music plays in background] like Katt Williams "Don't worry I'll wait"...
Okay, time's up! If the answer is NO (and yes, "no" includes only being known in your hometown, immediate family, friends, city and state) then I'd suggest starting with marketing. Why you ask? Marketing aka "pay for post" is guaranteed placement of your posters, album cover and other promotional art in key places (i.e. magazines, blogs, music sites, night clubs etc.) Placement in these prime locations make impressions of your brand in the subconscious minds of those who come in contact. This is very important!
Also, don't forget to utilize free marketing by submitting your new music and videos to sites, independent/college radio, and DJs for rotation and placement [consideration]. These basic and inexpensive steps give the public a chance to hear your music, possibly leading to new fans, and additional interest in you. Hence the power of marketing.
Now, if you've already established a brand and reliable fan base, invest in public relations and notify your existing fans and familiar media of your new projects, tour dates, in addition to conducting interviews. These fundamental steps may possibly catch the attention of those whom have seen your brand previously and now want to know more about you.
No matter what you decide, proper marketing and public relations is almost as important as the music you create.
Oh yeah and a fact to remember:
Avoid interviews and reviews for pay. When people know you cut checks for coverage they're less likely to believe the good press given. Of course the media outlet gives you feature interviews [when no one knows who you are] or five stars your latest album.... YOU PAID THEM TO!
Do you have a question for me or something you'd like to know? I'm here every week answering your emails on industry how-to's and important Do's and Don'ts. Send me an email: contactsaidarie[at]gmail.com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo