How to Get an Artist Endorsement by Bev Fowler, Director of Artist Relations

Filed Under Acoustics / Amplifiers / Electrics / Tips & Education

At some point in a musician’s career, one starts to ponder the thought of seeking an artist endorsement. This is a very common thought for an aspiring musician, especially taking into consideration all of the positive aspects associated with getting your name out there, acquiring the necessary gear, covering travel expenses, etc. As Director of Artist Relations for PRS Guitars, I thought it might be helpful to provide a few tips on what AR executives look for in artists and what artists should look for from brands.

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First, ask yourself why it is that you want an endorsement? Are you looking for support from a promotional standpoint? Are you looking for gear or tech support? Are you looking to establish a relationship with a company that you believe in? From my standpoint (and you can sub in any other brand for “PRS” here), why PRS? Are you knowledgeable about the product offerings? Are you already playing PRS? Are you willing to enthusiastically promote PRS products socially and publically? Basically, what are you going to do for the company you are endorsing?  If you’re looking for free gear, you should re-think your approach and ask yourself the above questions. For the most part, the days of free gear are long gone and if you have the expectation of receiving free gear right off the bat, you will likely be disappointed. But, there are many other benefits that come with the endorsement relationship.

I often refer to an artist endorsement as a “marriage”… it’s a commitment that involves loyalty and dedication. It’s a two-way street and should be mutually beneficial to both parties. The moment that the two-way street becomes one-way, the relationship is compromised. I’m happy to say that things do not come to this point often, but if you approach your endorsement with a company as an investment or marriage, the desire to commit and support should be at the top of your priority list. Not free gear!

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My advice to a musician seeking an endorsement is to first take a good look at yourself and the state of your career. You should be prepared to convince us that we need you! Believe me when I say that we are constantly seeking new artist endorsers to add to our roster who will be influential for our brand. It is common that big name artists are highly influential, and of course we invest a lot of our time seeking out artists that have the big names; however, we offer several different levels of endorsement. For example, we work with numerous pro players, who are well respected in their markets but are not of national renown. We also seek out emerging artists, session players, and influential educators in various markets.  We are not a company who puts all of our eggs in one basket, and we value all of our artist endorsers regardless of the level at which they are endorsed. More often than not, making a decision on an artist endorsement is a very tough decision for us. We get hundreds of endorsement inquiries on a monthly basis, and it is extremely time consuming to review the requests, materials, music, etc. If you can answer the “Why PRS?” question, you will be one step further in the right direction of being considered.

So… some questions you should ask yourself before approaching us for an endorsement:

1. Do you sound good? Are your peers impressed with your skills?
C’mon, let’s face it…of course you think you sound good, and you probably think you understand many aspects of music, but this is the time to be completely honest with yourself and to be willing and able to accept constructive feedback from your peers.

2. What kind of reputation do you have within the industry? How would you describe yourself as a person?
We are not solely interested in your influence as a musician but also how you describe yourself as a person? Are you a positive, outgoing and easy to get along with? Are you a giver or a taker? You’d be surprised to know just how often AR folks talk to one another, and we can usually get a good feel on a potential endorser just by having a quick chat with our industry peers.

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3. We live in a world of social media… what is your social media presence like?
The old saying of “don’t judge a book by its cover” is not applicable here. First impressions are important, and we want to see how you are engaging with others. A strong social media presence is highly recommended. This will most often be the first place we look when trying to determine whether or not to extend an endorsement to an artist. Your social media pages should show a sizable influence (i.e., number of friends and followers), but it should also show us that your followers are engaged with you (i.e., ratio of likes per post to total followers). Remember, your goal is to be perceived as influential and the connections should look meaningful, rather than just numbers. 

4. What do you bring to the table as an endorser? How are you going to help us with our business needs?
Artist testimonials are important and influential to our consumers. You are an important voice of PRS whether it’s through your guitar playing, the tones you’re getting from your amps, or simple verbal/written statement that attests to the quality and reliability of the instruments and/or the PRS brand. We need you to “wave the PRS flag” on and off the stage and let the world know why you choose PRS. Think about what projects you have on the table and how a potential relationship with our brand can mutually benefit both of us. Can we help get the word out on what you are doing? How are we or can we be a part of your project in a way that gets our products and your support of them in front of a broader audience. And because content sharing is the name of the game right now, remember that if you can produce good content with our products, we’ll share them across our networks (which reach more than 725k unique people per month right now). When starting out the relationship, it is also important for you to ask yourself if and how much you are willing to support the company’s goals. If you are open to support the products that are important to our brand at that moment in time, we are going to be way more interested in working with you.

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Other Helpful Tips:

1. Have a press kit.
It should be available in print but also as an EPK (Electronic Press Kit). Ideally, it should be available in a format that you can email, but also you should make it available for download via your website. Your press kit should provide a brief overview of who you are and any major accomplishments. Consider including some impressive photos that represent your onstage presence and embed links to relevant online content (i.e. Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, etc.). It is highly recommended that you have a dedicated website that includes everything mentioned above as well as audio samples of your playing.

2. Be patient and allow time for a response to your endorsement inquiry. You should anticipate a 3-6 week response time as most companies receive hundreds of simultaneous requests just like yours.
Be realistic with your expectations and open to any opportunity that you may be given. Remember, this is the beginning of a relationship.

That’s it in a nutshell; pretty straightforward and simple. I hope that you found this blog helpful and I welcome any suggestions on future topics that you’d like the AR team to touch on!

Sincerely,

Bev Fowler // Director of Artist Relations

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*photo by Glenn A Miller Photography

Comments (20)

Julian Charles Deniega August 23, 2017 - 12:04am
Does PRS Company accept Endorsers from other country let's say like Philippines?
Steve January 28, 2017 - 4:34pm
I just bought my first PRS guitar yesterday because Steve Stine posted a photo of one as mentioned they felt great. I'd be willing to wager at least 100 of his students will do the same. Definitely someone you should contact for future exposure.
Per-Ola Holmquist October 11, 2016 - 7:51am
I think it's an informative text that you`ve put on your website. I have had five different PRS and now I've got the one and only; PRS Santana signature, which I think has it all. A very versatile guitar with a smooth sound. I play in a rock band in Sweden and we play classic rock with blues- and jazz influences. I think that PRS stands for the highiest quality regarding to setup, playability and so on. It´s easy to get the wanted sound out of your guitars. I would if it´s possible get an endorsement with PRS.
Amando Azcona September 21, 2016 - 3:37pm
Hi Thxs for the info and the Tips !!! I´m a proud owner of 5 PRS Custom 24, and I love them above other 20 guitars I own, (Gibson, Ibanez, Jackson, Fender, Parker, etc..), I´d like to send an endorsement inquiry because we´re about to launch our LP in Mexico. (Lobo band) Nexts steps?? Blessings
John Edward Chicunque Santacruz September 15, 2016 - 4:52pm
Hi. Understanding the conditions for the construction of corporate relations . Where I can send the EPK to apply for a sponsorship ? Thank you
Jackson Plant May 28, 2016 - 11:57am
Excellent and informative. I am a Christian Praise and worship guitarist. I am using PRS because it is the best I have found and would use it regardless of sponsorship. Blessings
Heyden Jennekens April 08, 2016 - 6:19pm
Excellently put. A very good and informative read! I hope to be in touch soon.
Dan Davidson March 31, 2016 - 4:12pm
Thanks this it was very helpful. I'm a kid, and I am aspiring to be a musician. I want to play in a band and write songs. I love PRS and I have always wanted to own one and use it for my musical career. But the I have always played seven strings because of their broad diversity. I think PRS should make a core model seven string, It will sell well, and I am sure a lot of players would buy one.
Niko March 20, 2016 - 5:27pm
Thank you SOOOO much for this! I will contact you guys and submit an endorsement inquiry soon!
Colton Rigsby March 04, 2016 - 5:58pm
and we do hard rock and metal and use like 72 gauge strings, in tunings like b b flat
Colton Rigsby March 04, 2016 - 5:55pm
PRS is by far the best guitar company out there right now and id love to get an endorsement, my band is working on our ep "shadowss. ill try to contact you guys about the guitar parts later on, we all use PRS in my band.
Jyhell March 03, 2016 - 6:53am
Thanks for this ! Great advice. How do we contact you to submit an inquiry for an endorsement?
Mike October 01, 2015 - 10:56pm
Thank you SO much for this.
Justin September 27, 2015 - 1:39pm
Great read!! i have been flying the PRS flag since i was probably 14-15 when i played the OG tremonti and fell in love! now i fly it on my youtube channel and own 2 usa tremonti's a zack myers SE and a Archon!
Nigel August 13, 2015 - 10:27pm
What types of steps can I take to work in Artist Relations?
Guy July 13, 2015 - 11:42am
How do we contact you to submit an inquiry for an endorsement? Thank you for the great article!!
Mike MacDonald June 21, 2015 - 3:06pm
Bev is there an email address we can send an endorsement inquiry to?
JD Bradshaw (PRS Guitars endorser) June 05, 2015 - 6:50pm
Bev..This is a great article with very helpful tips for any level of musician wanting a music product endorsement...I will be passing this around for all to read
Jay June 04, 2015 - 7:49pm
It's not often that an AR would take the time to lay out expectations and information the way Bev did in this article. As a musician,(Nicotine Poetic - Bloomington IL) I know my instrument and my music, but the business side can be downright daunting sometimes and a lot of the time, it's hard to make the type of connections necessary to further my career because of not knowing what steps to take. Thank you, PRS, for a detailed and concise explanation of your expectations!
Rusty June 04, 2015 - 6:22am
Very interesting!

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