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PR Interview with Pete Bassett, owner of Quite Great Communications

About the agency

What is special about Quite Great’s approach to PR?

Bands and brands, that is our core mix. We are experts at finding the angle and delivering that as news to the media and as a subject for the public to discuss in the pubs and clubs of the UK. Our stories have to open word-of-mouth channels, and due to our integrated video and online team working closely with our PR departments, we are able to be creative on many levels.

How do you create a buzz around an unknown band?

My job is similar to a psychiatrist; you sit and listen and after about an hour and a half you ask something that brings the EUREKA moment and a hook that just screams to be in the papers or online.

Tell about a recent social media campaign – what was the brief, the approach, and the result?

It isn’t a music client but the work our mobile app PR team did on Evi, which topped the iTunes app charts and subsequently brought about a multi-million dollar purchase by Amazon, if I remember correctly. That was a lot of fun and it is the fun part that makes it all worthwhile.

What’s been happening recently at Quite Great Communications?

On the music side, we are approached by two or three music clients a day from all over the globe due to our DIY label approach to developing acts, so watch out for Satellite Stories, Ground Pilots, and Serena Kern. But our consumer arm and mobile app PR team has a hugely eclectic client base, from Sturmer Hall Conference Centre and Muso, one of the leading anti-piracy companies in the UK, through to the likes of BestRatedBusiness, a cutting edge mobile tool for UK trades people.

About the industry

How has the rise of Spotify and other music-streaming services affected how the music PR industry promotes bands?

Spotify works very well as a method for the public to discover new music but it is not exactly a get rich quick ticket for rights owners. If used correctly like Bandcamp, ReverbNation, etc., it can be a useful tool for artists but if used incorrectly you are simply a twig in a very large forest.

What’s the best practice you’ve seen from a PR? And the worst?

The best practice for any PR is to be invisible and your clients to be very visible. The worst is slopping dull press releases that are there just to be seen as client activity but not designed to create specific results.

In your opinion, what are the main challenges facing PR today?

It's how to explain that what your team is going through is not stress or pressure but the day-to-day determined feeling you should have as a PR to achieve the very best you can.

About journalists

Is there anything the agency is particularly experienced at when helping out journalists with their stories? 

Researching the client and researching the news story you are developing, then understanding the time constraints they are under and not allowing your staff to call them and discuss a  ‘PR' story rather than some solid news or feature material.

What are your three tips/rules to building and maintaining strong relationships with journalists?

1. Know when they are on deadline and don’t call them at that time.

2. Get your message across initially within fifteen seconds.

3. Understand how to get a strong creative message into the subject box of an email.

About you

What media do you seek out first thing in the morning?

BBC Radio 5 Live.

Name three guests you’d invite to a dinner party and why.

My wife Lisa, as she is the most entertaining person I know; Woody Allen, as his 1960s stand-up routines would be a must for any dinner party; and Johnny Depp, so my wife would have someone to look at while we are listening to Woody, as she is not a huge fan of his.

What’s the first rule of good PR?

It only takes one bright spark to set the world alight!

You can find Quite Great Communications tweeting @QuiteGreat