Thursday, July 13, 2017

Music Marketing Tips from an Industry Expert: Nelson Wells is interviewed by Tunecore

TIPS for ENGAGING FANSMARKETING & PROMOTING YOUR MUSIC Tunecore Interview: Nelson Wells Talks Indie College Radio Promotions
Reprinted with permission from Tunecore. For more information on music PR go to teamclermont.com or contact Nelson Wells directly. 
One thing we’ve tried to *gently* hit our TuneCore Artists over the heads with is the importance of marketing their music before and after they release it. It starts with telling your friends and family, continues with staying on top of your social media channels, and after you begin playing shows and building a network in your local scene, you can start focusing on getting your music into the hands of radio music directors and media professionals. It requires a lot of work, but hard work can pay off!

At this point you’ve likely learned that getting your music heard on commercial radio stations isn’t an easy process. Why not change your route a bit and zero in on the often undervalued college and independent radio stations?! Here to explain the values of these types of stations and other ways DIY promotion can pay off is Nelson Wells – founder and CEO of indie PR, publicity and radio promotion powerhouse Team Clermont!

When an independent artist is releasing their first album or single, what do you consider to be some of the first and foremost basic avenues of self-promotion?

Nelson Wells: Number one, get your list of contacts together, both industry and fan and begin to reach out to see who else they could add to the inner circle. Number two, use the age old industry formula that says for every dollar you spend recording and pressing an album, be prepared to spend $4 to promote it. Many a great album have been written, recorded and produced only to sit and fill a warehouse or someone’s closet simply because no one explained the need (and cost) of getting it out. Even with personal social media and digital file-sharing there is so much more that can be done on a much larger and broader scale.
Number three, get your social media (and file sharing) in line and begin the build up and smart tactful accumulation of fans and industry types. Number four, prepare and launch a well thought out funding campaign, whether it’s having family and friends fund your release, attracting a label, or executing a crowd funding campaign with any of the well-known funding sites or the newer more hands-on type sites like MusicRaiser (or Pledge Music) that focus just on musicians. Number five, research publicists and national radio promoters to partner with you on your release months before you actually release it. You can walk a copy down to your local college radio station or the weekly zine yourself, but it’s a really good idea to have a short list of 2-3 professionals who have reviewed your material and are ready to schedule you in their release calendar if you’ve raised your funds and can afford them.

What do you feel are few of the most common misconceptions from artists when it comes to getting heard on the radio?

“If we send it out they’ll play it.” The truth is radio stations still get so many releases that this myth just isn’t true; it’s physically impossible. Also, if you haven’t done your homework as to whether your style music fits the genre of each station you are sending to then you further decrease your chances of being heard and reviewed at those stations because your style simply doesn’t fit. Do your homework or hire people who do it for a living and who have relationships with the music director at each station whether that’s college MD’s or programmers from A3, or Americana, or modern rock radio.

What do you consider to be some wise DIY tactics for brand new indie artists pushing their first releases to different radio formats?

Other than what I stated above, if an indie artist does not raise funding or cannot afford an indie radio promoter then a handful of the indie promoters actually sell DIY packets that allow you to set up and manage a radio campaign on your own for a fraction of the cost of hiring the firm. You just have to remember that while you may have all the correct addresses and contacts and some solid pointers for doing your own radio promotion, the real value to a radio promotion company is their relationships. They can utilize these relationships weekly, yet you’re just getting started building these relationships most likely just by sending out your first release.

How important is college radio when it comes to influence and trendsetting?

There is a key element to this question as well as to the value of college radio in general, and that is the value of tastemakers. College radio stations are made up almost exclusively of tastemakers, or people who influence and set trends. In other words those music directors, program directors and DJ’s are the first ones whose friends listen to them when it comes to what the newest releases are that are landing a radio stations. These radio people leave campus after class and their DJ hours and go work in the local venues, the local music magazine or the record store on the corner.
So in the big picture even if your record is getting a few spins on the local college station that may or may not mean that potential fans are hearing it, but if the workers surrounding the station like it, you can be sure that others are hearing it.

Given that college stations are typically staffed with students/directors used to dealing with labels, firms & DIY pitches alike, do you have any advice for follow-up?

Some of the best follow up is simply researching email addresses of the music directors at each station ahead of time. Many are posted publicly online or on the station’s own website. Of course you may include your email, facebook and twitter accounts, but don’t assume that radio station people have the time to reach out and contact you; that’s your job. Another old school form of getting stations to contact you with information about your record at their station is by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope that is easy for them to send back after they check off √yes, we are spinning your record, or Sorry, we passed on your release…
Other ideas for that card: “Is there a venue you think we should play?___” “Would you like extra CD’s for your DJ’s or to give away on air?”

As the radio industry has gone through conglomeration over the past couple of decades, how has the way independent firms pitch to commercial stations?

I don’t know. We mostly service non-commercial radio, but I’d guess it involves a LOT more money, and more “consultants.”

What roles do public and community radio play when it comes to promoting independent music?

To me these play the largest role for up and coming artists, new artists, and those without a mainstream sound or a major label deal. Public, community (and college) stations are Team Clermont’s bread and butter. These are the stations and the people who “get” the indie artist and the Team Clermont client.

How can indie artists be better utilizing radio promotion when it comes to embarking on their initial regional and national tours?

The most important thing in music PR is simply getting word out and making it a continual practice each day of your career, and yes, you can make a career out of your music. This means doing it yourself whether you are hiring an indie radio promotion company like ours or not. In fact I’ll tell most touring artists to save their money by not hiring us for a tour but to rather wait until a full length release is a few months away. Then use that money to just survive on the road. It’s tough out there,
And you’ll be glad you have enough money for PB&J’s and for buying fans some beers for allowing you to crash on their couches.
Learn more about Team Clermont, Nelson Wells, and their services for indie artists here! And at teamclermont.com

Reprinted with permission from Tunecore. For more information on music PR go to

teamclermont.com or contact Nelson Wells directly. 
All PR & Marketing data and Wells quotes ©2017 Team Clermont, Wells & McLean, inc 
Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day 1997, & does not permit or put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing of civil rights or the rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. © 2016-2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati, Catherine, Emily, Hill, Sarah, and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, team clermont sexism, is an illegitimate search, nelson wells sexism, is an invalid and illegitimate search, Nelson, and  Team, do not permit, sexist, attitude or behavior, the team and staff, do, provide, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, and does, PR, from, Athens, Georgia, offices, and, NYC offices, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

CMJ New Music Report: Team Clermont celebrates 20 years under the leadership of partners Nelson Wells and Bill Benson

Team Clermont celebrates 20 years under the leadership of partners Nelson Wells and Bill Benson.
Here is a fun interview done by CMJ's New Music Report as we celebrated our 15th. 
©2017 teamClermont

January 24, 2012

Team Clermont has spent the past 15 years helping both new and established artists maintain exposure in the press and at radio. 2011 was especially eventful for the company, with big showcases at CMJ and SXSW and ending off the year promoting a record that was No. 1 for six weeks in a row on the CMJ charts. 2012 brings the company’s 15-year anniversary. Team Clermont’s Shil Patel and Steve Hendriksen talk with CMJ about the past, as well as their plans for the future.

CMJ: What are some of your favorite memories of 2011 as far as things you did or worked on as a company?
Steve Hendriksen: 2011 was a great one for us! We had the chance to put on our annual showcases at CMJ and SXSW, as well as our first showcase at Raleigh, NC’s Hopscotch Music Festival (where I actually got to join John Vanderslice on stage for two songs). Also, having the chance to see M83 on Halloween night was pretty legendary.

Shil Patel: I had a great time at the festivals too—SXSW, 35 Denton, CMJ and the rest. At SXSW, one of the highlights was getting to see Telekinesis record a few songs with Jim Eno (Spoon) at his studio. At 35 Denton I saw Big Boi, Reggie Watts, and saw Michael Cera pop up everywhere. And at CMJ I had a great time at our showcase and at our party at Barcade. We promoted so many incredible albums, including M83‘s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, which ended the year at No. 1 for six weeks in a row on the CMJ Radio 200 chart.

Were there any releases that surprised you by how well they were received at college radio stations?
SH: We sent out a single from a New Zealand group called Kids Of 88 in the early part of 2011 that stations really seemed to jump all over.

SP: I go back to that M83 album. We all knew it would do well, considering that Saturdays=Youthwas M83’s first album to come in at No. 1 on the chart. But I was really blown away by all the support that kept Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming at No. 1 for so long. For a couple weeks over 70 percent of the stations that submitted charts had M83 in their Top 30. That was very impressive to me.

What are some releases you’re looking forward to hearing in 2012?
SH: Bear In Heaven! I loved their 2009 release, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, and I can’t wait to see how they’re going to follow it up.

SP: I agree with Steve: Can’t wait to hear that Bear In Heaven. I’m also really looking forward to the upcoming Magnetic Fields, Sharon Van Etten, Shearwater, Tindersticks, Nite Jewel and Andrew Bird releases, as well as getting my hands on all those Palace reissues.

It looks like 2011 treated you guys pretty well, and 2012 should too with your 15-year anniversary coming up. So now for a little history: How did Team Clermont get started as a company?
SP: Bill Benson and Nelson Wells were both working for the same promotion company in 1997 that Nelson co-founded a few years earlier. They formed a new partnership and bought that previous company (Revolution Promotion Management, the company that broke Hootie And The Blowfish and helped get them signed). With the new company, they streamlined and sharpened their focus on mostly indie artists and less Triple A-leaning artists. However, Team Clermont carried on with almost all of the same great clients: Warner Bros., Geffen, Tim/Kerr Records and more, and with artists like R.E.M. and Little Red Rocket (who later became Azure Ray featuring Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, two former Athenians).

What’s changed the most about college radio in the past 15 years?
SP: I’ve been at Team Clermont since the beginning of 2007, and in that period of time there have been several changes. Of course, technology has changed so many things. Many of the stations we work with were among the first to develop their online presence, offering video of in-studio performances, creating regular podcasts and utilizing social media in creative ways. There seems to be more options for stations to make their presence felt.

SH: It’s exciting to see how stations are utilizing new technologies and social media to further their station’s goals and raise awareness. Stations have been able to capitalize on these free services in really creative ways, and it’s exciting to see what they’ll be up to next.

Are there challenges you face in radio promotion now that didn’t exist 15 years ago?
SP: Sure, I think one of the biggest challenges at the moment is the transition to digital servicing. Many other companies and labels are dealing with it as well. It makes sense to decrease the amount of CDs that are being mailed out for many reasons. When you take into account everything that goes into mailing a CD to a station (the CD itself, packaging, postage, fuel costs, etc.), it adds up monetarily and environmentally. I know that eventually we will get to a point where we no longer send out CDs, but right now we still ask our artists and labels to mail them out because many stations don’t yet have the time or the infrastructure to shift to an all-digital system. We want to make it as easy as possible for a music director to hear the music we’re promoting. As of now, we find that sending CDs cuts down the number of steps it takes for them to review the music.

This year calls for some more celebrations than usual. Have you made any plans yet for celebrating your anniversary? 
SP: Yes! We’re working on throwing a 15th anniversary party from July 26-28. We haven’t thrown a Team Clermont Blue Ribbon Ball or Summer Festival since we did the Summer Camp in 2008, and we thought, “What better time to get all our friends in the music industry down to Athens than on our 15th anniversary?” We’re still in the planning stages, but we’ll fill everyone in on the details over the coming months.

SH: It’s going to be legendary.

Check out some of Team Clermont’s current and past projects on its website, teamclermont.com.


©2017 teamClermont
Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day one, 1997, & does not put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing in civil rights or rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. ©2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati devries and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Team Clermont founder & CEO, Nelson Wells, interviewed on WNCW by Joe Kendrick for Podcast On The Way Up Episode 18

Our very own Team Clermont founder & CEO, Nelson Wells, was interviewed by pro-radio DJ and programmer, Joe Kendrick of WNCW, for their Podcast "On The Way Up" Episode 18.
Nelson discusses his 24 years in the music biz, @Teamclermont’s 20th anniversary ahead, radio's ups and downs, and where the music industry is heading.  
Plus Joe premieres some solid songs none of which are Team Clermont artists. 

Here below is Joe's post and link as he posted it.
In this episode we feature styles ranging from Celtic stomp to gospel blues, and from artists hailing from west Africa and western North Carolina. There’s both heartbreak and redemption in the show, and we’ll drop some knowledge about music promotion and publicity with our DJ For A Day segment when I interview Nelson Wells, founder of Team Clermont from Athens, GA. Plus our Segue Of The Week is a gem featuring a host of master musicians from Mali alongside Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz fame.
Playlist:

  1. Ben Phan        “Beast Of Desire” from Fear Is The Teacher

  2.  Flogging Molly        “Welcome To Adamstown” from Life Is Good
      3. Jim Keaveny         “Is It You” from Put It Together
      4. The Secret Sisters    “He’s Fine” from You Don’t Own Me Anymore
      5. Jake La Botz        “Hobo On A Passenger Train” from Sunnyside
       minute 22:00: [DJ For A Day With Nelson Wells @Clermont1]
      6. Oumou Sangare    “Yere Faga” from Mogoya
      7. Damon Albarn, Afel Bocoum, Toumani Diabate “Makelekele” from Mali Music                                     (Segue of the Week)   
      8. Benjamin Booker    “Believe” from Witness
      9. Davis Coen        “Jesus’ Hand” from These Things Shall Pass
Thanks to Joe Kendrick @WNCWJoe@WNCW#CollegeRadio#PublicRadio, #PR companies everywhere, Team Clermont staff and #publicists worldwide.
©2017 teamClermont
Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day one, 1997, & does not put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing in civil rights or rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. ©2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati devries and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Team Clermont sends radio music directors to SXSW conference in Austin, TX

Every year since the early 2000's our humble little music PR firm, Team Clermont, has sent a handful of music directors from college radio stations all around the country down to experience Austin's South by Southwest, or #SXSW.   

Generally, the badges are won through a contest Team Clermont holds for all the college and public radio stations around the US as well as writers, critics and bloggers. And each year 2 or 3 lucky music directors or writers win a badge to the festival and conference where there's more music and BBQ than you can shake a stick at, much less actually experience all in one 5 day stint.

One such lucky college radio station was WUSC in Columbia, South Carolina.
The music director? Rupert Hudson.

Here's his story of a SXSW preparation week thanks to Team Clermont and our semi-annual contests for radio station music directors and writers and critics to sin badges to South By Southwest, tickets to shows and concerts or festivals and conferences. - Nelson Wells, CEO & Founder of Team Clermont

Rupert Hudson
(My trip to SXSW thanks to Team Clermont)
All that's on my mind is the mammoth of a week that I am going to be experiencing in Austin, TX while attending South By Southwest, one of the biggest music festivals in the world (if not the biggest).
I was lucky enough to win a Music Badge to SXSW this year through Team Clermont and I quickly assembled a team to join me on my adventure to Austin. We are rolling deep, a group of 5 representing WUSC, which will be absolutely necessary in order to experience as many aspects of SXSW as we can. The thing is, I am probably going to see about 5% of the things that I want to see at the festival, if not less than that. There is just so much to do. First off, there are over 1000 “official” SXSW acts that spend the evenings playing at a number of showcases, such as the NPR Showcase next Wednesday featuring Damon AlbarnSt. Vincent and Eagulls, one of my most anticipated events. However, there are 10 other great acts playing at the same time including Stepdad and Macauley Culkin’s new band The Pizza Underground. Normally, this type of festival would create extreme fear of missing out for many, but after talking to many people who experienced SXSW in years past, I have decided to pick a number of bands that I really want to see and try my hardest to see them, then go with the flow for the rest of the time.
The way SXSW works is extremely different from other festivals. Many of the official showcases require that you have a badge or wristband to get in (unless you want to line for ages only to get turned away), but there are just as many day parties/showcases that only require a RSVP beforehand to get in. For example, the mobile event app Applauze is hosting a number of showcases and parties throughout the festival; at least one a day. Their main event on Monday at the Scoot Inn is chock full of massive artists such as MS MRCharli XCX (check out her new collab with Iggy Azalea), Robert Delong, among others. In order to get into this event, you have to download Applauze from the app store and RSVP on the app itself. Regardless of whether you’re attending SXSW or not, I highly recommend this app; it’s a good one. Along with their main event, they are going to have many others at the Casa de Applauze featuring free food, drinks, and bands such as Jordan KlassenTo Kill A King, and The Family Crest.
The Fader Fort is another major event at SXSW. It is extremely hard to get into one of their day parties, as they have gotten bigger and bigger every year. So far, the lineup boasts artists such as Sam Smith (one of my must-sees), Little Dragon, Chromeo, Glass Animals, and a many more incredible acts. The fact of the matter is that pretty much every party or showcase has at least one or two amazing bands featured as there is so much talent packed into the city for the week. Other exciting events include the Spotify House (Hozier, Phantogram, Real Estate), Hype Hotel (Tokyo Police Club, Wye Oak,  SOHN – another one of my priorities), and the Harvest Showcase (Arthur Beatrice, The Preatures, Banks). As you can see, it is rather overwhelming, but exciting and crazy at the same time. Also, the MTVu Woodie Awards will be taping in Austin during this time, which is a big deal for WUSC as we have been nominated for an award. If we win, our station will be represented on stage at the awards show and receive the award for Best College Radio Station. Be sure to vote for us at http://bit.ly/voteforwusc.
I could write for ages on how excited I am for next week, but I should probably get back to the work that I have to finish before our trip begins. We will be regularly updating WUSC’s social media (Twitter & Facebook) with live tweets, videos, pictures, and more so be sure to keep an eye out for that. If you’re interested in heading to Austin for spring break/the festival, all the information you need can be found at SXSW’s website.
By Rupert Hudson - feel free to Share

©2017 teamClermont
Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day one, 1997, & does not put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing in civil rights or rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. ©2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati devries and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

From our Clients: Praise and Testimonials for Team Clermont, Nelson Wells, and Bill Benson

Praise and Testimonials for Team Clermont, Nelson Wells, and Bill Benson 

Felix Bechtolsheimer – Team Clermont are as good as it gets. We are a UK-based label and we were warned off hiring a US publicist. I’m so glad that we ignored this advice and decided to go ahead with these guys. We did an EP last year, which got fantastic results at both press and radio and we are currently in the middle of a full album campaign. Bill and Nelson are some of the nicest people we’ve worked with and they are coordinating and integrating amazingly with our UK and European publicists. We will certainly be using them for our future projects. Can’t recommend them highly enough!!

by Felix Bechtolsheimer

> Response from the owner
Thanks so much, Felix. The feeling is truly mutual. (reply by: Nelson Wells, Founder & CEO of Team Clermont PR & Radio Promotion) 
Matthew Squires – I’ve worked with Team Clermont twice. I have no label support, do everything myself. There are other PR people I’ve worked with who were cheaper but nowhere near as effective. I’ve found that you really get what you pay for with this sort of thing, and Team Clermont is the real deal. They have always treated me with courtesy and had the perfect balance of professionalism and a warm, personal, supportive attitude. 
As far as practical results, the albums I’ve promoted with them have ranked pretty high on the college radio charts, and I’ve gotten nothing but wonderful press from great outlets like Consequence of Sound, Stereogum, The Needle Drop, and lots more.  Really can’t recommend them highly enough!

by Matthew Squires, Artist (Austin, TX)
 

> Response from the owner
Thank you so much, Matthew. You are always a pleasure to work with as well. You will forever be a part of our team. love always from Nelson & Bill. (reply by: Nelson Wells, Founder & CEO of Team Clermont PR & Radio Promotion)
Joe KendrickWNCW – I’ve had great relations with Bill, Nelson and everyone at Team Clermont over the two decades that I’ve worked with them. As a programmer at WNCW, the relations with promoters and record labels is key to keeping great new music coming to us. Often the service level and/or professionalism of other reps can be lacking, but not with Team Clermont. It has been a pleasure to work with them and get to know them over the years.
by Joe KendrickWNCW Radio

> Response from the owner
Thank you so much, Joe. You are always a pleasure to work with as well. You and WNCWwill forever be a part of our team. Love always from Nelson & Bill. (reply by: Nelson Wells, Founder & CEO of Team Clermont PR & Radio Promotion)
Kristoffer Ragnstam – I’ve Been working with Team Clermont for many years.
The reason why I keep coming back is easy.
If they like the project/song/band/album
They’ll do everything in their power to make a buzz. 

by Kristoffer Ragnstam, Artist (Kungälv, Sweden) of Kristoffer And The Harbourheads



>Response from the owner
Thank you so much, Kris. You are always a pleasure to work with as well and on our long list of Swedish artists/clients, you are always at the top.
You will forever be a part of our team. Love always from Nelson & Bill. (reply by: Nelson Wells, Founder & CEO of Team Clermont PR & Radio Promotion)


Rich Mahan, Warner Bros – I love working with Team Clermont. They report when they say they are going to, and get the airplay results I’m looking for.
by Rich Mahan, Warner Bros / Rhino, independent radio promotion

> Response from the owner
Thank you so much, Rich. You are always a pleasure to work with also! (reply by: Nelson Wells, Founder & CEO of Team Clermont PR & Radio Promotion)





©2017 teamClermont

Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day one, 1997, & does not put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing in civil rights or rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. ©2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati devries and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging
Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day 1997, & does not put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing in civil rights or rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. ©2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati devries and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging

Team Clermont moves to new offices! Come see Nelson Wells, Bill Benson & the Team in the Cantrell Grocery Bldg Athens, Georgia!

That's right folks, here we are posting 8 years after we posted our last "move" post and we've got New Digs.

Bill Benson, Nelson Wells and team have all moved down to the hippest corner in town, the compound that houses such local businesses as Hungry Gnome Gardescapes, Southern Star Pottery Studios, Johnny Rockets Acro-Yoga, massage therapists, CPA's and more, down past the tracks in sleepy and sunny Athens, Georgia.
Drop us a call or email and come by to see our offices now located in the Historic original Cantrell Groc. building under the guidance of J Rogers.
Feel free to bring us a cup of coffee from the two roasters a block and a half walk away, Jittery Joes Roaster and 1000 Faces Coffee both on Barber Street due west.
cheers!
Nelson - your personal radio promotion guide and music publicity personal shopper! :)



Also, come see us online at all THESE wonderful music-related sites:


contact nelson directly at publicity ( at ) somewhere near teamclermont.com  or
PRPeople ( at ) somewhere near teamclermont.com
#indie #indierock #indiemusic #PR
#music #PRfirm find more information on Nelson Wells and Team Clermont at
https://soundcloud.com/teamclermont Team Clermont on Soundcloud
https://soundcloud.com/clermont1 Nelson on Sound Cloud
https://www.instagram.com/clermont1 Nelson on instagram.com 
https://www.instagram.com/teamclermont Team Clermont instagram.com   
http://nelsonwells.brandyourself.com   Nelson Wells Bio on brandyourself.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelsonwells Nelson Wells on Linkedin
http://twitter.com/nelsonwells Nelson Wells original twitter account
http://twitter.com/Clermont1 Nelson on twitter
http://teamclermont.com Team Clermont home (Athens, GA and New York)
https://soundcloud.com/teamclermont Team Clermont on Soundcloud
https://soundcloud.com/clermont1 Nelson on Sound Cloud
https://www.instagram.com/clermont1 Nelson on instagram.com 530 followers on 5/31/17
https://www.instagram.com/teamclermont Team Clermont instagram.com 1193 followers on 5/31/17
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Folks, If you came here to read about Team Clermont and Nelson Wells or radio promotion or music publicity and public relations then you are at least close to the right place. If you came looking for stories of sexism in the workplace or specifically certain comments made by an employee / owner of team clermont then you'll be glad to know you will find the truth here not of someone playing the victim role so that all his peers on social media would feel sorry for him.
What you will find is the bio / years of hard work and dedication to clients, partners and musicians worldwide. Business partners Nelson Wells and Bill Benson are unique in today's world, truly dedicated fathers and business owners and music publicists.

Nelson Wells, CEO, Founder, inventor, music publicist at teamClermont & music industry pro, Nelson began Team Clermont 1997


NELSON WELLS - PERSONAL

Nelson Wells is a devoted dad, a dedicated business owner, and a generous contributor to charitable organizations and civil rights groups worldwide and in his hometown of Athens, Georgia.  He is a civil rights activist and a defender of women's rights, LGBTQ rights and has for over 20 years served on boards or donated and supported groups who defend social justice and liberties for all minority groups, especially those being oppressed.  Read on or find the link to his daughters or companies like Team Clermont below.
Charitable organizations and civil rights activist groups Nelson Wells has been involved with or contributed to include:
<b>
ACLU, the American Civil Liberties union
Community Connection - Athens, GA
Project Safe - Sheltering women and children, and protecting women
against domestic violence or sexism in the workplace
Nuçi's Space - Protecting the lives of Artists
Lukas' Fund - Helping Mothers and infants in NICU
Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund
which helps underprivileged women gain
education and defend against sexism or sexist behavior in education 
Contact <a href="http://www.rankinfoundation.org" rel="nofollow">Sue Lawrence Executive Director at </a> 
<a href="http://www.rankinfoundation.org" rel="nofollow">The Rankin Foundation</a> 


to find out how Nelson donated thousands in like-kind exchange to help provide under-priviledged women the ability to seek education they wouldn't have been able to otherwise.

Contact  Sue Lawrence Executive Director at
 The Rankin Foundation, org
to find out how Nelson donated thousands in like-kind exchange to help provide under-privileged women the ability to seek education they wouldn't have been able to otherwise.

  NELSON WELLS in BUSINESS           


Nelson Wells Sold his first start up company at the age of 21. Now he is on his 5th venture helping facilitate other technology startups as well as designing and prototyping his own inventions, while he still finds time to be an inventor and CEO of his Music PR FIrm, Team Clermont.   For more business details see teamclermont.com at


As CEO of Team Clermont Wells lead the team through it's first 20 years tripling its valuation in a niche market in less than the first three years. Team Clermont has since quickly become the US’s premier boutique Music PR Firm specializing in National Publicity campaigns, independent Radio marketing.


Now nearly 20 years of successful music PR campaigns has catapulted Team Clermont to the top of their field. Clients include Warner Bros. Records, Mute Records, Domino,  Asthmatic Kitty, Merge Records, SubPop, and more.



Prior to doing radio promotion or to starting Team Clermont Nelson attended the University of Georgia where he pursued a degree in marketing and international business. He was also a member of the varsity diving team; since college, he's moved his athletic pursuits out of the pool and to both the road and the water currently training for one more triathlon, and one more half marathon.
"In addition to my passion for races and surfing, I pursue my passion for technology and business through advising and mentoring young tech start-up companies by way of the newest technology incubator, Four Athens. I express my creative side and #entrepreneurial spirit by #designing and #prototyping my own #inventions." (Nelson Wells on instagram)
A proud single dad Nelson says, "I am also co-founder of the world's most amazing identical twins." who you can find on their own 
Contact Nelson Wells directly 
or on twitter at
or at Nelsonwells.brandyourself.com: http://nelsonwells.brandyourself.com
Contact Nelson Wells 
 at Team Clermont /  WORK
on twitter @teamClermont 
http://teamclermont.com

©2017 teamClermont

Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day one, 1997, & does not put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing in civil rights or rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. ©2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati devries and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging
Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day one 1997, & does not put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing in civil rights or rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. ©2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati devries and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging

One of Nelson's (cofounder of Team Clermont) favorite comedy lines from Caddy Shack: Facebook: "like it" reminds me of Caddy Shack - "I want a burger" "You'll get nothing & like it!" http://www.vrbo.com/191676 check the new beach house special & "Like" it!
To read more about Nelson Wells and his work with underprivileged women through the Jeanette Rankin Women's Foundation see Team Clermont and teamclermont.com staff Nelson Wells for the whole story. 
Again, Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day 1997, & does not permit or put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing in civil rights or rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. ©2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati devries and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, team clermont sexism, is an illegitimate search, nelson wells sexism, is an invalid and illegitimate search, Nelson, and  Team, so not permit sexist attitude or behavior, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging

Record scratch: sexism in music pr - is not a true or real story and was illegitimately created by an angry punk band to discredit a civil rights activist and LGBT rights activist by the name of Nelson Wells. This story in no way is to be taken as truth or factual and was written without fact checking or response from the owners of Team Clermont.  In addition, Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer.


Disclaimer: I, KATIE PRESLEY, have written about Team Clermont artists in the past, and I wrote this article from my distinct perspective as a music writer who has received pitches and worked with PR professionals for almost a decade.
(However, what Katie failed to disclose was that either she or the angry punk band predicated this entire article on a misquote which discredits both the article and the author)

Public relations is a tricky industry. More than in just about any other job, a publicist walks the line between professionalism and colloquialism as a matter of course. A publicist’s job in the music industry is to stand out in an overflowing inbox full of pitches for artists just like the one they’re representing: up-and-coming, hungry, talented. And the way to stand out in PR is often to be personable. Make a joke. Include a gif of baby foxes. Include a personal anecdote, e.g., “Are you as full from Thanksgiving as I am? Well, I have the perfect soundtrack for your food coma.” Get to know the writer being pitched to: what they like, how they write, what they tend to respond to.

A publicist’s job is also to support the artist they are working for. Upon being hired, a PR team becomes an artist’s loudest ally. Every album by a client is the best album a publicist has ever heard. Part of the package when a musician hires a public relations firm is getting a built-in friend and cheerleader. For as long as a publicist is hired, it’s their job to make the musician sound, to themselves and the world, like the most interesting artist on the planet. But it isn’t always all for show: Real friendships can form between artists and publicists and between publicists and writers.

Unfortunately, so can real misunderstandings about where the line of professionalism is, especially in the vulnerable relationship between artists going to great lengths to be heard and the established publicists with the power to amplify them. In January, the ugliest example of this possibility came to light when Life or Death PR CEO Heathcliff Berru resigned in disgrace after several female musicians and publicists came forward with stories of being sexually harassed by him. The company collapsed, its publicists started their own new firm, and artists either cut ties outright or vowed to hold Berru accountable. It was a wake-up call for the industry of the loudest order.

And the alarm, it turns out, hasn’t stopped ringing. In September, Athens, Georgia PR firm Team Clermont faced a similar situation when its cofounder, Nelson Wells, was accused of inappropriate conduct by Elijah Oberman, whose band, The Shondes, was working with Wells at the time. According to Oberman (and corroborated by Shil Patel, a Team Clermont employee at the time of the remarks), Wells made inappropriate remarks about the physical appearance of the client’s Facebook friends, including the phrase “beautiful ladies at the cow farm,” and offered to keep the client’s rates low if they would “introduce [him] to any of [their] lovely lady friends” or send other musicians to Team Clermont for representation. So there, of course, was the line. Wells could have been trying to be funny or loose, to gain trust and camaraderie with his client. In a nation that accepted the phrase “locker-room talk” as an excuse for sexual predation by our current president-elect, there are perhaps many who would have taken Wells’s comments as just that. But several Team Clermont employees took it differently. Wells did not respond to a request for comment. The company’s other cofounder, Bill Benson, sent this statement in an email:

Something insensitive and unprofessional was said, and it was immediately regretted. As a company, we addressed the issue quickly and discussed together how to not only make amends, but to face head-on any ignorances we have. Unfortunately, situations like this do come up from time to time and it's our obligation to treat them as a valuable learning opportunity professionally and personally. We make no excuses, and we are fully committed to instilling a culture of respect in our office and in our everyday lives.

According to Patel, a staff meeting was called in which the messages from Wells were shared with the company, and it was announced that Wells would stay with Team Clermont. In response, two part-time employees, Patel and one other full-time employee, publicist Cecile Duncan, resigned immediately, effectively liquidating the staff roster. Patel worked as head of radio promotion and founded Tiger Bomb Promo soon after leaving Team Clermont. Of the choice to resign, Patel said, “I didn’t want to stay on with the company because to me that would be the same as endorsing [Wells's] behavior and normalizing it, something I wasn’t prepared to do.”

Duncan actually mentioned the Life or Death collapse directly:

I wanted to leave, and I wanted it to be done at a time and in a way such that those on the outside could see that we preemptively took action rather than waiting for this information to become public and then severing ties out of shame or embarrassment (see: Life or Death PR).

What the Team Clermont example shows is that the Life or Death revelations were a tipping point for many publicists and that the culture of music PR is closer to a zero-tolerance policy than it’s ever been. Which is promising, but doesn’t solve the problem of the power imbalances inherent to professional publicity. According to the Shondes, for example, the band lost national coverage and months of work and had to promote their latest record independently. Sales and distribution were immediately negatively affected. Team Clermont controlled the band’s access to large audiences, and even a refund of sunk costs couldn’t make up for the revenue they could have made with the full machine of a renowned PR firm behind them.

In the music industry, with its lax rules of conduct and notoriously showy, favors-granted culture, crossing the line isn’t always as egregious as an R. Kelly or a Ted Nugent situation. But what the former employees of Team Clermont have done is send a clear message that the line is less blurry than their profession likes to pretend it is. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote recently: “Now is the time to talk about what we are actually talking about.” Wells’s behavior was sexist, and sexism is never okay—not when it looks like rape, not when it looks like grabbing a butt or biting a handful of hair, and not when it looks like a questionable late-night Facebook message.


BY KATIE PRESLEY
  profile »

Katie Presley is a writer and editor currently based on the East Coast (help, how did this happen??). She's been with Bitch in one form or another since 2010, when she started as a New Media Intern, and most recently served as Bitch's first and only Music Editor, from 2016-2017. Past resume lines include Assistant Producer for All Songs Considered at NPR Music, panelist on Pop Culture Happy Hour, and bylines at NPR and Ms. Katie is also a doula and herbalist, and writes a blog on herbal medicine, "The Herbal Apprentice." She also co-founded the first full-spectrum doula organization in Texas, The Bridge Collective. She is also a late-comer to being a Dog Person, but currently lives with four cats.