Founded by former music journalist Nicole Balin, Ballin PR offers both emerging and established artists a rare combination of aggressive marketing and concern for artistic integrity.
Our aim is simple: to get your music and product in front of the media and to create “buzz.” How is that accomplished? We target hundreds of journalists and taste-makers at national print outlets, websites, blogs, and TV networks in an effort to secure reviews, features, and show coverage. Ballin PR founder Nicole Balin, author of Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva! and former journalist, says, “A story is the center piece of any press campaign, so I work with clients to craft one that’s unique to them–a story they can build all the other aspects of their campaign around.”
The press landscape—and the music business—is vastly different today than it was a decade ago. “The Internet was once considered an artist’s worst enemy,” notes Balin, who’s one of the most recognized hip-hop publicists in the industry today. “It can be your greatest weapon, if you know how to use it to your advantage.”
Ballin PR has built a client roster that includes the Grammy-Award winning group Linkin Park, Too $hort, Paris, Aceyalone, Kool Keith, Guru, Kool G. Rap, Us3, Hieroglyphics, Roots Manuva, DJ VADIM, Zion-I, Z-Trip, People Under the Stairs, and reality TV star Big Freedia. Ballin has worked with labels such as Ninja Tune, Funky-Ass, Strange Famous Records, Fake Four, Basement Records and trail blazing synthesizer creator, Moog Music. What’s more, Ballin has worked with the organizations such as the National Hip-Hop Political Convention and Rap Sessions and on films like ‘Soundz of Spirit,’ the Too $hort documentary ‘Life Is,’ along with books such as Bakari Kitwana’s Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop, MK Asante’s It’s Bigger than Hip-Hop (St Martin’s Press), and Justin BUA’s The Beat of Urban Art and The Legends of Hip-Hop (HarperCollins).
Balin is a seasoned veteran of the business and has been immersed in hip-hop her whole life. Prior to founding Ballin PR, she was the publicity director at the independent label collective Nu Gruv Alliance (Stones Throw, GoodVibe, Funky-Ass) from 1998-1999 and went on to serve as an editor at The Source, the premiere magazine of hip-hop music, culture, and politics from 1999-2001.
In 2008, Current TV showcased Ballin PR in an episode called ‘Hyping Indie Hype’. And as one of the most recognizable names in hip-hop pr, Balin has been interviewed and featured in media outlets from the Village Voice, East Bay Express, Stash. She has appeared (as herself) on the hit reality TV series ‘Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce’ on FUSE TV.
Past Ballin PR clients: Moog Music, What the Festival?! Uni-Fi Records, Prince Paul, Serengeti, Yak Ballz, Phat Kat, Breakestra, Crown City Rockers, Rasco, Motion Man, The Rondo Brothers, Cali-Agents, Pigeon John, Raashan Ahmad, Kutmasta Kurt, Paris, Phat Kat, Yak Ballz, Cap D, Rita J, Raydar Ellis, Myka 9, Awol One, Factor, Esham, Us3, Main Flow, Somobe, Moka Only, Azeem, Jai Nitai Lotus, Latryx, and Ceschi & Fake Four Records, M9 Entertainment, Basement Records, NinjaTune.
Our primary aim is to get you exposure because shine means buzz! To that end, we carefully craft pitches to thousands of media outlets from blogs to TV, in hopes that they are as excited about your media entity as we are.
We secure feature articles and reviews in national print music and lifestyle magazines, regional press outlets, and smaller outlets across the country, Canada, and Europe. This includes pitching editors and writers, coordinating interviews, photo shoots and media training.
ONLINE PRESS & STRATEGIC MARKETING
Ballin PR targets all the major online news, lifestyle, and music websites, along with all the taste maker blogs from New Haven to New Mexico. Using web analytics, we help identify audience, build fan base, and implement strategies based on insight such as contesting with affiliate websites.
Whether it be a spot date or a national tour, one of Ballin’s specialties is tour press. Whether it be features, previews, critic picks or calendar listings, we target all the major regional newspapers and media outlets in all relevant tour markets.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
A social media presence is absolutely essential for artists today. In addition to maintaining and managing Twitter accounts and Facebook Fan Pages for artists, Ballin conducts analysis’ of social media metrics to identify audience trends and implement strategies to maximize marketing campaigns.