Founded by former music journalist Nicole Balin, Ballin offers both emerging and established artists a rare combination of aggressive marketing and concern for artistic integrity.
Our aim is simple: to secure media exposure and create a buzz about your product. Campaigns target hundreds of journalists and taste-makers at national print outlets, websites, blogs, and TV in an effort to secure reviews, features, and show coverage. More, Ballin offers custom social media management and marketing consultation.
The press landscape—and the music business—is vastly different today. “The Internet was once considered an artist’s worst enemy,” notes Balin, who’s one of the most recognized hip-hop publicists. “Today, it can be your greatest weapon, if you know how to use it to your advantage.”
Ballin 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, Big Freedia, and 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. 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. Balin has an advanced Social Media Marketing certificate from the University of San Francisco.
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.
Current Ballin PR clients: Big Freedia, Moog Music, People Under the Stairs, Zion I, Uni-Fi Records, Bill Ortiz, and Latyrx.
Past Ballin PR clients: 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, and Ceschi & Fake Four Records, M9 Entertainment, Basement Records, NinjaTune.