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article imageEsteemed publicist Kirt Webster discusses public relations career Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jun 24, 2014 in Music
Nashville - Kirt Webster, President of Webster & Associates Public Relations, runs one of the most prestigious public relations firms in the entertainment and music business.
He recently took some time from his busy schedule to chat with me about his illustrious career in the public relations and marketing field.
Webster represents some of the biggest names in musical history which include such diverse artists as legendary country entertainers Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., The Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, Crystal Gayle, Randy Travis, and Janie Fricke to rock entertainers Megadeth, Kid Rock, Aaron Lewis, and The Summerland Tour to bluegrass greats Rhonda Vincent, The Roys, and Nu-Blu to today's hottest hit-makers like teen sensations Midnight Red, Big & Rich, 'Rising Star' contestant Sarah Darling, newcomer Lisa Matassa as well as rock and soul legend Sam Moore to the estate of country king George Jones, and that is not all…
"Growing up, I wanted to do performance and drama, but always being heavyset and overweight, I realized that I would never probably fit in, so I never wanted to pursue that route. Then, I decided to get into the 'behind the scenes' of the music business. I realized that things need to be promoted, publicized and marketed, and that was the area that I wanted to target and go after," he said.
Webster continued, "When I moved to town at the age of 20 years old, I never worked for a record company or another PR company, so I just opened up my own PR firm. I didn't go to college and I didn't get an education, but my people skills and my ability to go after things and not taking 'no as an answer,' lead me to a career that I have loved for many years."
"We take pride in the fact that we are able to represent so many genres and make so many journalists and TV bookers happy with what we have to offer, with this wide variety of talent," he added.
He shared that the hardest part of his job as a power-publicist is to get clients to have realistic expectations. "Just because you have a No. 1 hit, does not necessarily mean that you are going to get on 'The Tonight Show.' Just because you have won an award does not mean that everybody wants you. It is still a sales job and it is still about how we position you to the point where everybody wants to book you," he said.
Regarding the key to a good press release, he stated, "You need to have something to say. Our office issues a lot of press releases since there are radio stations across the country that need to have news every single day. The syndicated radio shows and the daily morning shows all take our press releases and use them as a news item, it gives their disc jockeys something to talk about. A press release needs to say everything in the headline or the first paragraph, and the rest of it will include quotes and a fact sheet. As long as your press release has a story to tell, then it's a good press release, since every outlet looks at press releases differently."
One of his proudest professional moments was producing the George Jones final "No Show" concert last November, where he had over 100 artists appear on one stage, where the show ran on time, and everybody got on stage and off-stage in the time that they were supposed to. "To know that I had put such a show together for George Jones while he was still living and then to pull it off after his death, was an amazing feat. I did it all with the help of a concert promoter, a talent manager, and a few other people that assisted with various things, but overall, producing that event was the pinnacle of my career. That is what I would call my biggest career achievement," he attested. "When I moved to Nashville 20 years ago, my goal was to work with Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. I thought they were the epitome of what country music was in the 80s, and they were the two people I wanted to work for. Now, I am blessed to call both of them clients and I would say that I have accomplished my career goal."
When asked how he multi-tasks and balances all of these incredible musical acts, the PR king revealed, "I am not married and I do not have children. I am married more or less to my work, and that's the way that I wanted it. I love it so much to the point where I work 24/7. I lost my father three months ago, and that was really tough for me since my family and I are really close. I work every day to be able to provide for my mother. My father was able to attend the George Jones final 'No Show' event and he along with my mother and 92-year-old grandmother attended Dolly's show in earlier this year in Phoenix. Dolly was so kind to my whole family; she met them backstage and then acknowledged them from the stage. In his passing, my dad knew that I accomplished such goals as working with Dolly Parton, being in the music business and having some success. I know that he is looking down on me and he is proud."
For aspiring publicists and PR interns, his advice is simple: "follow your dreams." "Don't take no for an answer and keep pushing. Find the music that you are passionate about, and once you do, go after it," he said.
For more information on Webster & Associates Public Relations, visit their official website.
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