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Bob Bradley: “It will take time to get where you need to be”

Don’t take things personally: You will run into situations where you will turn red in the face and want to walk away from your career, tell someone off or simply take the rest of the week off haha. This is where being mindful, taking a step back and realizing that “shit happens” is a part […]

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Don’t take things personally: You will run into situations where you will turn red in the face and want to walk away from your career, tell someone off or simply take the rest of the week off haha. This is where being mindful, taking a step back and realizing that “shit happens” is a part of life. PR, like many careers, is technically a sales job and you will see a lot of rejection and awkward situations, it’s about playing it cool and going with the flow. Don’t take any of it personally, we’re all just trying to get through life and do cool things.


As a part of my series about the things you need to know to excel in the modern PR industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bob Bradley.

Bob has spent the past 13 + years as a public relations and marketing professional, telling the stories of hundreds of clients within the entertainment and other top industries. As a motivated entrepreneur, he has owned and been aligned with multiple growth phase startups, in addition to working for established brands.

Bob has developed a focus on storytelling, helping clients push their key offerings to the media, and locking critical press to help their business thrive. As a marketing partner, he offers clients a broad range of services including press releases, copywriting, marketing strategy, event management and so much more.

He spent many years touring full-time in the band Scars of Tomorrow signed to Victory Records and currently plays for the Southern California band Fake Figures.

Bob also owns the publishing catalog Gas Can Music, which is a collection of hundreds of tracks in multiple genres including rock, indie, and hip-hop. Since 2011, the music has and will continue to be licensed across multiple channels in film, TV, video games, and web platforms.

In May 2020, Bob released his first book ‘Public Relations for Musicians’ on Amazon and is available via student libraries around the country.


Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you Kristin, I appreciate the interview as well. You know, it’s a really random story of how I got into public relations. I had spent about 5–6 years prior to touring in a band and when that journey came to a close I needed to find a job. I had a lot of interest in working in the music industry and decided to write personal notes to companies that I admired, seeing if they would consider hiring me. To this day I credit getting the gig by taking unconventional routes, as most people probably check out hiring websites, ask friends, or look on Craigslist for jobs.

Anyhow, I really liked this label Fearless Records and their manager Todd responded to my message and brought me in for an interview. I really hit it off with him and the rest of the team, which was very small at the time and the rest was history. I don’t even remember the job I was interviewing for, but when I got my business card it said “New Media” on it and I knew my job was to find opportunities for our bands on the internet. What’s crazy is this was only 2007, but it feels like eons ago. The job was technically “Online Publicity” but at the time I didn’t know any better, and was thrown into the fire learning about how to do the job and get good at it. Thankfully, I had a big label name behind me so a lot of people in the media would respond to my pitches and emails. I’ve stuck with doing PR ever since, but if it wasn’t for Fearless and their team I probably would be doing something else for sure.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?

I was a PR and marketing consultant for this startup label called Authentik Artists, and somehow we got Corey Feldman as a client. It was a 3-month campaign (if I remember correctly) and we helped him with the process of throwing a release party for his Truth Movement CD release party. I just remember the first time he came by the office, he was like the coolest guy and complimented my car and how clean/neat my office was. I always feared the “never meet your idols” type of situation, but the guy was super easy and fun to work with. The show was a huge success and I knew that would be a memory I’d hold on to for sure. Plus, Goonies was by far one of my favorite childhood movies.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh jeez, I’ve honestly made so many mistakes that I can’t remember. Thankfully, none has been to the detriment of losing the client but I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing moments. As I’ve gotten older I realize that making mistakes is a sign of success because it’s often unavoidable and a trait of those who keep trying to evolve and learn. I can confidently say at one point I sent out the wrong press release in a mail program I was using, and another time sent the wrong draft of a press release that was chock-full of errors and incorrect links. That might not seem like a big deal, but your heart sinks when you realize it happened.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’ve had my fair share of large profile projects, but sometimes the most exciting is from emerging businesses or artists that I work with. One I’m working on is for this band Down Again out of the Bay Area and we are starting from scratch here. With every feature, I can tell how excited the band gets and I obviously know this is a huge part of building their credibility and foundation as a brand. It’s like taking a kid to Disneyland for the first time, you live vicariously through their experiences and it keeps you young and enthusiastic about your career.

A handful of other projects I’m working on at the moment includes pushing the latest hot sauce flavor from Gringo Bandito hot sauce (which is the brand created by Dexter Holland of The Offspring), a very well-known Tattoo artist named Dillon Forte who has worked with Usher, Kehlani, Kat Von D and others and a special project for Betty Moon, who was a former A&M/EMI artist from Canada and now runs a label in Malibu.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

You will work on the weekend, get over it: If I remember correctly the first few times I realized I had to get things done on the weekend I had some anxiety about it, but I was thankful I got to do “cool shit” at the least. I had my MacBook, blackberry and the occasional beer to get me through those long weekends. PR is a 7 day a week job if you haven’t heard.

It will take time to get where you need to be: Success is not only a state of mind, but fairing well in any competitive, niche industry just takes time. Just keep moving, learning, and selling yourself to others and the fruits of your label will appear along the way.

Don’t take things personally: You will run into situations where you will turn red in the face and want to walk away from your career, tell someone off or simply take the rest of the week off haha. This is where being mindful, taking a step back and realizing that “shit happens” is a part of life. PR, like many careers, is technically a sales job and you will see a lot of rejection and awkward situations, it’s about playing it cool and going with the flow. Don’t take any of it personally, we’re all just trying to get through life and do cool things.

Save money for taxes: Now more than ever people live that 1099 life. When I first started if you got a check for 1,000 dollars you thought it was just that. I remember when my first tax appointment rolled around after my “debut year” being a freelancer. It was a sad, sad day and I had to write a big fat check to the IRS to catch up. The best route is making estimated payments but to each their own of course. Self-employment taxes are no joke, and freelancers need to educate themselves on that subject while also learning about ways to properly take advantage of write-offs.

Invest in tools and education: When I first started I didn’t take enough time to read the right books and invest in myself properly. I took the hard road to early success, and it could have been much easier if I spent some of my free time learning and seeking mentors, instead of partying around Hollywood. Even though I met invaluable contacts that way, I could have spent just a bit more time with continued learning. Sometimes staying in on those weekends will fast track you to the lifestyle you very much desire.

You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?

When the lockdown ends, go to as many events as possible in the industry relevant to yours. Do your absolute best to meet new people, and ask them questions. Don’t talk about yourself right away, have a genuine interest in learning about other people. Because at some point, they will ask “what do you do?” and it will give you an opportunity to sell yourself while commanding their authentic interest.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

Early on I would call and email companies I was interested in working with. The emails would be custom-tailored and my phone calls would target people as high up in the company as possible. Another way to generate leads is to talk about your “wins” on social media and that typically leads to awareness and referrals. That especially applies after you have been in your career for a while. I feel leads in business are best earned by word of mouth and proven successes, more than traditional advertising that is worn out and oversaturated.

Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?

I’m a big nerd and like reading books (and audiobooks) on business strategy, real estate, finance, and music. Right now I’m finally reading “Crushing It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk and there are a ton of inspirational nuggets I’m taking in from his stories. I tend to like books more than podcasts, I’ve never really been a radio person honestly. Some other books that I think are worth a read are Tools Of Titans, The 4 Hour Workweek, Good To Great, Zero to One, Principles, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The One Thing, Outliers, and Purple Cow. All of those are pretty “mainstream” in the business book world, but they are popular for a reason of course.

Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It would definitely be in health care, creating a new or alternative system that is fiscally realistic, responsible, and provides healthcare for both major and basic needs across the nation. It would be a system that of course rewards the value of hospitals, pharma, nurses, and doctors, but at a cost that doesn’t ruin the financial lives of millions. My heart sinks when I see the cost breakdowns across the industry, and it really doesn’t have to be this way. It would be one hell of an undertaking, but someone has to do it right? In the meantime, I’ll keep on providing quality PR services for my clients.

This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.

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