“Evolve or die”: Music industry powerhouse and Beehive PR trailblazer Sammie Anschau talks surviving in the COVID-era

“Evolve or die”: Music industry powerhouse and Beehive PR trailblazer Sammie Anschau talks surviving in the COVID-era

We sat down with the 'queen bee' to discuss the current music industry climate, publicity in the COVID-era, and a new venture in the world of sport.

It’s no secret that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has had a cataclysmic impact on the music industry. Across the world, neither mainstream institutions nor obscure up-and-comers were able to perform before a live audience due to the implementation of social distancing rules, travel restrictions and quarantine measures.

The month to follow saw the nation adjust to the new reality of life under self-quarantine – the music industry included – resulting in many creatives finding new ways to connect with their audiences, taking their shows online, creating collaborative DIY videos, still releasing new music every day and sharing it all through clever publicity campaigns.

Led by total industry powerhouse Sammie Anschau, Beehive-PR is one of Australia’s leading publicity firms, representing some of Australia’s most popular and loved bands and artists, including Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Kingswood, Greta Stanley and The VANNS just to name a few.

As bands and musicians around the country have had to adapt, Sammie has been on the front foot, using her extensive music industry knowledge, astonishing creativity, and years of experience to help navigate independent artists through these unprecedented times.

We sat down with the queen bee to discuss the current music industry climate, publicity in the COVID-era, and clearly, one to take her own advice, a new venture in the world of sport.

First up, can you give our readers a little insight into what exactly Beehive PR does?
Beehive PR is an Australian Entertainment PR agency. We represent artists from all over the world in helping to strategise their music release and tour plans in the Australian media landscape. We work across editorial (newspapers, independent music blogs, tastemaker tiles and street press) radio, TV and playlisting. We have a great roster of artists and events including Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, The VANNS, Kingswood, Greta Stanley, Elsy Wameyo, Grampians Music Festival, the South Australian Music Awards and more! In conjunction to working with independent artists, we also work with labels, agents, managers and promoters such as Caroline, Dew Process, Live Nation, Double Drummer, Fourtone, Universal and more.

To break it down, if you are an artist looking for the best way to get your music or tour out to the world – we work with you and the media to achieve that!

What’s the importance of artists promoting their work?
Someone very wise once told me, “You can’t sell a secret,” and that’s very true! The amount of music being released every day is phenomenal, it takes strategy and elbow grease to help cut through the noise and give your music or tour the best opportunity to be seen and heard by as many people as possible.

In your opinion, how do you believe artists can best navigate their careers?
The best thing to do is have a plan – know what you want and then work out how you are going to achieve it. Be realistic in your goals and timeline, there is no such thing as an overnight success. A great tool is to look at artists similar to you or who you aspire to. How often are they releasing? Who is releasing their music? Who is playing their music? Look at the quality of their assets (photos, videos, music) and level up to achieve the same. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a million dollars, I’ve seen many great creative campaigns done on a budget. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!

Who are some of the bands/musicians you’re working with? Any success stories?
We are obsessed with our roster, we are a boutique agency and that means we only work with artists who we are passionate about.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have done the hard yards and spent the last few years travelling across AUS, UK, Japan, Europe and the USA; releasing music at a rapid rate, it’s incredible seeing them on stages like Desert Daze (USA), All Points East (UK) and Splendour In The Grass.

The VANNS achieved triple j Feature album with their debut album Through The Walls last year and it was so well deserved, one of the hard-working bands in the biz.

Greta Stanley continues to release incredible songs that need to be on your playlist.

Sydney’s Johnny Hunter’s debut EP Early Trauma is one of my favourite EPs to date, the band supported Jack White’s The Raconteurs / Saboteurs last year in Sydney – a testament to how good this band is live.

The list goes on – I could talk about our artists all day! It’s an exciting time for Australian music, the quality of music is incredible and extremely competitive on a global scale.

The current pandemic derailed the touring industry and brought the careers of artists and bands to a halt. What’s something you’ve learnt from operating during a pandemic that you can apply to your future client relationships?
Evolve or die! The pandemic has been a devastating time for the live music sector and through it, we have seen some incredible initiatives helping musicians to promote their music and earn a living. The music industry is constantly evolving and you need to be open to new opportunities that are presenting themselves in this time.

You’ve just launched Beehive PR Sport, focusing on publicity in the world of extreme sport. What inspired this addition?
I’m lucky enough to live on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and have the ocean at my doorstep, you can find me on my board at Curl Curl Beach most mornings. With all the happiness that surfing has given me, I really wanted to explore how we can work with professional athletes in the extreme realm (Surf, Skate, Snow) to help them grow their careers through strategic media coverage. With a growing Hive over the last few years, I had just never been able to find the time that I wanted to dedicate to it. A silver lining to COVID19 is that it granted us the extra time and we jumped at the opportunity. This year we have been able to work with the Tahiti’s first female surfing champion and Teahupoo charger Vahine Fierro (Tahiti), three-time junior world champ Mahina Maeda (Hawaii) and former world champ Barton Lynch (Aus) and we are very excited for what is next.

Tell us a bit about it. Who would it benefit?
Professional surfers, skaters and snowboarders and affiliated brands.

Do you have any advice for someone considering jumping on board with a Public Relations professional?
For music – don’t rush! Get in touch nice and early so you have time to get all your assets ready before the campaign starts. Ideally, I’d reach out three months before your ideal release time with a good mix of the music. This will give you time to create a plan, film a video, book tour dates (if achievable), get all your art ready and work with your publicist and distributor. Give yourself the time to make sure your release has the best possible chance at succeeding.
For athletes – get in touch early so we have time to execute the best possible plan!

Lastly, where do you hope to take Beehive from here?
We hope to continue to work with incredible artists releasing great music, world-class events and athletes pushing the boundaries.

You can find out more via the Beehive PR’s website, and follow the team on Instagram and Facebook.