Matheson Interviews Mona Loring of MLC PR

When you have music you want to get into the public’s hands, there are several ways of doing it: You can look for a record label that would want to help you put the music out, you can do the whole production yourself and hope enough people find out about the music to at least make back the money you put into the release, or you can look for a publicity firm that will help you get the publicity that your music deserves with a label or on your own.

If you are interested in the publicity route, there are many publicity firms that are always on the lookout for talent that deserves to be exposed. One of those firms is MLC PR. What follows is an interview with the owner of MLC PR, Mona Loring.

1 How long have YOU (Mona Loring) been in the business?

I have been in business since spring 2006 and it’s been crazy how much the firm has grown! I can’t imagine where we will be in 2010. It is thrilling.

2 How did you get started doing the publicity thing? And what was your reason for getting into the publicity business?

It was rather serendipitous… My first job in PR was as a PR Director for a children’s book publisher called Playdate Kids Publishing. The president of the company owned a music video production company where I had interned at in college so she already knew my work ethic and liked how I could think outside of the box. After she read of the materials I had published, she called and asked me to work for her on the spot. I was already making a living writing freelance, but I always had an interest in PR– just never thought I could get into it without working at a large company first. I decided to take a chance and really go for it. Since my passion was always in the entertainment industry, soon after I was working as the PR Director, I sought after people in the music and TV/film industries. I offered them great rates and asked them to give me a chance. I simply explained how I was a smart girl who’d do them well—and they’d save a ton of money on the rate. Without hesitation many of them agreed… It just continued expanding from there.

3 When did you start MLC? (Different meaning and answer than first question)

I’ve been in the business just as long as I have owned MLC. It can be confusing to anyone who tries to trace the history though. You see, I started out as M. Loring Communications. It was the name of the company I had when I was freelance writing, copywriting, etc. When I started out as a PR Director and worked my way into other areas of publicity, I decided I’d rather be MLC PR. I applied for a new business name and branded the firm under that moniker. Later, when Jennifer Lyneis (my VP of Record Promotion) came on board to form a music services company, I went back to the M. Loring Communications Company (and name) and re-launched it as multi-service music firm. Luckily, I mapped it all out well and no one has been confused! It wasn’t easy changing it all around but I am glad it worked out. Both companies are within my corporation, Mona Loring Inc.

4 Where are you located?

Our office is located in Agoura Hills, California. We’re about 30 minutes north of Los Angeles and south of Ventura. We’re not in the hub of Hollywood, but we love the location!

5 What are some of the services you offer through the company?

Through MLC PR, we offer public relations. This includes image consulting, press release writing and distribution, tour press, regional and nation press, new media coverage, music promotions, article placement, crisis communications, reputation management and much more. We basically have everything to do with someone’s career in the public eye. At M. Loring Communications we offer radio promotion (getting an artist spinning on FM radio nationally), artist development, corporate sponsorship, music licensing and endorsements. I am currently in the process of expanding to offer booking services as well. Basically, from independent artists to record labels, we can offer almost every service needed. All that’s left out is advertising, distribution and management (and booking FOR NOW).

6 Are there specific people you are looking for that can use your services? (Do you only accept certain people? Or if they can pay, you’ll take anyone on as a client?)

Definitely not. I am very picky about MLC PR clientele. Image is everything so why would I represent what I think is “bad” music? I don’t. So to answer your question, I am looking for indie and mainstream artists in ALL genres who are driven, talented and going places. To take a client on, they do have minimum requirements that need to be met. For example, an artist who doesn’t have at least an EP out should at least have a single and a decent tour lined up. We can’t make the media write about just anyone… we need a story… we need events, products, facts…

7 About how many clients are currently on your roster?

It varies. Some clients need a lot more than others. We typically represent about 13-15 clients at any given point. We book out ahead and plan for newcomers.

8 Some of the most notable names on your roster.

I’ve represented several notable names that have come and gone due to the nature of the business. I represented two knockouts from American Idol last year: Sabrina Sloan and Alaina Alexander. Most people know Shane Sparks (“So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew”) well. I also rep Francia Raisa (actress “The Cutting Edge 3” and ABC Family’s new show “ The Secret Life of the American Teenager”), Crosby Loggins (son of Kenny Loggins and Jive Records recording artists), Chelsea E. (Paradise Hotel 2 actress and pop singer) and Montana Tucker (pop singer from “Step Up 2”). I have a feeling that by next year, people will know many of my lesser known artists as well! Notable or not, I love them all dearly!

9 Some of the most promising up-and-coming clients on your roster.

Oh nice lead in! Obviously I feel that everyone I sign is promising, so let me just give you a recent breakdown on some clients. Bag of Toys is blowing up. After just one press release Jen Lyneis was able to get the band licensed on both TV (Fox’s”Bones) and film (TBA). Kaitlyn Anderson is getting a lot of attention commercially due to both her talent and fresh faced appearance, Fiance is getting a solid buzz locally in Denver which we feel is about to ooze over nationally, Stanfour is already on Universal in Germany so it’s only a matter of time until they’re known in the states, Phoenix Block sounds like U2 and Coldplay—need I say more? Lastly, Stealing Jane is a band in New York that is getting a ton of buzz and has some serious potential.

10 Some of the up-and-coming things that will be happening to your company?

Anyone who knows me well is aware that I am always up to something new. At this time, I am in talks with a start up label. They want MLC for PR and record promotion. If we do this successfully, (which I know we will) it will be a start of something incredible. The music industry is changing and independent artists and labels have more power than anyone ever imagined they could. We’re here to push independent thinking—even major labels need this frame of mind.

11 Where do you see the music industry headed in 5 years from now?

I always kid that this topic could make an entire chapter in a book. The music industry has changed immensely because of the Internet. In the next five years, I believe the music industry will see a shift in music distribution and promotion, leading to more and more independent artists and labels legitimately competing with the majors. I can’t wait to see what happens. This newfound freedom is exciting. People with talent actually have a chance at making it independently.

If you are interested in the services that MLC PR offers, you can get in contact with Mona Loring by calling her at 818 706-8080. You can also reach her via e-mail at contact@monaloring.com. For more information, go to www.monaloring.com for PR and www.mloringcommunications.com for her music firm.

Matheson Kamin