Building The Community: Trevor Perkins & Perkins Publicity
You have to give credit where credit is due... Trevor Perkins is a man on a mission and is working as hard as anyone in the Country Music industry. And he's only 20! I never like to use age to define someone, whether it is young or old, but how rare to see an individual with an outstanding work ethic, clear vision and already achieving some insane goals at a young age. It is unusual in any work space, let alone creating and maintaining your own company. As I spoke with Trevor, I noticed he is wise beyond his years and paving his own path. He is ready to be a game changer in Music City and beyond. Trevor is busy working on many business plans and visions, but as of now has made strides with Perkins Publicity and Sincerely Music Group. In his words, Trevor described Perkins Publicity as "a digital marketing company that primarily focuses on PR; we do offer other services, but PR is our main source". As he continued on, Trevor said it was his 5th year doing PR and he saw this as an opportunity because he knows artists' voices need to be heard and PR firms can sometimes be oversaturated. This can be especially true when working with bigger firms as it can be hard for an artist to stand out. This young man has found great pleasure in working with independent artists and helping them to achieve their goals.
Get To Know Trevor
"Country Music has always been something I've grown up on. I remember my first concert was a Gretchen Wilson and Kenny Chesney concert. It really didn't happen for me until I was 14 years old and I decided that I wanted to start interviewing people. Where I got that, I have no idea, but I just got into it. I went into journalism and launched my own magazine at the time. I was fortunate to find a wonderful business partner and the business launched and skyrocketed into everything I was doing. As time went on, I found out my family actually had a lot of musical history. My grandpa on my mom's side was in a band and performed with so many people: Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings and all these talented people across the Midwest. On my dad's side it's a long line of truck drivers, but my grandpa shared beers and spent time at bars with many musicians. I watched so many artists grow from the ground up. I remember Luke Combs when he was just getting started; Chris Lane, I interviewed him when he broke "Windshield View". It was a lot of that passion and drive. About 5 years ago I was told I couldn't do PR and had to find a job that was more sustainable, that I could build on. There comes a point in your high school career where you have a path and you have to choose where you want to go. I knew journalism was a hard thing to break into at the time, so I decided I wanted to do PR. I went to my business partner and told him I wanted to do it. He told me he didn't think I could do it and I said "watch me". I worked at a PR company for about a year and quickly found out I work best when I do things myself. I left that PR company and launched my own company, probably when I was 16. I signed a hip-hop artist, which was a new realm for me. Then I went into PR - building my company, database and contacts. Now, I'm working with Perkins Publicity, but also have my own distribution company and I’m still touching on journalism here and there."
Q & A With Trevor Perkins
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Perkins Publicity and how did this journey start for you?
A: "The biggest influence was that my grandma was a writer who wrote daily columns in the newspaper and things like that. I loved the journalism aspect and it all came so easy to me. I knew that I loved telling stories and that's when I knew I wanted to go into journalism. At the beginning, journalism really opened my eyes. I did CMA Fest, the last one they had - in 2019, and I was there as a 17 year old journalist. That really brought everything together for me. It taught me a lot about journalism - how cut throat the industry is. I've had so many opportunities watching artists grow and flourish. I knew I could play a larger role and I felt with journalism you always do the same thing. Yes, you might talk to an artist and then eventually talk to them again in another year, but you aren't making that connection with them as a person. I went into PR, not knowing what the hell I was doing... then really built it from there. I've been fortunate to work with a lot of people. Very fortunate to have artists in People, Taste of Country, Rolling Stone and Billboard. But what holds the most meaning to me and my values is these people getting the features aren't labeled artists. They are all independent folks who are working their ass off and we are celebrating those successes with them. That is the core of what I'm doing and trying to build."
Q: Most memorable moment so far with Perkins Publicity?
A: "I think the biggest, most memorable “moment” is the overall picture of what I am doing. I have been very fortunate to land a lot of stuff for artists. From CMT to Rolling Stone and all those relationships are fantastic, but I think the biggest thing that is the most memorable for me is helping these independent artists and helping to get their voice heard. Nothing is more exciting than when an artist gets their dream publication. Those are the moments I hold closest to me. I've been able to build and grow this to help these artists reach their goals.
Q: What is your vision for Perkins Publicity and what do you get out of it?
A: "I've been thinking a lot about this... I just turned 20 and thinking of my future and where I want to be within the industry. PR will always be a core value of mine, but I truly love growing and developing an artist and watching them in the studio and watching them perform. There will always be a Perkins Publicity, there will always be a PR, but I hope a stepping stone for me is to be able to build the next Luke Combs or Kelly Clarkson. I want to help build them from the ground up, more on a development stage and not just PR. With PR, so many times you are hired by the artist to do a campaign and your job is to get them heard, not really help their process of growing. A goal of mine is to be able to play a larger role. My big goal is to have my own label down the line. In the long run, that will be the only way I will have a retirement."
Q: What advice do you have for anyone who's trying to become an entrepreneur and start their own podcast, business, service etc.?
A: "Don't listen to rejection. Every day you are faced with rejection. People will tell you "no" consistently, but it's all about how you grow and respond to that. My big "no factor" was someone telling me I couldn't do PR. And now I'm here running a company with several artists. You have to hold your shoulders high and not take it personally. Don't let it get to your head. Just keep working and striving for your goals... whether it's in 5 years or 10 years, it'll work out. You don't have to be in Nashville to do it either. I started all of this at 13 and the first time I was in Nashville was at 17. I've only been to Nashville 6 or 7 times since then. Don't give up even when rejection hits you in the face."
If you are just discovering Trevor and Perkins Publicity follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and at perkinspublicity.com