Disrupting the PR Game: Mikel Corrente X Purple Bite

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Navigating the music industry amidst the social media era has never been more challenging and fast-paced. Not only can pivotal career moments arise overnight with a simple audio clip paired with the right meme, but the sheer number of new artists debuting daily makes it a struggle just to be heard. The entire landscape has undergone drastic changes, making it essential for most musicians to invest in self-promotion to stand out effectively.

Today’s dynamic music market, discerning artists must navigate the multitude of promotional opportunities available. However, to access these opportunities, a deeper understanding of the rapidly evolving industry is essential. You need a knowledgeable advocate who can foster valuable connections and provide innovative services to safeguard your interests while upholding the very ecosystem that enables effective PR in the first place. We talked to Mikel Corrente, the head of Purple Bite, a modern PR firm that does away with traditional press-release campaigns, offering artists guaranteed exposure or their money back.

Established in 2016, the company is committed to providing tailor-made campaigns for artists they genuinely believe in. Since its inception, Founder and CEO Mikel Corrente has worked tirelessly to ensure the company remains at the forefront of the services they offer, forging direct partnerships with brands and magazines to secure features for their numerous clients. This approach creates a beneficial “Zero-Risk” environment without intermediaries, ensuring that the needs of everyone involved are met in a way that’s fair and transparent.

This interview goes beyond the business aspects; it delves into the very personal narrative of an immigrant’s perseverance and innovative problem-solving as they pursue their unique vision of the American dream. 

Tell us a bit about your background, how was life back in Venezuela and what led you to emigrate to the U.S.?

I always liked being involved in music, I started playing drums at 13 and had a radio show at 16. I would listen to a ton of Blink 182 and Desorden Publico (Venezuelan Ska band) and go to punk shows with my friends. I moved part-time to Caracas to study and ended up working in Warner Channel South America as an Audio Coordinator but eventually when I turned 19 I realized that to keep growing in my field I had to emigrate, since Venezuela was having a lot of political and financial problems, when you have to worry about basic necessities like water, food, and electricity, entertainment is not as important.


What were you up to before Purple Bite PR came about, and how did that lead you to the founding of the company?

Before Purple Bite PR I tried many industry jobs, I worked at a TV station editing sound, as an assistant manager for a management company, and several other jobs. Ultimately all these jobs didn’t feel quite right for me, until I started doing PR which naturally fit with my personality but it was not something I thought about when I was younger. To be honest I wanted to be a private detective when I was a kid, I used to love Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes.


What was the biggest hurdle to overcome in order to establish yourself and your company in such a competitive market?

In 2015/16 the PR industry was so messed up that it was very clear what was needed, at the moment what was needed was a monthly retainer that was affordable, so I hired somebody back home in Maracay, Venezuela to help me with the workload. The hurdles were talking to thousands of artists to close a handful, then doing a great job with those so that they will refer me to their friends, it took about 3 years for the company to make enough income for me to start thinking about expansion and style of life but I’m so grateful because it was 3 years and not 10. I especially want to give a shoutout to Kimi Recor from a collective that was called Play Like A Girl, since a lot of my first clients came through her and that collective, she liked my work and trusted me enough to recommend me to many incredible artists.


I understand that your team operates from Venezuela, what unique advantages or insights do you feel this brings to the company? 

This is a win-win-win situation. Win for my team in Venezuela because they have good salaries, have a cool job, and an incredibly flexible schedule. Win for the artists because our pricing is better than the competition, cost effective. And win for myself because I’m able to have a competitive advantage and support people not only in my country but specifically in my city Maracay.


In the Ari’s Take The New Music Industry Podcast you spoke about the “old” business model of PR companies not delivering results anymore. What happened to the business and when did you start noticing it was time to innovate?

With the change of the market brands started investing heavily in TikTok and social media influencers instead of publications. So a lot of the publications had no other choice but to cut their staff, specifically the “New Music” department, independent artists were not getting exposed to the same amount of press since the publications were focusing on the clicks, this means only more established artists were getting coverage. The few journalists that were left didn’t want to receive multiple daily email blasts with press releases from publicists, instead they wanted intentional emails with artists that actually fit with their taste. 

In addition, results were not as before back in 2015/16 you could get an artist signed to a major label through press alone and that is not the case now, so it was time to innovate. First thing was it made sense to charge monthly retainers anymore, so after thinking about it during the pandemic and talking to several of the artists we worked with, the idea to work just like any other service industry came up. For example: If you go to a restaurant and you want to buy pasta then you expect to have pasta, can you imagine if the waiter and chef came to you and said: “sorry we tried to make pasta but it just didn’t come out right so we don’t have your order, thank you for the money and try again in a month to see if we can actually deliver next time around”? That’s exactly what was happening with PR, so many publicists charging so much money monthly without any results or very little results. 

I know for a fact that guarantees or money back makes the service industry what it is, so it just made so much sense.

As a young entrepreneur and business owner, do you feel like you’ve had an easier time in doing things differently due to a new generational perspective?

I haven’t thought about it but perhaps? When you have to prove yourself you tend to come up with new ideas, ideally this mentality can continue through the future years. It’s important to be open to new ideas and to know that things will change, as they always do. Being prepared to change with the times instead of holding on to outdated ideas is key. 


There’s been some pushback from “traditionalists” in PR and Press, but that’s not slowed you or your clients down. What do you say to doubters?

The company has grown so much in the last 3 years, from our client database, to our partnerships, to our revenue. So definitely it doesn’t really matter if other companies are upset or not, I care about the artists and the publications, and they are happy so that means my job is better than before. To the people that pushed back I tell them that they can adapt as well. There’s no need to screw independent artists with high monthly retainers. In addition, I don’t believe in scarcity. There’s so much fear in the industry around the amount of opportunities, but I don’t think that opportunities are finite, I wholeheartedly believe that there are infinite amount of opportunities as more and more are created daily, and if it doesn’t exist it can be made as humanity have proved through and through.


You have a lot of insight into the music industry, which seems to be in a period of metamorphosis right now. How do you envision its future and Purple Bite’s role in it?

There are so many platforms and everybody is wondering which one is the “golden egg,” which one is the one you use to break an artist. Many people invested heavily on TikTok and some of them were successful but the vast majority couldn’t break through. I believe that having a company that’s able to help artists with pitching to curators throughout platforms affordably is the future of the industry for independent artists. That is what I focus on, the independent artists. I have worked with acts that are extremely established but it’s just not the same feeling. My motto has been how to make things affordable for independent artists. Im working on developing a system to pitch independent artists throughout platforms.


How important is PR as opposed to the power of word-of-mouth?

Word-of-mouth is the best, PR helps push word-of-mouth. If a respected outlet writes about you or a big playlist includes you in their rotation. The biggest effect will be reactivating and getting your already existing fans pumped listening and sharing.


Is there room to innovate still in the industry for your company?

There is always room to innovate in any company and in any field, so yes absolutely. 

Photos by Dasha Gladkov



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