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Rainmaker Public Relations & Artist Development / Rainmaker Deal Breaker

1 398 Columbus Aveneue PMB #183 02116United States Review updated:

Rainmaker PR is a complete and utter waste of money.

I received one good review and two bad ones all in the first month. Five months into the six month campaign and nothing else. I have never heard from

her except for her "going on vacation" notices and when I've initiated it.

I've requested a time sheet to break down how she's spent her 45 hours for which I paid her about $2500, and a list of exactly who she spoke to and what

was said, to which I've been completely ignored - it's been three weeks since the request.

She has a very irritating practice that I've never come across before in a professional situation. She dices up your emails so that unless you keep

meticulous notes in a Word Doc by copying and pasting everything that comes in or goes out, it is impossible to decipher to what she is referring.

I have had better luck getting me CD reviewed on my own but I am very busy and haven't been able to do a lot. In fact, she told me that a real (not

virtual) magazine I submitted to on my own that reviewed me is "nothing" since she never heard of it. It's so "nothing" that they have a 13K

circulation. And I bought one at a local Barnes and Nobel. Maybe it's not Billboard, but neither are the three ezines where my reviews showed up.

I've also seen my CDs being sold on EBay. These are the people she's sending the CD's out to, or they are giving them away to people who are selling

them. "Reviewers" who spend their time hawking CD's that were given to them to review. What a joke.

So, I have a new CD with some pretty strong material and I've spent the better part of the last few months being very upset that I've been ripped off.

Don't do it.

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Comments

Fl
  17th of Feb, 2009
+2 Votes

I should have began my complaint by emphasizing the fact that I have not heard from Rhonda Kelly in months. It is now February, six months into the six month campaign. Rhonda, to say that you are shocked is just a lie. I'd like to know where the other four reviews she says I got are as she never sent them to me. Whether they are good or not is not the point. The point is that Rhonda's communication is zero, her follow up with the reviewers after she sends the cds out seems to be zero. Then she plays the "I'm shocked" routine to try to save her image. I gave her plenty of chances to communicate with me before I went public and she chose to ignore them.

Oh, and again, where are the other four reviews? And the impressive press kit of features, articles and all the other things you promised in your contract?

Rh
  3rd of Jan, 2018
0 Votes

@flowereater Just a note that Rhonda / Rainmaker is doing business as Whiplash PR now . https://twitter.com/Whiplashpr looks like it's just a renamed GORMG / Rainmaker PR Twitter account, and https://whiplashpr.com still has all the same rates / phone numbers / contacts as Rhonda's always had.

Fl
  3rd of Apr, 2009
0 Votes

Case #: 176737
Date Case Opened: 02/26/2009
Status: Pending Closure
Days Pending Closure: 3
Pending Closing Type: 200 No Response
Company failed to respond to the BBB or to the consumer to resolve the issues.
Pending Closing Summary: We have written to the business two times on your behalf and we have failed to receive a response to your complaint. Unfortunately, BBB can not compel businesses to answer complaints. In these instances your complaint becomes a matter of record with BBB and is important in connection with investigations and answering inquiries about the business. It is possible that the business has adjusted this matter to your satisfaction after you filed the complaint. If it has we would appreciate it if you would let us know (click here).

If it has not, we strongly recommend that you pursue this matter by contacting the following agency for assistance:
Boston Consumer Affairs & Licensing
Room 817
1 City Call Plaza
Boston, MA 02201
http://www.cityofboston.gov/consumeraffairs
This is a State Government Agency

617-635-3834

COMPLAINT

Customer

Complaint Type: Consumer to Business
Salutation: XX.
First name: XXX
Middle Initial:
Last name: XXX

Address: XXXX
City: XX
Province or State: XX
Postal or Zip code: 97209
Zip + 4:
Country: USA

Home phone: XXX
Work phone: XXX Ext:
Fax:
E-mail: XXXXX


Direct Complaint to

BBB Business ID: 83043
Business name: Rainmaker Publicity
Address: 398 Columbus Avenue
City: Boston
State: MA
Zip code: 02116

Business public phone: 617-889-4122

Complaint Information
Date purchased: 07/01/2008
Zip Code of purchase location: 97209
Store/Establishment #:
Date of problem
first occurred: 10/01/2008
Have you complained
to the business: Yes
If yes whom did you
complain to
(last name): Kelly
Purchase price: $2, 200.00
Amount in dispute: $2, 200.00
Product or service involved: promotion for music CD
Brand name or manufacturer:
Model name or number:
Order, contract or
account number :
Salesperson's name:
Primary Nature of Complaint: Service Issues
The failure to honor a service estimate or agreement



Brief description of problem:
I paid for 44 hours of service @ $50 per hour plus sent 150 professionally packaged CDs to Rainmaker's Boston address. I also paid Rainmaker approximately $300 in additional mailing and phone calling expenses. The contract terms are this: Rainmaker Public Relations will create an impressive press kit with features, interviews and reviews of the project. We will aggressively go after larger web-zine reviews and internet radio playlists as well as all national press outlets. Our goals are industry buzz and attention, interviews, reviews and cd sales. However, Rainmaker has failed to honor their agreement. To date, I have no sign of receiving "an impressive press kit with features, interviews and reviews of the project, " as promised. In fact, Rhonda Kelley emailed me only three reviews of my project. I was completely ignored when I asked for a detail of how she used my hours. According to our agreement, she was supposed tie in a local XXX campaign that would have been very important. She later denied it even though I have it in writing from her. Once she had all of my money, I never heard from her again unless I initiated the email or conversation, or when she went on vacation, when she sent out group emails. In addition, a few of my CDs have ended up on EBay for auction. This indicates that the places she is sending do not fall into the category of professional outlets to which she promised to market. The fact that she ignored my request for documentation of the use of my hours indicates to me that she spent no time at all on my campaign. The manual labor of sending out 150 CDs could not have taken more than 3 hours for one person who does this all the time. She apparently has office help for such tasks. The rest of the time was to be spent selling my CD to the press, which has not been accomplished.


Settlement sought:
At this point I will not take into account my cost for the wasted CDs, only the cash spent, which is 2594.28. Please use Paypal address: XXX for payment.
Primary settlement type: Refund-Cash

Ry
  1st of May, 2009
-1 Votes

You know what, I hate PR people. I think they are a waist of money. But I have to say that Rainmaker and Rhonda ROCK!!! They have made me change my mind about PR people and I will never leave Rhonda and her group. In the first week we saw more results then I could imagine. Don't listen to this one person who really must not be all that anyway!

Jo
  1st of May, 2009
-1 Votes

I hired Rhonda to promote my latest CD and she did a stellar job with it. Maybe the web editors or radio programmers just didn't like your music? That does not give you the right to ask for the funds back because Rhonda tried.

I know she got me like 80+ reviews on my latest release. I was very happy with her service and will hire her again.

Fl
  1st of May, 2009
0 Votes

Desperate measures for desperate people.

Ry
  1st of May, 2009
-1 Votes

Desperate . . . really! I think it is sad that the internet can up used to slander someone without any concern or repercussion. I know how hard Rainmaker works and how much ownership they take when it comes to there clients. I also know how they try to be selective and work with clients they can get behind. If the "press" didn't like your music there is nothing she could do! Sorry to be honest but PR is a speculative. Not the effort that Rainmaker puts into their job!

Fl
  1st of May, 2009
+2 Votes

Sure, that's why "Ryan Riley" and "John Leeds" reviews are all over the internet.

Ry
  1st of May, 2009
0 Votes

No that is why I saw a complaint about a company that I completely don't agree with and posted a reply.

Fu
  4th of May, 2009
-1 Votes

Hey "flowereater" why don't you put your real name up here and show YOUR creditability. What's your name? Let us hear your music & see who you are we we can fairly judge the full story here.

I'm from the band FUJI MINX and we have a ton of reviews all around the web & press thanks to Rainmaker Public Relations & Rhonda's help. We have worked with her for several years and always had a positive experience. She has always been available by email or phone whenever we needed her (7 days a week!) and has offered free advice/suggestions that have really helped us along the way as well.

A publicist can only sell what they are given. If what you create is good enough, people WILL write about it and it WILL get noticed. This fact is hard to face for alot of artists, but it's true. If your music or art or whatever you do, only gets a little bit of attention, then that was the attention it deserved. And next time when you create something, you can improve and grow, and hopefully more people connect with it. That's what we've learned.

In this time period that is in question, what did YOU do to promote yourself? That's the #1 mistake of artists everywhere. They get signed to a label or sign with a manger or publicist and then sit back and wait as if they are going to make it all happen. The people that do that are not the ones that are going to be successful.

Did you ever sign with another PR firm and have different results? My guess is no.
Do you have a myspace page, and did you market and promote that? How many shows did you play and were you touring? What does your music or live show bring that is something different that a publicist can sell?
Before you try and ruin someone's creditability & career, maybe take a long hard look in the mirror and see what you could have done differently to make your album a success.

Gl
  9th of Aug, 2009
+3 Votes

The Facts About Rainmaker PR Aug. 8, 2008
Created: 08/08/2008 1:25 PM
I first ran this complaint as a blog one year ago. Since Rainmaker is still in business, and most assuredly taking money for services that will lead nowhere.
I will dare say that I've enjoyed tremendous success in that time due to hiring a real, very competent publicist. One that will take daily phone calls. If getting web reviews in unknown blogs is all you want, Rainmaker might be for you. If you need to make an actual living as a performing musician, you will need to look elsewhere.

I'm still in a bit of shock, but here's the letter that I sent to tunecore(the site that recommended Rainmaker PR)

Hello Tunecore,
My name is Glenn Patrik and I have been a full-time pro Blues musician since 1972. Since that time, I have had the good fortune of holding the guitar chair in several historic American Blues bands. As I have aged, my heroes and employers have been passing away at an alarming rate, and as a result, I have had to step up and release my first solo CD, which has done surprisingly well, with little but internet promotion..

I saw the ad for Rainmaker PR on Tunecore and began to think about a PR rep for the first time. I talked to three companies but ended up signing with Rainmaker in January, 2008.

I signed up for a 6 month campaign at $2529.00+ $350.00 for the CDs to send out, for a total of $2879.00 . Soon after signing, I sent Rhonda a list of the must have Blues publications that I needed to be in. Within two weeks she informed me that she had been in touch with all publications and didn't like the way the Blues world operated and would have no part of doing business with them. After I got over the initial shock of her statement, I asked what good she could possibly do for me now. Her answer; "I have the connections to make this happen for you. This is what I do. Get ready to sell a lot of CDs". She was quite convincing and I agreed to continue.

By the end of February, the two times that I called Rhonda, she gave me a bit of a dressing down about taking up her working time by calling on the phone and told me to correspond by e-mail. Thinking that she must be hard at it, I never called again and only used e-mail to reach her.

By August 6, 2008 I still had no idea what Rhonda's game plan was. I wasn't even on the client roster on the rainmaker webpage. This is a (so called) PR agent! I had received links to five reviews of my CD. None of the reviewers were familiar with the Blues and all but one review, even though all were positive, were basically too embarrassingly un-informed of the genre to make a statement of any importance, or use to me.

I placed a call to Rhonda that day and soon after answering the phone, I asked her what was happening and what was going to happen, she screamed "what is it that you expect me to do?" My answer was that I expected pertinent PR to my genre of music and that an occasional update would be nice. I also asked why my name wasn't on the client roster(basic PR). Not addressing my questions, she once again loudly told me that she had "sent out the CDs. "What else do you expect from me". As I began telling her that I could have merely sent out CDs, she hung up on me in mid sentence. I tried to call back three times over the next 10 minutes and got an e-mail telling me that my PR campaign had been suspended and that she was returning $800 dollars that would have covered the final three months of the campaign(which began in May, she now says). That's $800 from $2529. As a working musician in hard economic times, this is a large financial blow to my music effort and my advertising budget. If my band operated our business as Rainmaker PR operates theirs, our name would be ruined, and I feel that this will also be the case at Rainmaker. She may have been able to get away with this type of behavior prior to the internet, but as we all know, the internet is the great equalizer. I can trace no CD sales to her "efforts".

This letter is going to make the rounds of Facebook, ReverbNation, Myspace, etc... I can't, in good conscience, not post a warning to musicians who probably have tighter financial restrictions than I.
Thank you,
Glenn Patrik
Tunecore Member
www.glennpatrik.com

Cr
  26th of Oct, 2009
+2 Votes

Had the same frustrating experience with Rainmaker. Had positive reviews from 4 ezine websites, I promote the snot out of my music, have current producers and award winning artists all over my album, a very established MySpace presence, etc. Not one print review, alot of promises, compliments from Rhonda, all the same stuff alot of these upset artists wrote above so I won't be redundant. I considered it a $2400.00 mistake and take ownership of it (and money was very very scarce at the time). I found a real publicist, and real pros to work my album by just getting it out there by myself (and they still make fun of me for going to Rainmaker), but at the time I had a limited budget, alot of trust and optimism, a very charming and persuasive talker in Rhonda (at Rainmaker), alot of self-promotion energy and a great product. Now I'm having great successes and more than decent sales and about to embark on a great tour of Europe. Just do your homework, contact real bands who they've worked with (she won't list her failures on the website) so its alot of work, and still there's an element of rolling the dice. You picked a bad apple...so pick again.

Look, these kind of people are ALL over the internet. If they can sleep at night then, hey, all the power to them. They're making a living off of hopeful artists. Unfortunately, as I've stated, just consider it a (expensive) lesson and keep pushing, keep working, keep believing, and spend less time thinking of the damage predators like this do. It worked for me, so state your complaint (as is within your rights) then let it go. If your music is good, it'll find its way across this ocean of marketing, promotion, and competition, regardless of the sharks like these. Lesson learned, crying over, moving on to bigger and better things! More positive energy going forward...Amen!

Ju
  15th of Dec, 2009
+2 Votes

She stole from me! we paid hjer $1000 and she never ever answered a call or email ever again.
Karma - stealing from people that are chasing dreams

Et
  26th of Jan, 2010
+2 Votes

Our company is launching a lawsuit for the money paid to Rainmaker for one of it's artists. Very unprofessional and since Rhonda won't even reply to the Better Business Bureau, you'd have to wonder what her business ethics really are. I know for a fact that she takes on far too many artists and unless the first or second reviews come in raving, she ignores the rest of the campaign. I'll be telling everyone I know in the business to stay the hell away from RPR.

Mu
  11th of Feb, 2010
+3 Votes

Rainmaker PR is a scam...being an artist that has spent thousands of dollars with Rhonda, it is people like her that are killing the soul of the music industry.

She promises the world and to most naive acts it would be refreshing to get someone who says 'I will help you will sell loads of CD's, your myspace fans will increase, we can get you management and a label deal from our campaign, my PR company can make this happen'. Once she gets your money you will not hear from her. She replied to emails almost instantaneously when inquiring about her PR campaigns and getting payment.

From there...honestly, we did better promoting ourselves than Rhonda did. We got a few reviews from online webzines, but looking at the artists she has worked with in the past they have the exact same reviewers (Neufutur, Music Emissions, Skope Magazine etc). So I am guessing she has friends, or pays these reviewers a small amount to get some press for her clients.

She does not keep you informed of your PR campaign, her replies to emails are confusing at best and getting her on the phone is next to impossible. Any PR firm will give you a monthly update of their work. Rhonda said 'I don't waste time on press reports'...that is ridiculous! Not to mention after paying for a 6 month campaign and sending her 150 CD's, paying an extra $350 in postage fees and ANOTHER $300 for phone call/office expenses...

It seems there are more people on this post who are in the same position. I am going to let this be known to as many music websites and bands as possible because this kind of crap happens too often and it's always the musicians who end up losing out because of the sharks in the industry.

Lesson learned, this will be passed on to as many other people in our position as possible.

Ly
  25th of Feb, 2010
+3 Votes

I "worked" for Rainmaker for about 6 months and I can tell all you artists the whole thing is one big scam. She makes interns do all the grunt work, and doesn't pay you whenyou lug huge bags of mailings to the post office, and then she does only the bare minimum to "promote". The photo of her on her press pages is actually a local artist. Not her. She is a complete fake and a scam artist and I stopped working for the sow because I had a conscience. She then refused to pay me for the last weeks I worked for her.

She let me keep any CDs I wanted and said I could sell them. Yeah, real handy work there. Everyone who knows her things she is repugnant and not just in her business practices. Several former nannies sued her for lost wages, and reported her to DYS.

You may as well burn that cash you send her. At least you would be warm for awhile. And maybe someone will see the smoke signal. More exposure than her fatass will ever get you.

St
  21st of Mar, 2010
Best Best Advice +4 Votes

I was in a band that after 5 years of hard work got signed to a label, major booking agency, and professional management. we toured the US for many years as well as Europe. Prior to our commercial success when we were just starting out, i as acting manager hired Rainmaker/Rhonda to promote our first CD. one word: disaster. All the negative comments here are absolutely true; all the memories from our "campaign" are flooding back. Out of the dozens on agents, publicists, promoters, manager, etc that i went on to work with, Rhonda was the only situation where we were actually stiffed. Bottom Line: Stay away from Rainmaker and Rhonda. If you absolutely must work with her, make sure you sign a contract with the terms explicitly laid out (it can even be just one page), and keep track of all correspondence so when the time comes to sue her you'll be able to provide detailed evidence.

Se
  10th of May, 2010
+2 Votes

All the negative experiences these artists are writing about in regards to Rainmaker PR has happened also to me. However, I wish I had read the info on this site before I had hired Rhonda. She is the second PR person that has stiffed me. All said, everyone who wrote, 'get yourself a professional PR' ; can you please recommend someone.

Ju
  19th of Aug, 2010
+2 Votes

It's sad. I've got with Rainmaker and was seriously burned as well. Since then, as an artist, I scoped the globe to find someone out there who could help me in my dealings with promo, radio, distribution and a host of other things. I found one company, Selective Image in Canada who have been more than fair with me. This company is small, has many international partners and promises nothing. What they do is work and market to as much industry as possible. And their prices are low and/or competitive. The focus on what you need at any given time and do things according to a budget - my budget. You guys should check them out. But they'll tell you - no promises. Your music must be able to sell itself.

Ok
  15th of May, 2012
+3 Votes

I believe Rhonda to be mentally unstable and useless. I had applied through Sonic bids to her company
then ended up going with another company(Thank God!) to do some Radio PR.
She called and left a message. Then i wrote her an email and said i was going
with another company for Radio PR. She then told me i need press first and basically called me stupid. Well on the contrary
i have heard that you need to warrant press through gigs and radio play first.
She then tried to call countless times to discourage me from this.
UGGH! Glad im not working with this unstable ###!!

Br
  16th of Jul, 2012
+1 Votes

She has contacted me as well. Glad I did this research. I will strongly take all of this into consideration concerning any action with her.

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