Music

If You Don’t Know. Now You Do.

The Legendary Mobb Deep at the WOW Hall 4/19/14

The Legendary Mobb Deep at the WOW Hall 4/19/14

Here is the scenario.
I work at the UO Cultural Forum as the regional music coordinator. I have a concert booked with the infamous hip-hop group Mobb Deep coming to the W.O.W. Hall Saturday April 19th. As I think about ways to promote this event I can’t ignore the fact that posters around the school and community is a must. However, my generation gobbles up social media like starving families on Thanksgiving. That makes social media a must too. Then I read these.

How Could Snapchat Make Money?
Creating a Social Media Strategy for Your Event
6 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Instagram for Fundraising

After reading these three articles, I’ve come to the conclusion one of the best ways to raise awareness about this event is to create a social media marketing campaign. Even though we might not be there just yet, these three articles make me believe that it is possible to promote an event solely on social media sites. By using the poster created above with a hashtag and with a large enough network, I could potentially share the above poster on Instagram and Snapchat. Creating “Insta-awareness” and “Snap-awareness.” After being exposed to the event and with a hashtag to utilize, people can then talk about the event on Twitter and Facebook with other interested publics. This in turn will create further buzz and awareness. The ultimate objective is for word of mouth to help spread the campaign, but also for people to post, comment, and re-tweet the poster.

Like any good PR campaign, you want to be able to measure the success and see how many people it made impressions on. This is somewhat difficult to do except for clicking on the hashtag and seeing who is actually talking about the event.

The only way to know how successful a campaign like this can be is how it affects the bottom line. That is, if people actually buy tickets. Is there enough “call to action” in this campaign? Only the day after the show I will know, because I’m pursuing it.

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All Conscious Radio Music Station

On The Air- Creative Commons

On The Air- Creative Commons

Music Industry News Network recently reported the launch of an all conscious radio music station. The idea of an all conscious radio music station is new and refreshing. The music played will vary and be as open as a meadow field. Music will range from rock, world music, electronic, and yoga. The key is to promote artists that have a message of positivity. In addition, instead of news breaks their will be positive affirmations.

Like any music station there will be artist interviews. In this case, the host will try to find out about the artist on a personal level, not just interview them because they are the next hot commodity.

From a music PR standpoint this has niche market written all over it. The target audience is indie fans that want to listen to indie artists that would not normally be played on a commercial radio station. Because of these facts, “Soul Traveller Radio” will have success, but not reach the “popular” audience, which seems like how they want to keep it. Even though this is a niche market, it is music stations like this that upcoming artists must try and conquer. They will be your biggest allies to taking that next step of success.

The really cool part of “Soul Traveller Radio” is that it will feature music that goes along with each time of the day. For example, as you are waking up you are listening to songs that are mellow, or singing about topics such as waking up, cooking breakfast, getting ready to take on the day type of moods. As the day progresses you will hear positive, uplifting songs that could help keep you in a good mood to help you power through your day.

What a radio station like this proves is that there is music made for all types of sitations and occasions. You could make an argument that there is a song for every emotion one could possibly feel during a day- and “Soul Traveller Radio” plans to capture that.

Led Zeppelin Infographic

Led Zeppelin Infographic

Led Zeppelin Infographic

For a recent PR class assignment, I decided to create an infographic of one of my favorite all time bands, the legendary rock gods Led Zeppelin.

Infographics are valuable because they tell a story using minimal text. They are a fun, creative way to spice up a topic and help the reader visualize data. For instance, I could easily tell you that Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. Then I could spend an entire paragraph on an information dump with statistics on why and how they are so successful. With an infographic, I don’t need to TELL you, I can SHOW you. And that, my friends, is the power of the infographic.

Before I share some personal tips with you, here is a great article on how to create a fruitful infographic.

1. Know your audience
-Who is this infographic for? Who are you trying to reach and what are you trying to say? Basic, but oh so very important.

2.Search google
-Go on google and look for infographics. Pick one you like and try and follow it.

3. Draw the infographic on paper before you start using any software.
-Not only will this help you visualize your data better, but it will also help you realize what you are really trying to show in your infographic.

4. Make sure the images that represent data on your infographic tell a story and correlate.
-I used record looking pie charts in white and grey to symbolize a platinum album. Match your word to a picture to symbolize an object.

5. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid)
-Don’t go over the top and try to do something outrageous thinking you are super creative. Everything will be overwhelming to the viewer. The best infographics are clean, color coordinated, that use classic fonts, and empty space well.

Getting Noticed. Outside The Box.

EA Sports- Creative Commons

EA Sports- Creative Commons

What if you thought you were a great musician and you just needed to find a way to get your music out there? There are different paths to get your music noticed, so let’s stay opened minded and think outside the box. Sometimes you have to get creative to become noticed.

Artists may want the glory of knowing they slowly built up their notoriety over time. Starting at the local bar, moving up to the local venue, then making it to the regional, national, and international level. After reading this article, I’m convinced you can, but through the video game platform.

With video games you can make the same kind of impact on a person’s life without you or your audience ever leaving the comfort of a home couch. The business model is an easy thought process. You make it into the video game and a gamer buys the game, easy distribution. After spending multiple hours, days, and months playing the game, the gamer gets your song stuck in their head, easy awareness. By ingraining your song into another person’s head you willingly and unwillingly made them a fan.

Any previous or current video game addict can recall soundtracks from the Tony Hawk series getting stuck in their head. Today, the equivalent is Madden, FIFA, or Grand Theft Auto.

This is thinking outside the box, but if an artists is spending a lot of time at the record agency trying to get a deal, maybe they are better served spending that time at a game designing company. Music agencies are always looking for the next best sound. Gaming companies have the exact same job, but they are looking for the next best sound to fit a particular video game.

Then hey, once your song is in the game you can put that on your musical resume and bring it to the record agency that wasn’t willing to listen to you earlier.

Measuring Streaming Products Value To Consumers and Artists

Spotify- Creative Commons

Spotify- Creative Commons

Pandora- Creative Common

Pandora- Creative Common

A couple weeks ago, Circa, the iPhone app news source reported a story about iTunes sales decreasing. This is news, but if you have been playing attention to the technological world around you, it won’t come as a shock to say that music streaming sites like Spotify are taking over.

Most people I talk to now use an app like Pandora or Spotify. It is the easiest and most economical way to obtain a boat load of legal music instantly. Instead of people having to buy or illegally download their music off the internet, they can just pay $10 a month and have almost any song they want within seconds.

The advantages of this are obvious. To buy an album on iTunes costs roughly $10. If you listen to a brand new album in a month the service basically pays for itself. If you listen to two new albums, you have already saved $10. It’s a great plan and something that is working well. iTunes has realized that streaming music is now the future of distributing music to the public and has released its own streaming service called iTunes Radio. Heck there is even chatter of Beats By Dre creating its own streaming service. PR wise, these two companies are staying current with the times and keeping an eye on their competitors.

The disadvantages of steaming really only affect people like me who at times can be a “music snob.” I love the fact that I have a huge music library. It has been a hobby of mine to collect music since iTunes first arrived. With streaming, personal music libraries don’t really mean anything anymore. Nothing is personal about streaming. If fully embraced, gone will be the days where you could look through somebody’s iTunes and see what kind of music they really listen to. By looking through their music library, you were looking into their soul. You knew that they either paid for that music or at least took the time to download it- not just search for it through a streaming website.
Another disadvantage of steaming music is that music on these services must be granted by the service owners. If you just saw a live show of the sickest new local artist, you won’t be able to show your friends on a streaming website because that artists might be too new. These streaming websites regulate consumers to listen to already successful artists.

What can artists learn from the latest tactic to distribute their music? When measuring your level of success, you will know you have been marginally successful once your name has been featured on one of these streaming sites. Once you are on their you can see how many people you have reached.

Why The Super Bowl Halftime Show Is A Super PR Disaster.

Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show- Heavy.com

Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show- Heavy.com

Unless you were a Seahawks fan, the Super Bowl was one of, if not the most, boring Super Bowls in all of football history to watch because of the blow out. I was pleading for halftime to start so I could get my dosage of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and oh yeah…some guy named Bruno Mars that girls seem to really dig.

Bruno Mars did a great job. I’m not a huge fan of his music but I understood exactly what the producers of the halftime show were thinking when they booked him. The audience he attracts is mostly female. The audience the Super Bowl attracts is mostly male. Put one and one together and you have complementary acts on the same stage- something everyone can enjoy.

Then, the Red Hot Chili Peppers came on stage for one song and brought the energy to an all time performance high. Awesome right? No. Here is the real bummer. During their throw-back, kick-ass performance, the bass, guitar and drums were not plugged in. Yet, oddly enough, the Chili Peppers kept performing with their usual red hot flame. At the time of the performance nobody really noticed. However, these past couple days have seen a plethora of pictures from the halftime performance circulating around the internet showing the bands equipment not plugged in. Finally, Flea, the bassist of the RHCP, decided to talk about the issue in Rolling Stone magazine today. He admitted the only live sounds were the vocals and admitted the NFL said they couldn’t afford a botched halftime show.

You saw that right. The National Football League told the Red Hot Chili Peppers to play a recorded set. Let that sink in.

This isn’t the first time the NFL has had a Super Bowl halftime preconceived disaster. I was just starting to forget about the 2004 Super Bowl halftime “Bra-ha-ha” performance with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. (Skip to 4:oo)

In the end, the Super Bowl halftime show seems like great exposure for an artist. Super Bowl Sunday is an unofficial holiday in America. Television ratings are through the roof. In reality the halftime show is actually a super PR disaster for artists when the NFL makes the performers do something they normally wouldn’t do.

Net Neutrality And What It Means For Artists

Net Neutrality- Creative Commons

Net Neutrality- Creative Commons

Last week the Colbert Report brought up the impact of net neutrality, in other words, the future rules of the internet. It is serious news that can constrict and change the internet as we know it. Sadly, not enough people know what this means. Nothing is official yet but the Federal Communications Commission is using all its power to get the regulations in effect. In addition, the Huffington Post wrote an article on net neutrality recently too. Net neutrality brings up is the idea of freedom of speech and the first amendment, or lack there of. With net neutrality people won’t be able to voice their opinion on blogs, like mine (gulp). And, they won’t be able to access certain sites that the FCC deems unnecessary.

For music PR, this. is. HUGE! This creates an issue for artists that post their music on the internet for free consumption and self promotion. Currently, artists don’t have many ways to advertise their product for free when they do no have representation such as a publicist, agent, or manager. The internet is a tool that helps remedy that problem for up and coming artists- it gets them out there, into the speakers of music downloaders.

Electronic dance music artists utilizes this free system to promote their music and become better known. It is one of the major reasons why electronic artists without initial representation have become a huge success. Once an artist finishes a song, he or she can post it to a free audio site such as Soundcloud. Fans then listen and download the song for free. This creates instant feedback from the fan to the artist and is a crucial way for artists and their fans to connect.

With net neutrality, however, this whole experience will be part of the past. Our generation will be the generation that sounds like our grandparents. I can hear it now, “Back in my day, when I was your age, the internet was free from rules!”

Most importantly , however, it’s about the artists and the music they produce. If net neutrality takes effect, it will be increasingly difficult to find the next best upcoming artists. At this point, all we can do is stay tuned.

Why Award Shows Can Be The Ultimate Platform For PR

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore - Creative Commons

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore – Creative Commons

Sunday night was all about the Grammy’s. Right?

Wrong.

Before the show, the New York Times announced that that during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance 34 weddings, gay and straight, would take place during the performance of the song “Same Love” that talks about the difficulties of being gay.

The buzz after the award show wasn’t about who took home what Grammy. It was related to the PR campaign that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis created and that the producers of the Grammy’s approved. They used the Grammy’s as a platform to raise awareness for equality. Raising awareness is constantly one of the main PR objectives of any PR campaign. Well the Grammy producers just nailed it.

They used one of the most recognized award shows on one of the most utilized media platforms to demonstrate one of the most debated political rights movements of our generation. What’s more, they had celebrity endorsements from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, guys who won four Grammy’s Sunday night. If these two weren’t in the spotlight before, they will be in the national spotlight for years to come furthering their brand awareness and cementing them as pro gay right hip-hop artists. That too is something that very few hip-hop artists believe in and can make claim.

All that is known is this: No matter what you think about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Grammy’s, or gay marriage. This performance had to affect the audience in some way- it was that profound. The Grammy’s, known as a feel good award show with it’s live music and celebrity appeal, brought the audience into a sober mood to make a statement. Something like this had never been done before on national television, and that is what will make it stick in the back of everyone’s mind if they decide to watch the Grammy’s again next year.

The Overcast’s Convergence

Now that the overcast gods have let me start my own blog, before I continue, let me tell you a little about myself and why I am contributing to this blog. Music has always been deeply embedded in my life even though I didn’t realize until my freshman year of college. As a kid I was always surrounded by music, and I feel that my background is one of the main reasons why I love music so much and want to get into concert promoting. My father listened to big bands and jazz music, sprinkled with some classics like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. My mother, on the other hand, was all about salsa and Latin music such as Marc Anthony and Rey Ruiz. Although, these are only a couple to name of few, this is what they would most likely listen to on any given day. However, they both were diverse and had plenty of different types of music to choose from depending on their moods. This kept me open to any type of new music I could get my hands on. Additionally, my dad used to play classical piano which opened me up to Beethoven and Mozart. Weekends I spent with my mom were filled with her sprucing up the house and blasting salsa songs loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear. She never liked cleaning but she always made it fun for herself by practicing her salsa moves to the beat which she would clean and move around the house. For instance, instead of simply just walking to dust a filthy surface, she would Meringue over to practice her moves, duster in hand, and make cleaning the house more enjoyable. Having my parents participate in activities involving music during these times definitely stimulated my growing love for music since it was constantly around me.

Growing up I was forced to play piano for three years. I was never as good as the other kids in my class, and since it was my parents decision to enroll me, I never got started on the right foot. I didn’t have a passion for it. After some time off, I decided to hop back on the musical train. This time on my own decision, and try learning the guitar. I played the guitar for about a year, but once again, it didn’t really stick with me. I had had enough of trying to learn instruments, but I had not had enough of music in general. I pumped up the volume like my parents had taught me to ever since I was a little kid…
One night during my freshman year in college I had a dream of promoting concerts at my own venue in San Francisco. (Yes literally a dream). It. All. Made. Sense! I have always been envious of people that could play an instrument. Raised as a businessman from my father, I didn’t feel like I had the genes needed to succeed. Concert promoting was the niche I had been searching for. It combines business and music into one. Ever since that day I have had that career goal in mind. After spending three years as an intern at a concert venue called the W.O.W. Hall, today, I channel this passion through my job as the regional music coordinator on the University of Oregon campus.

In short, this blog will be about everything music, which is my topic of interest. It’s purpose is to demonstrate my knowledge and show you my excitement for the music industry.