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The Favorites

Here we are, the last blog post of the semester. This week’s topic is supposed to be about my favorite blog posts that I’ve read throughout the time of this weekly blog assignment.

first place by evelyngiggles

I would say that out of all of the “pr pro” blog posts that I’ve read, my favorite  has to have been the one Ariel Hyatt wrote on her so-called “social media food pyramid”. What made this so favorable is that it was a new and interesting way to gauge and conceptualize the ideal amount of each kind of post that musicians should do through social media. But really, who has thought about doing that with a food pyramid of all things? This has definitely been of a great help for my final project that I’m working on that’s targeted for musicians who would like to become better at using social media.

Of the student posts, it was pretty hard to decide on ONE that was a favorite, and that’s not me just trying to please others, that’s an honest thought, because I have some very talented classmates. However, since this is about favorite blog posts in a social media class, I’ll have to say that one of my favorites have been “tweeting for the greatest reach” by Ember Award nominee, Rachel LaFlam. I really like how concise her writing is, and I try to model that in my own writing. I also really like the way she uses images within her posts, it really seems as if she puts forth a real effort to find unique and creative images to use with her own content! As to the content of this specific post, I never thought about scheduling tweets in such a strategic way!


Guest Blog

Somehow, I looked over an old topic of the week. My guess is that it was because of spring break throwing everything off balance.

Anyhow, here’s a guest blog post from my friend Ben. You can find it on his blog:

Podcasts are pretty stinking awesome. I am a big fan of them. I used to listen to them a lot when I was in high school, specifically KOXM, the podcast for Official Xbox Magazine. I think the main reason I stopped listening to that every Saturday was because when I came to school, I left my Xbox at home and didn’t keep up with the news as much because the only time I got to play was when I went home for breaks. However, I loved listening to it, and I think companies can learn a lot from that specific one. I also enjoy listening to the Solid State Records Podcast on occasion, as they sometimes bring in artists who I really like listening to to talk about their new albums/tours/etc, and play new releases.

I learned a lot from the OXM guys while listening to their KOXM podcast that I think can apply greatly to many other business podcasts. KOXM is run by two of OXM’s editors and they do a great job of incorporating the audience and keeping up with the news and latest in the Xbox industry. It seems that they don’t post as often as they used to, but they are still doing just as much quality work as when I listened to it. The two editors always do a great job of joking back and forth with each other and have a genuine relationship that they can build off of. They always bring in a producer, artist, designer, etc, of a gaming company that is making a big game coming up that is being talked about primarily in the media, and go into extensive interviews with them. That was my favorite part. A lot of times I would only listen to their podcast if they interviewed somebody working on a game that I was really interested in, but I noticed that listening every week had it’s advantages as they talked about everything around the Xbox industry as well. At the end of the interview before ending the podcasts, they also let listeners phone in and leave voicemail messages concerning questions and comments to be responded to, which I think is one of the best things they could be doing and that companies can learn from. This way, the listeners know that their voice is being heard and they are getting their questions answered. I called in a couple times and it was kind of interesting hearing my own voice in the podcast when they played the message through. Also, they always have some sort of contest. Usually they play a sound bite from a video game and the listeners email in what they think it is, and the KOXM guys select randomly one person who got it right and mail them a random prize.

I think companies can learn a lot from this magazine’s podcast. Keeping your audience engaged is a great way to keep them interested in products, and keep them coming back to listen more. Having contests with actual prizes does the same, and really gets them intrigued on who won and what the sound came from.

From interviewing important people in the industry, to keeping audiences involved, podcasting is very important and I think it’s something a lot of business should be doing as it gets the customers even more in tune with the company and going-ons of the brand.


What I’ve Learned Through My Time In Music Publicity pt 2

This is a continuation of an earlier blog post of mine that was similarly titled. In it, I started to talk about all of the different things that I’ve learned through working for myself, under the business name of Torches Management and PR. Some of the things brought up are about working in publicity, and other points are about working independently.

Niagra Falls by Code Poet

I’ve learned to look at things in varying scopes.

Publicity campaigns require you to look at things in many different ways. Sometimes, you need to look at the bigger picture before you want to look at the smaller factors. Other times, it’s the exact opposite. You keep both ideas in mind when deciding your approach, especially knowing that once you start, there’s usually no turning back.

You definitely need to ask yourself the essential “who what when where and why” questions before beginning the planning process, and as you’re going about the planning process, you need to make sure that each individual part of it is doing something to accomplish those goals.

You need to be creative.

Everybody in the music journalism world has read a biography about a band “starting from nothing” and then “becoming something”, “from rags to riches”, or even “reaching for nothing but the top”. As interesting and image-evoking as those sound, you need to come up with other ways to tell a band’s story, especially if you’re pitching to music journalists who have seen and heard it all.

Give them something that they haven’t seen before, and they will become THAT much more likely to work with you. As simple as it seems, the effort requires actually sitting down and thinking things out. Not just with creative pitches to write, but also other marketing ideas. It’s all fluid-like, you need to keep things flowing and refreshing.

glass half-full by Jenny Downing



My Personal Learning Network

In late March, I gave a presentation that talked about the various people that I’m connected with for my personal learning project. It was called my “personal learning network”, and within my presentation, I talked about how I’ve stumbled across these people and how they’ve helped me for my project.

Sorry to stiff you out on all of the juicy details that I talked about through the presentation, but perhaps you could do a little research yourself to get more out of it?

Here you go!



"PurpleMood" by Symic

Working independently as both a freelancer and a student has taught me to use whatever is available to me to become more effective at what I do. And among the major things that I’ve learned from the many mistakes that I’ve made is to look at the greater picture, and then look at the individual specifics. And from this, I’ve learned to write EVERYTHING down.

Not just your to-do list, but write down your progress on different projects and assignments, write down ideas that come to mind, write down the names and phone numbers different people that you’ve met. Write down Sometimes, you will forget some of the specifics to a project, and rather than having to look through any notes, handouts, pdfs, and syllabi, you could check only one place to get a quick overview of what needs to get done.

I myself use a combination of Evernote and the notes widget in Windows 7 to make this happen.

Evernote Logo (All Rights Reserved to Evernote)

Evernote is great, because through one program that is usable on a variety of platforms, I can edit, revise, and add to my work. For example, I typed part of this blog from my droid while waiting, I worked on this from a friend’s laptop, and I finished and formatted everything out from my laptop. My favorite things about this is that It’s all pretty efficient, and I can’t make up excuses about not being able to work on pieces because I’m away from my laptop.

The notes widget is useful for putting a variety of things up. Like you can see in my screen shot above, I have a big variety of different notes on my desktop. If I ever become iffy about something, I can just pull the notes up with the press of a button. The problem with this is that I can’t look at these from my phone or any other device, I guess that I could always use Evernote, but the notes widget is so much better because it’s more visual and attention grabbing, which is just what is needed when you’re trying to sort out your tasks from your contacts.


What I’ve Learned Through My Time In Music Publicity Pt 1

The first thing that I want you (the reader) to be fully aware of, is that I could very well write close to 1000 words about this whole experience, but I won’t, because that would take far too long, and I know that more than likely, you’re going to stop reading this blog post halfway through.

So I’ll cater to the short attention spans that society has given us.

write me a letter by Linda Cronin

To start, I’m going to give a brief introduction on how I got into doing music publicity:

I guess it started with this last summer, when I began writing for Christian Music Zine. I primarily write reviews for the site, and in doing so, I’ve had the opportunity to work with various publicists from a variety of backgrounds, like in-house publicists at labels, publicists that work at boutique firms that work with individual artists, and even self-sufficient artists that do their own publicity. Through seeing this end of “the game”, I assumed that I had good enough idea of how it works.

Some time had passed, and I helped a friend’s band put together their press kit. A few months later, the same friend of mine had started up a new band, and I was asked to help with putting together a press kit. Instead of simply offering advice, I offered to actually do some pr work for them as a way to give myself some experience and help them with running a tight ship. A few weeks had passed, and I decided to double my workload by adding on another band.

So that’s really how it all started, I became my own teacher, my own student, my own boss, and my own intern. It ruled to know that I was helping my friends out, but it was kind of discouraging to be working for free. What it took was for me to realize that it was merely temporary, and that there are more benefits in attempting to make something happen with experience under my belt instead of only book knowledge.

I learned how to use social media as a very powerful marketing and publicity tool.

One of the first pieces of advice that I had given Eyes upon working for them was to use certain forms of social media to increase awareness and to reach out to fans and listeners. I typed up a few different ideas into a word doc, included why I had thought of these as good ideas, and then I talked with them as to what would be worth the time and effort.

One of the fruits of the efforts had included using Soundcloud to help online music journalists embed the band’s music into articles, creating a Myspace page for the sake of SEO, and creating a Tumblr page to collect any content the band creates and putting it into one place where it could all be reblogged.

I learned to improve my time-management skills.

Being a student and working close to 25 hours a week only makes things more complicated when it comes to working in this. Oh, and then there’s life. I would say that juggling all of these aspects of my professional life has made me capable of playing “mental scheduling Tetris” where I try to fit the essential pieces in the right slots so that I could take care of everything else that needs to get taken care of.

Like the actual game of Tetris, it really never ends until there is a game over.

I learned to actually plan things out.

This one actually goes hand-in-hand with my last point. This might not sound like all too much of a startling truth, but the crazy thing about time is that you don’t get any of it back. If you procrastinate on something that needs to be done by midnight the next day, you’re only going to hurt yourself. You don’t want anybody thinking less of you because of sub-standard work, and you don’t want to under deliver on campaign results.

Once your time is gone, it’s gone forever. Poof.


Tobacco and Public Policy

I think it’s safe to say that the life and career of somebody working in public policy is more than definitely an ambitious one. They want to make a change happen in the world, or even personally see to it that things stay the same in their workplace. It definitely takes a strong will, intellect, and the willingness to voice opinions, and voice them in a strategic way, whenever needed.

So I decided to give anti-tobacco lobbyists a look, and see what they had to potentially say about all of the mess that they deal with on a regular basis.

Butts2 by Dave Hull

It was actually very tough to find any info on a specific lobbying group. But after some very persistent searching, I came across Vector Group. Vector Group appears to be a lobbying group that works with both tobacco and taxes. I couldn’t find all too much information on what they’ve done, but I did get some statistics off of influence explorer.

The main chunk of information that seemed relevant in any way whatsoever was the amount of money spent in all of their lobbying efforts. According to what was said, the firm had spend a total of $500,000 on their 2011 efforts alone.

Would this be called successful? It’s hard to tell with raw numbers, especially when the site doesn’t reveal how well their efforts have worked out.

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