A New Year’s Series
To kick off a new series at PRRocks (and a new year), we’ll be looking at various artists that are demonstrating the power of social media in the music industry.

Goodbye Record Deal, Hello Freedom of Expression
In the spotlight this week is Kate Voegele, 21-year-old singer/songwriter and MySpace musician.  Voegele uses MySpace to effectively attract an online audience.  Her MySpace page puts video to work and makes good use of the social networking tool’s blog application.  Voegele’s MySpace Records debut, “Don’t Look Away,” is scheduled to be re-released Jan. 22.

Kate Voegele - MySpace MusicIn addition to singing and playing guitar, Voegele delves into acting.  You can catch her debut appearance as Mia the upcoming season premiere of One Tree Hill Tuesday, January 8, on The CW Network (8/7 central time).

According to MSNBC, “On the show, one of the main characters discovers Mia and later signs her to a record deal. Voegele will be heard playing songs [including] the single “Only Fooling Myself” on the show.”

Good News about Old News
By now, most, if not all, of us are aware of the changed landscape in music sales.  Today, online song shops such as ITunes and niche music stores like F.Y.E. make it possible for today’s musicians to break the stranglehold that record labels previously had in the music industry.

“The industry landscape is rapidly transforming, and whoever finds the magic formula for a new kind of label/distribution firm stands to make a lot of money as they establish the new paradigm of the industry.” — Matt Buchanan, Gizmo.com

Online sales vehicles and outlets have been around for years now.  The good news about this old news is that these online tools are proving capable of getting the job done — of actually being the keys to success.  It may not only be good news, but great news for independent artists, when considering that a truly independent musician answers only to the man or woman in the mirror (and of course the fans).

It’s no wonder that online sales are so successful for independent artists heard on shows such as One Tree Hill and Grey’s Anatomy.  The audience is hearing fresh, original music that hasn’t been watered down or dictated by a record company.  In this age of globe spanning connectivity, that’s a win for musicians and music fans everywhere.

The Next Big (Band) Blog


Time is Money
Blogging is free (in a monetary sense, anyhow).  So, the return on your investment (ROI) — the time it takes to set up and maintain a blog — can be well worth it.

I won’t offer a formulaic equation to foretell the amount of attention any given blog will receive simply based on the amount of time invested.  However, at the very least, you’ll get what you paid for (as the old adage goes).

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Social Media Gone Viral

The Dark Side of Web 2.0
The terms social media network and viral marketing have made it from the Web to the boardroom and back again.  Both veteran and rookie public relations practitioners can agree on the merits of using social media to reach the audience.

But what happens when the audience tunes in, only to be rewarded with a viral message that is sinister in nature?

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Of Publicity and Bloggers

A Blog for Every Occasion
One of the most cost effective ways to get the word out is to blog.  While not everyone has the knack for it – I sometimes struggle with it myself – there is help in sight.

Fortunately, there are literally millions of blogs online, with more and more coming into existence, each and every day.  Chances are good that there is a blogger out there that focuses on your genre of music.

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Publicity and Bad PR


Paying the Price

At one time or another, many of us have asked the question: Is there anything this person can’t get away with (referring to the latest scandal or social calamity involving a celebrity)?

Keeping a celebrity’s brand top-of-mind is important, but what cost does a musician pay for being cast in a negative light? 

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Get the Word Out


Reaching Out
Today, music industry professionals face the challenge of reaching out to an ever more fragmented audience.  In other words, fewer individuals are paying attention to or responding to the same message.  This makes it difficult to find a channel of communication that will reach these individuals (the audience).  To maximize your chances of getting the word out, consider using both traditional and nontraditional channels of distribution to communicate messages.
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On-line Jam Sessions
The Web site (Tjoon.com), though a little tricky to navigate, allows split-screen videos to be created online by one or more individuals with a webcam.  The Tjoon Web site allows individuals to: 

  • Play music online with friends across distances

  • Share music with others

  • Discuss music and recording


Another Tool In The PR Practitioner’s Belt
Like other social media tools, Tjoon may be used to help promote music.  Like youtube.com, Tjoon uses the power of the Web to get the word out.  It’s still in the infancy stages and is somewhat limited in reaching an audience outside of its obvious niche’, but keep an eye on this one for possible promotion ideas in the future.


An Advertisement Wary Audience
Gone are the days where many record companies are willing to spend enormous sums of money to promote musicians through advertising.  Can you blame them?

Faced with trying to reach an audience that increasingly becomes more fragmented, labels and promoters struggle with finding an audience that will sit still long enough to listen to an artist’s songs – let alone buy them.

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Breaking the Band

Publicity and Public Relations
So you want to be a rock star.  Or maybe you are looking to promote an up-and-coming musical act.  In either case, having an understanding of the role and importance of public relations in generating publicity may drastically increase the chance that you’ll be met with success.

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