Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Together, We Are Bigger Than The Media

One of the most valuable tools in the traditional press kit is a review. Whether it's a CD review or a concert review, if someone had a few kind words to say about your work those words went a long way toward influencing someone else's opinion.

The entire premise of PR is built around just a few people saying a few kind words. If a journalist in Seattle wrote a favorable review, likely journalists in LA, San Francisco, New York, or Nashville would be compelled to add their voice to the praise of a project or concert tour.

Journalists are people. They have opinions. They are influencers. But their opinions are no more influential than citizen journalists, particularly en masse. Our opinions as patrons of music, customers, and fans are collectively much more significant than just a handful of journalists paid to do a job. Since you are the consumer, your view of a situation means more than someone who is hopping on a bandwagon and collecting a paycheck.

How often are you asked by a business to critique their product?

If Heinz Ketchup asked me for my opinion about their product, I'd be more than happy to say a few words about their product and their politics. I'd always been a loyal Heinz customer, until a certain presidential election changed my mind about the matriarch behind the company. I will never buy that product again. Ketchup is ketchup, right? But if the money I spend over a lifetime goes toward funding an aggressive attitude that I don't care for, my money is better spent on a product that isn't politically subversive.

This is a controversial stance of course, but more controversial, Heinz doesn't care what I think.

When it comes to music, you should care deeply what your music means to everyone. Music is a very personal and emotional expression of who you are as an artist. Encourage fans to share their opinion in an open forum so like-minded people in different cities are influenced by what is said publicly. This opens the door to presenting organizations, festivals, clubs, and any number of concert venues to see what paying customers in different cities experienced and they can base booking decisions on those recommendations and comments.

Visit if you're an artist put up a page so your fans nationwide know where you are playing. If you're a fan, share your thoughts about a live show you paid to see. Think of it as a thank you note for the experience of sharing live music in a social setting.

Together, we are bigger than the media.

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