As the publicity strategist of a small independent music company you will face a ton of day to day challenges while navigating the creative landscape. As the publicity strategist for said small independent music company who is also juggling a day job, you will learn to balance both jobs and the importance of "borrowing" office supplies. I say that as I am sitting at my day job simultaneously doing work and thinking of all that I need to start and finish for the "Wake Up and Dream" campaign. The most important of this marketing campaign is leveraging the assets we have to work in our favor while not boxing ourselves in a corner creatively. In layman's terms that means using whatever free platforms we have in order not to break that bank. Our newest pursuit in this campaign is our Crash the Campus series (commonly known as the CTC series and which you're likely to see videos for in the coming weeks) which is a tour of all the local colleges in the Cal-State and UC systems. A three part blanket campaign which includes airplay on campus radio, noontime campus performances and exclusive singles for each campus, Crash the Campus is a way for Akapela Jonz to not only gain notoriety within the college community, but it is also a great way to start branding Akapela within the local community. Many artists start out doing college campus shows, again it's a great way to create a community groundswell for your music. However in this day and age, consumers (especially college students) want to be engaged, they want a full experience and a compelling reason to pay attention to your brand. You need hit your audience from all sides, coming at them traditionally with elements like live shows and radio play, then engagement through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and BandCamp. The creative engagement (i.e. the exclusive campus singles, limited edition campus stickers) comes through involving your audience in way that makes them feel special and like the artist was thinking of them and that's what keeps people brand loyal long after an artist has evolved into their career.

So, let's talk about the fun I've been having all week with two elements of the campaign: radio submissions and performance scouting. Here's another tip, as the PR point person you will dust off those old elementary school arts and crafts skills. I spent a generous amount of time at Staples (oh yes, I am a proud Staples reward member) this week printing, cutting and packaging the materials for the campus radio submissions. Some schools will ask you for everything under the sun, from an artist bio to a press kit to pictures. Other schools (thanks UCLA!) will make it super easy and just ask for what really matters, the music. Just be prepared to provide whatever they want and make sure you've got some time blocked off and don't forget to befriend the copy clerk at your local printing franchise, cause when she asks if you want to make extra copies and you say no, you're good. Yet inevitably you will cut something too small and need th extra copies she asked you for in the first place (not that this happened to me or anything, lol). Also going on this week is the following up with the schools who we are working with for our campus performances. Get ready for phone tag and making nice with the Student Union office receptionist, you'll need her at some point too.

Stay tuned for our progress with the CTC series and videos of Akapela in the studio gearing up for the Wake Up and Dream release on October 5th. We've got a ton of stuff going on, including the sticker designs which are sure to be amazing. Now if you'll excuse me, we just got a shipment of office supplies in at work and I brought my big purse today. Until next time!!

Post By: Tamika Cosen