Entries from September 2016

BIGSOUND 2016 Report

September 25, 2016

I could write an essay about BIGSOUND… but who has time for that ^__^ Here’s how this year’s trip went in a bunch of dot points:

  • Awesome to meet the QMusic team in person, after months of talking to them on the phone.
  • Sadly missed Kim Gordon’s keynote speech (plus most of the other conference sessions I had earmarked) because I was doing urgent campaign work from our apartment. But did manage to catch an interesting panel around A&R and marketing, and also hear one of the Pandora guys talk very candidly and honestly about streaming (and how they can do it better).
  • Also watched a session where a panelist criticised a recent advertising campaign I ran because it listed the national tour dates instead of just ticketing details for Sydney, his hometown. Did go up and have a chat to him afterwards because we did that strategically during the announce phase to highlight how large the national tour was/how big the band has become, and I think he died a little on the inside. (He was a really nice dude and had no idea I worked on the campaign… I just really needed to tell him haha.)
  • Our digital advertising workshop was apparently the most popular of the whole conference and was completely booked out. Also it ran perfectly on time… WINNING.
  • Serviced apartment with a full kitchen + near Woollies = best outcome for a girl who struggles to eat healthy/cheap when not in Melbourne.
  • BIGSOUND Buzz really freaked out band managers.
  • Showcase highlights: Jarrow, Alex Lahey, Vera Blue, Fractures, Teeth & Tongue and Olympia.
  • Espresso martinis at the Bolster party was a great idea. Side note – I ended up spontaneously doing door bitch duties (which is 100% fine) but a couple of industry people treated me like a lowlife, so that’s a great way to filter out jerks. (Never assume door people are only door people.)
  • After party toilet lines = best place for conversations.
  • Post BIGSOUND flu is a thing, and I’m still sick :(

😍😍😍 #BIGSOUND16

A photo posted by Bolster (@blstr.co) on

Nerd Alert: Writing For Web

September 3, 2016

I recently decided to take a short course in writing for web via Open2Study, the free sister program of Open Universities. Seems pretty weird considering that I’ve been paid to write content for web contexts for almost a decade… but it was free, I haven’t actually studied writing/comms in a formal setting, and I am an ultimate nerd. (And yep, I passed.)

IΒ  stumbled upon the course from a careers blog, and it definitely had immediate takeaways that I could apply to my current job in digital advertising. A lot of what I know about writing for online environments has been largely through experimenting, accidentally learning things on the go and seeing how other writers play with words (both good and bad). While I don’t think there was anything revolutionary in the course, it was a great way to turn my random hunches about web writing into a neat little list of best practices.

In terms of takeaways specific to music:

  • The end user and channel is pretty important, which is why a press release doesn’t need to be the same as a band bio. And should rarely be the same as social media content.
  • Context of use is often overlooked. Some of our festival clients have horrendous sites that make it hard for mobile users to purchase a ticket (i.e. try filling out 40 fields with an iPhone keyboard) even though most of their traffic is via mobile devices. Or I often see other advertisers push iTunes links to my Android device.
  • Copy needs to be relevant to the audience that is getting it. Half the time I get advertising for bands that I don’t follow with extremely basic copy (e.g. “NAME-OF-BAND-I’VE-NEVER-HEARD-OF’s new album out now on iTunes.”). This doesn’t sell the product to me because I have no idea what you’re about and there’s no story to entice me.
  • Consistency across channels is pretty important. I think many music brands (e.g. festivals, bands, labels) are great at being consistent across one channel (e.g. just Facebook, just Instagram, just their blog) but not so much between channels (i.e. is the tone of voice the same between their EDM, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Triple J Unearthed profile?). Big brands have style guides and a developed TOV, but most music brands don’t because the content is much more organic and/or channels may be split up between band members.

There was also a heap of content more focused around blogs and websites too, so here’s the course in case any of you want to ride nerdy with me.

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