Career

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.

BIGSOUND Buzz

August 31, 2016

WARNING: THIS SITE IS FUCKING BEAUTIFUL.

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Bolster (well, Mike & Nicky) built a social analytics site called BIGSOUND Buzz to accompany BIGSOUND. It ranks all 160 bands from the festival lineup according to who is the most talked about on Facebook and Twitter, over windows of the last 6 hours, 12 hours, day, 2 days and a week. Neat little summary around it on The Music.

Did notice a couple of grumpy peeps rag on this saying you can’t rank bands objectively because taste is subjective… which is TRUE. We’re not trying to rank the best bands of BIGSOUND, just trying to make all the noise a bit neater and see which bands people are writing the most about! Two different things. Also you’ll thank us at 10.30pm on day three when you don’t know which band to see next and your brain is fried ;)

Enjoy x

P.S. Here’s another bzzzz I like quite a lot.

Guess Who’s Running a BIGSOUND Workshop?

August 22, 2016

Me!

Headed up to Fortitude Valley in a few weeks for BIGSOUND, and excited to announce that I’ll be running a workshop with my boss at Bolster, Alex Zaccaria.

Naturally the workshop is on digital advertising (what we do best), and is called “Digital Advertising: More Than Just Boosting A Post?” Blurb below (no crediting because ahem, I wrote the blurb myself):

Too often bands, labels, festivals, and promoters focus too much on boosting a couple of page posts and forget all about the other digital advertising platforms. This masterclass dives into the different advertising channels on offer including Google Search, Google Display Network, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, publishers and more, plus other kinds of Facebook advertising types. You’ll learn about each platform’s key benefits for different kind of music product (recorded music vs. live music), and when in a campaign cycle each works best.

More info here. Hoping to get a nice mix of industry peeps across bands/management, labels, events, festivals and venues. If I remember correctly, only about 42 places for this masterclass. Registrations only to conference pass holders (BOOK YOUR CONFERENCE PASS IT WILL SELL OUT I AM NOT JOKING).

See you all in September!

Post-Splendour Report

July 29, 2016

Current feels:

https://media.giphy.com/media/fFFuVJ0EpcdWg/giphy.gif

Not complaining though… Splendour was a great chance to meet a bunch of Bolster clients in person (especially those based in Sydney), plus check out some of the bands we look after.

When I told Violent Soho‘s manager that the last time I saw them was at Ding Dong (guess how long ago that was), he laughed and assured me that their stage production had improved a tiny bit. He was correct:

SOHO SO GOOD πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ @violentsoho4122 side of stage at #sitg2016

A video posted by Paige X. Cho 🌘🌠 (@tigerburning) on

Other highlights were Flume, who we’re working on both via his label and for touring:

@flumemusic = βœ¨πŸŒ πŸŽ† #SITG2016

A photo posted by Paige X. Cho 🌘🌠 (@tigerburning) on

And The Cure, who we don’t work on but I have just obsessed over since I was an overly romantic teenager:

The moment my heart exploded with happiness 😍😍😍 The Cure at #SITG2016

A photo posted by Paige X. Cho 🌘🌠 (@tigerburning) on

Also all hail the weather gods for not bringing us any rain, just lovely sunshine.

🌴🌴🌴🌊🌊🌊

A video posted by Paige X. Cho 🌘🌠 (@tigerburning) on

This Is Why I Can’t Have Pets

July 2, 2016

So happy to announce that Darts will be heading over to Sydney next month for Volumes Festival. Looking forward to watching Nicholas Allbrook, Royal Blackouts, Rainbow Chan and Terrible Truths.

Volumes2016_Poster_Final_A2_DigitalVersion

And from there, my year will be Splendour In The Grass (yes, hello, come at me), BIGSOUND in September, and then Queensland again in summer. This is why I can’t have nice (furry) things (with names and feelings and expensive vet bills).

If you’re also flying to the east coast for SITG or BIGSOUND, hit me up so we can share a coconut water and secrets. Or just coconut water.

What Job Am I Best Suited To?

June 30, 2016

I don’t know why, but I enjoy taking quizzes. Maybe it’s because I was once a teenage girl with a Dolly Magazine subscription. Or perhaps it’s grown from years of doing psychological tests as part of my Psych degree. Or maybe I just have weird hobbies. (Not poorly designed Buzzfeed tests that aren’t set up for response bias, bullshit or OTT Twilight-fandom-ness, mind you.)

Either way, I recently took a TIME Magazine quiz on finding the best job for your personality. Yes, TIME Magazine is slowly turning into Buzzfeed. Never mind, moving along.

The quiz used questions from an American university professor designed to measure six personality traits (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional) and match those to personality types that are known to suit certain jobs. I also chucked in my preferred/realistic income bracket, age, gender and university education. My ideal job? According to the folks at TIME:

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.24.37 pmScreen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.37.39 pm

Yes, a broadcast news analyst. I scored extremely low on ‘Realistic’ (e.g. moving things, manual labour, getting up and doing shit) and ‘Conventional’, moderate to increasingly high on ‘Investigative’, ‘Enterprising’, ‘Social’ and ‘Artistic’ respectively.

Interestingly my other top matches were: industrial/organizational psychologist, and poet/lyricist/creative writer. Interesting to me because I studied psychology at uni, and was into creative writing in a huge way when I was younger.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.37.46 pmScreen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.37.17 pmSo how does my current job’s supposed personality requirements compare to my self-reported scores in these areas?

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.37.30 pm

Apparently much too investigative, artistic and social, but not enterprising or conventional enough… Let’s just say that I really do love looking at campaign and audience data to find consumer patterns, A/B testing with weird copy I write and sending GIFs to my clients, but not good at hustling and getting new contracts… which is why I work at an agency so I don’t have to do that. 😎😎😎

Segue – did you also take the TIME Magazine quiz, but got Advertising and Promotions Manager as your top employment pick? Bolster Digital (them people who pay me) is actually on the hunt for some new staff in Sydney and Melbourne. Job listings here. We don’t have high turnover. We just have lots of clients and work.

Bootcamp, Free Food & other Google Bits

June 23, 2016

Saw this while setting up a GDN campaign yesterday… Really, Google?! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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Serious business now… A couple of weeks ago, I headed over to Syd with the Bolster team to catch up with a few of our Sydney clients. We also made time to meet up with Bolster’s kickarse Google team (our account strategist & agency development manager who help us make the most of Google products for our clients). Always lovely to meet people IRL after working with them remotely for ages, and even more lovely to eat at the Google cafeteria. I know, I’m a weirdo but BUFFET AND FREE WATERMELON.

Carl & Paige being nerdy at Google Partners Bootcamp πŸ€“πŸ€“ #AcademyBootcamp #blstrDIGITAL

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

I also attended the Google Partners Academy Bootcamp in Melbourne earlier this week for a whole day of training on Mobile Advertising, and sat the exam. I am already Google AdWords Certified (Fundamentals & Display Advertising) and did know a lot of the exam contents from my day-to-day work in AdWords. Even so, it was definitely valuable to pick up pointers around those tricky technical questions like SDKs, app URIs and server-to-server conversion tracking (okay, okay, I didn’t know too much about advertising apps on AdWords but now I do). Hooray for upskilling.

Three Out Of Ten

June 5, 2016

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POW. Have been eagerly awaiting this week’s ARIA results to come in, and so happy to announce that three releases that we’ve been working on at Bolster Digital landed in the top ten.

To be fair, we’ve only been working on Adele’s latest single (via Remote Control) but stoked to see Flume (Future Classic) and Catfish and the Bottlemen (Caroline) enter so high on the list. Always makes me happy to see an Australian artist reach top spot in the charts too.

50 Months Later

April 13, 2016

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Huzzah! I made it a goal in March 2012 to blog at least once a month… And here we are, 50 months and 260 blog posts later. I set myself this goal because I’ve always subscribed to the SHOW, DON’T TELL school of thought. I can’t put down blogging as a skill, or list my experience with WordPress, or claim to be a ‘digital native’ without some proof.

I have been blogging at least once a month about things that interest me around the music industry, updates with my career, happenings with my band, nerd-outs over technology, examples of my freelance photography work and other ramblings for over fifty months now. A big cheers to the random 100 people who actually check back here each month. Good to know that people other than my parents think I do interesting things to earn my keep.

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