One of my favorite parts of working on campus is the opportunity to guest lecture. In sharing whatever knowledge I may have retained, I often learn from the class as well.
Friday my guest stint was in the Music Business class team-taught by my friends Rob and Dan. It’s a novel offering, where those interested in being musicians or sound engineers or promoters learn a 360-degree view of The Biz. Their big projects are to promote the upcoming Collage concert and — more interestingly — writing, arranging, recording, packaging and selling a single performed by talented twin sisters in the class.
Previous times when I spoke in the class, I gave a rundown on publicity, press releases, working with media and all that jazz. But since so much promotion is moving toward grassroots, street teams and social media, this concentration seemed excessive. In a new wrinkle, I addressed selling a story or idea via the SUCCES points of Made To Stick (the best ideas/campaigns are Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional and good Stories) plus a bit about writing news releases.
But I also wanted to show them around social media options. They knew much of that stuff — especially with Facebook — but I’m sufficiently immersed in the field that I shared a couple things that seemed new. Only two of them had Twitter accounts, so I showed them the instantaneous nature of feedback by saying Twittizens! I’m showing Twitter to a Music Business class. Say hi and tell us your favorite album. In no time, the Twitterverse responded — about a dozen tweeps chimed on the subject in all.
I also let them know how some musicians were using Twitter and how entities used the search tool as a marketing device. Like when I mentioned Whiskeytown in a tweet and ended up being followed by @cardinology, the Twitter account for Ryan Adams’ subsequent band, The Cardinals. @cardinology uses the Twitter stream to showcase new demos, give tour info and post recent live tracks. It’s a safe bet more than two class members are on Twitter now.
But here’s the unexpected: What do you think the class had questions about? Print media! Yes, almost every question concerned where and how to better promote their activities through traditional print media. This is a group that not only reads newspapers, but values them. Take that, those who argue that young people don’t care about print media any more!