Swift Vs Apple: The Winning Battle.

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Well. She did it. She proved everyone wrong and actually did it. Apple have changed their payment policy for during their free three-month trial to customers for Apple music. Music producers, writers and artists will be paid for their streams during that free three-month period by Apple.

(Read Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple here: http://taylorswift.com/news/251533)

To be honest, I couldn’t believe it had happened at first. A big organisation like Apple, I know Swift is a big name and has a large following but for them to give in so quickly and change their policy was incredible. Good on her I say. She did speak for a large portion of music industry professionals who are just starting out in the industry and need to make money in order to continue their work, so for them, I am pleased.

However, I still feel there is a slight essence of greed from Miss. Swift.

The letter she wrote, there were aspects of it that, well her or her PR could have altered to make it seem less about her and more about other people. It just seemed a little too forward and demanding for my liking. Either way, it worked but is it really for the right intentions?

First Spotify and now Apple. She never seemed to have an issue with streaming her other albums, yet with her latest 1989 album, there is a bigger issue for her. Is it her or is it her label or is it both?

What ever the reason it has pros and cons within what happened. Whether it was for greed or because she actually genuinely cares about other professionals making money, Apple gave it and that large social media voice she has worked.

What still makes me wonder though, as to whether greed and the want for her own personal gain is behind the letter to Apple is what was brought up by photographer Jason Sheldon.

He created his own open letter to Swift reflecting the restrictions she has put in place upon photographers who take photos of her.

He says:

How are you any different to Apple? If you don’t like being exploited, that’s great.. make a huge statement about it, and you’ll have my support. But how about making sure you’re not guilty of the very same tactic before you have a pop at someone else?

With all due respect to you too Taylor, you can do the right thing and change your photo policy. Photographers don’t ask for your music for free. Please don’t ask us to provide you with your marketing material for free.

Too right. I completely agree with him. It is double standards. If she wishes the music industry to be fair with their paying standards, then it should be fair for all aspects and everyone involved. After all isn’t this what she was stating in her own letter to Apple?

Either way. Publicity stunt = succeeded. Well Done Taylor Swift. You have got us all talking once again.

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Jurassic World’s Free PR

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Recently I went to Atlanta and Florida in the United States to visit friends with my family. Whilst I was there, I couldn’t resist seeing the new Jurassic World film, from all of the PR hype that had been generated from their press teams, it was hard to resist.

FYI: The Film is amazing. You have to go and see it!

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Now, Jurassic World is gaining free PR from unexpected members of the public: Zoo Keepers! It is quite astonishing to see how this type of act has now been able to generate a stream of trends for the film after its cinema release and kept the fans all over the world talking about the main actor, Chris Pratt.

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For the past two days my Facebook trend feed has featured this Zookeeper ‘Chris Pratt’ pose stunt photo stream. I bet the makers are kicking themselves, free positive publicity is always a good thing.

Plus the photos are pretty awesome!

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Is it goodbye for the 1975?

Earlier today The 1975 posted this to their social media accounts and then masked their comments by deleting their entire social media list…. “The hardest part of any relationship is to say goodbye. As much as we might like things to stay the same, change is an inevitable part of life. We can’t simply go on forever – always staying the same, never evolving. So we must leave, with a parting ‘we love you’ – we are already gone.” In my eyes… Yeah that is definitely the end for them then. One album and they are done with. t First it was Blink 182 with that Tom Delonge fiasco – did he – didn’t he – confirmation from Mark and Travis then denial from Tom and it all ended up being true anyways. Now this from the 1975… Do these artists not have respect for their fans? The fans that actually helped them be where they were and truth be told made them a hell of a lot of money and then this is what they do?

Full article here: http://www.nme.com/news/the-1975/85855

Well, let’s see the speculation role in….

UPDATE:

Well that disappearing act didn’t last long. At midnight last night, the social media accounts were reactivated and a new image appeared. Speculation is, is that it was the closing of the first album and the opening of the forthcoming album.

Full article here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2015/jun/02/the-1975-their-disappearance-was-a-stunt-yes-but-it-was-brilliant

Festival Season: The Fall

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The sun is out… well, almost. The shades are on…. well, sometimes and the festival season has begun… Yes, Yes it has!!

It is the most exciting time of year for musicians everywhere. Whether you’re a big named household star or a local band who have been picked to play a slot at their local music festival, artists all around are jumping on the band wagon of music festival season but is it like it used it be?

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I first experienced music festivals in 2011, when I attended my first festival, that being Reading Festival. I do now look back on it and think to myself, I sort of picked the more ‘hardcore’ of festivals to attend as my first one; probably should have tried a smaller one first but hey, it was a great experience. Plus, I have been back every year since, so it didn’t completely terrify me.

The rain that year did fall down quite heavily and I woke up one morning with water in my tent but that’s just festival life. Good old England and its rainy weather. As I write this now, it’s hammering it down with rain… quite fitting.

Anyways, acts are cramming in as many festivals as they can but to what extent are festivals as good as they used to be?

There has been a downfall in ticket sales, many festivals don’t sell out now until a few weeks prior, including Reading Festival which last year saw tickets still on sale a few weeks beforehand. Also, a lot of festivals don’t see as many regulars returning anymore. Not sure if that is just me and people I know but gone are the days of festival junkies I think.

Is this all down to the lack of headline acts available?

Harvey Goldsmith recently confirmed this prediction on music week by stating:

‘Music festivals have probably run their course’

http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/harvey-goldsmith-music-festivals-have-probably-run-their-course/061928

A part of me inside is going ‘Noooooo…. don’t say that’ but I must admit I did see this coming.

There just doesn’t seem to be as big of a hype anymore. One theory of mine is this new age of mixed genre gigs. Reading always used to be a rock festival, Glastonbury an indie festival and V Festival a Pop festival… etc etc… and now Kanye West has received a headline slot at Glastonbury and Mumford and Sons are headlining Reading….

Although it is great for some new attendees to be able to see a mixture of acts, I really don’t think it has bode well for the regular followers festivals use to get, who go intentionally to be able to see the rock/pop/indie acts they love.

I know the festival owners intentions are good… or more, in the eyes of money… they want to gain a wider audience; attract those fans they couldn’t before. However, what they have seemed to have forgotten about is those loyal audiences and attendees that keep coming back each year and it is destroying the festival scene.

Harvey Goldsmith also went on to say this about festivals:

“There’s too many of them and there are not enough big acts to headline them”

“That is a big, big problem in our industry. And we are not producing a new generation of these kind of acts – the likes of The Rolling Stones, Muse, even Arctic Monkeys – that can headline”

I completely agree with him. We aren’t. There are great acts but then there are headline acts and the industry is certainly lacking in them. I wouldn’t have put Mumford and Sons as headline quality, especially not for Reading Festival.

It is a tricky situation and a tactic from the festivals that seems to have gone pear-shaped.

The industry needs to pick up speed in developing and finding those acts that can ‘headline’.

It’s a waiting game and one I’m looking forward to experiencing…

I DID IT!!!!!! Dissertation: Advice & Tips!

I did it… I actually really did it. 

It being, my dissertation!!!!!! I have submitted it… Wahoo!

Here is my celebratory picture:

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Now I won’t go into too much detail about what my dissertation was about, anonymity and all that, but it was on the music industry and public relations tactics within it. That is the field I want to go into, so I enjoyed exploring this aspect and finding out information I never knew before.

So basically, the point of this blog post was to give future third year students tips about how to start it and how to finish it…..

I have always been told the dissertation is the worst part of university, it is so stressful and so long that you just want to give up. However, not saying I was never stressed during the process I did have my moments; however, I don’t feel like it was the most stressed I have ever been. I have felt more pressure with other assignments than with my dissertation and this is why I think why that was the case….

1) Pick a decent topic!!! – Sounds silly, and everyoneeeee tells you to do this but really – do it! If the topic doesn’t interest you, imagine having to think, write and explore that topic for a whole year…. exactly. Do you get my point now?

– Top tips for picking a topic: What do you want to do as your career? Where do you want to work? What is an interest to you every day of your life? What topics and issues are highly relevant at the moment (this is a big section in the marking scheme at my university, so potentially for you as well – it needs to be relevant).

2) Start early!!!! – I can not explain how much this helped me get through my dissertation process. Everyone says start early, but really… start early! At my university you get your topic sorted at the end of year 2, so you have the summer time to research into it. Not deeply and I wouldn’t recommend starting it then because, well, we all need a break. However, do look at what is going on in that industry. Save articles, save tweets, save press releases – save everything you see online or in a book related to it. Just keep it because it might be the basis of what you write about.

Next plan a schedule. For myself I had a total of seven chapters, references and appendices…. yeah…. A LOT! Our dissertations were also the common style, primary research was involved and oh man it was an inconvenience. Mainly because you have to understand that the people you speak to aren’t going to talk to you at a drop of a hat. You need to make contacts, network, see if your family or friends know people in that industry. For myself, I was lucky because I had music industry contacts but I still had to plan a solid month aside in order to get all of my primary data before writing it all up.

So, get a time line sorted.

3) Forget about the holidays! Now you’re probably thinking NOOOOO! I need my Christmas and Easter break, but you know what… wouldn’t you rather take a week or so out of your holiday time to do work than be super super stressed within the last week before submission and have to join a binding and printing queue a mile long? Yeah… working during the holidays doesn’t sound so bad now does it. I did it, and I still had plenty of time to see my family, relax and hang out with my friends. It is do-able and I’m so glad I did it because I haven’t been so relaxed at university than I have over this past week. Being confident with your work is the best possible feeling and that is usually only achievable when you have been able to have time to look over your chapters and re-work and re-work and re-workkkkkk.

4) Get a second opinion! Now you all get a dissertation supervisor, mine was great. He was so chilled and reassuring that I was able to take this process calmly and not panic as much as I sometimes do. It was great! However, I would always say find someone at the university who can give you a second opinion. Having your mum or dad look through it… just isn’t enough. Now I say get a second person to look at it, your supervisor can’t actually read your work word for word. They are there to guide you and answer questions that you need answering during the process, so having someone who can sit there and read it word for word is such a plus point.

I was able to get help from a lovely lady at my university, heads up to Carina Buckley, who was so supportive in helping me do the best I could, even during the Easter break!! (My Hero). She read through my drafts, gave me advice, I made the changes and then she looked at it again for final advice. It was such a good process because for a lot of people, including myself, the first thing you write is going to be pants. It just is… you need to read over it again with a fresh mind and get other people’s opinions because sometimes you can fall into the trap of writing in the way that you speak…. not good for a dissertation!

5) Invest in a printer! Now, don’t do this if it means you’re not going to be able to eat for a week. But I highly recommend getting your own printer. I have one and lord it made it so much easier. I could print each section off at a time and re-print if there were errors and it didn’t cost a lot of money. I only had to refill one ink cartridge… the black one obviously, so overall this was such a plus for me. I could then take all of my copies to get bound at the university. I chose bank holiday Monday… it was like a ghost town at the binding desk… PERFECT! no queueing for me.

6) Finish early – If you can’t do this then don’t.. but if you have followed my advice about starting early then this won’t be an issue. Leave yourself a week before the deadline and aim to submit then. You beat the queues and you’ll also feel so much better about it. No stress, no panicking and just the overall feeling of success!

7) Forget about it already! – It will be hard… trust me. But seriously forget about your dissertation once you have submitted it. There is nothing you can do and the more you think about it the more you worry (I should know) and the more you worry the more you make yourself stressed and frustrated, when actually you have probably done an awesome job!!

Now I have passed on my wise words… I hope they come in handy. Just remember these main key points and you will be perfectly fine….

1) Plan your time – leave a week before submission with nothing to do

2) Proof read like a mad man, get a minimum of two other people to proof read it as well because what you didn’t see they will….

3) Get other people’s opinions!

4) Don’t be afraid to change it up… if your supervisor is happy with you doing things differently, merging chapters etc (as long as it makes sense to your dissertation) then do it! You might get a higher mark for it!!

5) Finally…. believe in yourself. Don’t waste a year of planning and writing because you don’t believe what you have done is good. It is !

Good Luck fellow dissertation writers!!

PR Strategy & Campaign Planning: Prism PR

Thank you for the blog post Livi Wilkes and Solent PR!

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The 3rd years are nearing the end of their degree and last week they did their final presentations showcasing the work for their PR Strategy and Campaign Planning Unit in which they had three months to create a campaign for a real life client.
In the next 3 blog posts, you’ll see an insight into how three of the groups, Prism PR, Pristine PR and Gecko Communications, carried out their campaigns, their clients and their personal highlights of the unit.
In this post I spoke to Prism PR – Paige Hiley, Mathilde Trouillet, Stephanie Harris, Sophie Santandrea and Natalie Smith – about their campaign for Hamble Lifeboat.

Paige said: “We had a period of three months to put what we had researched, planned and constructed for the client into use, so we actually got to ‘do the campaign’ which was great because we often get to plan the campaign but…

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Hamble Lifeboat Documentary Project

Hello to all of my followers!

Firstly, I am sorry for the absence of writing on my blog site. This is for a mixture of reasons: 1) I have my Dissertation due in very soon and I have been working on that, to make it the best it could possibly be… 2) I have been back in my home town enjoying time with the family and I mean we all need a break sometimes and 3) I have been busy working alongside a team of four for the Hamble Lifeboat charity organisation, which is what I am going to talk about today.

During my time at University, I had never really been interested in working for a non-profit organisation or charity for my career. I have previously done some work with Ejector Seat music and arts festival for two years in a row and I loved every minute of it, but that is most likely due to my obsession with working within the entertainment sector for my career. Either way, for a university assignment we were tasked to work with a charity to produce a campaign that suited their needs. I must say Hamble Lifeboats stood out as soon as we saw the client list. This was purely because they had such an open mind about what they needed, meaning we were given the ability to do what we wanted and what we thought would boost their awareness of being an independently funded lifeboat charity.

As a result, we decided to create a promotional package for them along with a Documentary style video in order for the people who live around Hampshire to understand the amount of time and money that goes into the organisation in order to keep it a float… haha, a float! Get it?

Anyways… so yes, that is what we did. The Documentary is all completed now and here is the finished product!! Have a look and please donate anything you can to the organisation, they are inspirational men who take the time out of their personal lives to volunteer and help the community.

If you would like to donate, then please head to their JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/hamblelifeboat