26 Angels Video Tribute
Today marks the one month anniversary of a tragic and horrific incident in Newtown, CT. in which a troubled gunman wreaked havoc at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and 6 adults. The incident shook not only the quiet Connecticut community, but the entire nation, bringing issues like gun control and mental health to the forefront.
This tragic incident has, however, brought together a slew of people across the nation who have stepped up to help in any way they can. For some this means volunteering locally to help victims’ families, donating time for those grieving to ease the pain. Others help by donating gifts, charms, and kind gestures to those who have lost so much. And for a few, like Director Ben Proulx and Singer/Songwriter Justin Cohen, the gift they could contribute was art shared through music and cinema.
The two directed and produced the “26 Angels Video Tribute”, a video made to heighten awareness for a campaign that will raise money to build the Newtown Memorial Park and the Sandy Hook Arts Center for Kids. All of the money raised will be going towards these causes. I am proud to have co-produced the video, and am now managing much of the fundraising and partnership efforts for the campaign.
Everything came together very quickly, with the video being shot on December 26th and released on New Year’s Day. We made the Presskit.to/26angels page to get everything up and running quickly, then setup an IndieGoGo page to start collecting donations.
We will soon be partnering with the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation to further collect donations after the IndieGoGo campaign has expired, and are partnering with a few local individuals to produce the Light The Sky festival in June marking the 6-month anniversary of the shooting (more details will be released as they become available).
It’s a privilege to have Presskit.to be involved in something so great. We wish all of the families and friends affected in Newtown our very best and most sincere condolences.
Presskit.to Receives $10k Northeastern University IDEA Gap Fund
My team and I have for the last several months been a part of IDEA at Northeastern University, a venture accelerator program designed to support entrepreneurial endeavors in the Northeastern community. Along the way, we’ve met so many incredible people, from those obligated to be our guiding lights like our coach Ben Preston and mentor Greg Dalle-Molle to those who lent advice and knowledge out of pure kindness, like Dan Gregory, Bob Lentz, Chris Wolfel, Matt Saitta, and everyone else who played a role throughout the process. Thanks to their remarkable efforts and the hard work of my team, I am stoked to announce that Presskit.to has received $10k in grant funding from the NEU IDEA Program!
I’m confident that this funding is only the beginning of where our NEU IDEA experience will take us, and can’t wait to make the most of this tremendous opportunity we’ve been given. We owe a big thank you to everyone involved along the way, and are so excited to carry this momentum into the new year, for music and its future development!
Make it happen!
EVENT: Techies Got Talent (Nov. 29th @ Foundry24)
We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with some really great tech startups in Boston like Kinvey, EverTrue, Boston Startup School and Saverr, to bring you TECHIES GOT TALENT! An epic talent show of some of the craziest antics around, held at Foundry24 - our office, studio, and collaborative working space with Strewnshank Studio, November 29th.
The lineup of performers is a virtual who’s-who of awesomely talented individuals and our panel of celebrity judges is sure to do a diligent job picking a winner for the night! All of us on the Indie Ambassador team will be competing as well!
Find more details and spread the word @ techiesgottalent.com
Exclusive: Joey Cape of Lagwagon (INTERVIEW)
Lagwagon has been on the punk rock scene since 1990 and is the flagship band for FAT Wreck Chords (next to inbred label mates, NOFX of course). Lagwagon has had their share of triumphs & disasters over the years but have managed to stick together and maintain relevance in the hearts and minds of so many punk rock fans around the world.
I had a chance to sit down on the bus with lead singer, songwriter, Joey Cape (also known as Caper) for an intimate conversation about what it takes to stay together as a band for so long, how his perspective on the touring industry has changed, what keeps the guys in Lagwagon busy between tours, and his advice for other artists looking to build longstanding careers in music. It was an organic interview with a guy I look up to, telling it how it is from his point of view. Enjoy.
Interview by Ben Maitland-Lewis
The Outlaw Roadshow at CMJ 2012
We’ve teamed up with longtime friend and music blogger extraordinaire, Ryan Spaulding of Ryan’s Smashing Life and The Outlaw Roadshow, to help promote his CMJ showcases on October 19th and 20th at The Bowery Electric in NYC.
Ryan’s blog is the first-stop for people seeking new music, festivals, and well written articles or interviews covering local Boston bands and regional New England acts. When he told us about the two-day showcase he was producing with friend and colleague Adam Duritz of The Counting Crows, we of course jumped at the opportunity to make a Presskit for it!
So alas, Presskit.to/TheOutlawRoadshow was born and here we are to tell the world, not only that there’s a great CMJ showcase that you should attend if you’re in the NYC area, but also that Presskit.to really can work for almost any project, initiative, showcase, or event you’re putting together.
Take a look at the Presskit we made with Ryan. It has the full lineup with set times, audio and video from the bands, as well as the RSVP link so you can get in the door. While you’re at it maybe you’ll get some ideas for how Presskit.to can work for you!
Epic Deal-ers! Get Started Here!
Hey there! If you’re here, chances are you purchased the EPIC DEAL from The Musicians Guide!
CONGRATULATIONS & thanks for checking out Presskit.to!
This whopper of a deal gets you access to 3 free months of our Presskit.to PRO plan, where you can make up to 10 Presskits for your various creative projects! With a PRO plan you can showcase all the media, information, and Wins you want into these mobile-ready portfolios. We also let you make stuff private so sharing your sensitive media and files is super easy.
We suggest that you put only your best foot forward! We’re dedicated to strengthening the communication between artists, industry professionals, and writers of all kinds, so it’s important to showcase only your most relevant and up-to-date information and media in your Presskit. Leave the rest for your website and social media channels.
There are three quick steps outlined below to get you started, but we also invite you to watch our brand new welcome video to learn more about Presskit.to and how it can work for you. If you have any question please reach out to us! We’re here to help and are committed to music & it’s future development.
Founding Alchemist | CEO
1.) Select the Presskit.to Pro plan
2.) Create your first Presskit
3.) Enter your billing info and the unique coupon code from the Presskit.to PDF that you received in the Epic Deal download.
How it Works
Signing up for a PRO account as part of the Epic Deal will lock in our limited time intro pricing of $1.99/mo for life before we raise the price in the coming weeks. This means if you sign up using your Epic Deal code while the limited time pricing of $1.99/mo is in place, after your 3 free months are up, you’ll be grandfathered in at the discounted rate for the life of your account! Cool huh? Get going!
Note: You are also more than welcome to downgrade to our Starter plan before the end of your 3 month trial and you will not be charged at all.
Since we initially published this blog post we have increased the price of the Pro plan to $4.99/mo. All other terms of the special are the same meaning that you will never pay more than $4.99/mo for the Pro plan if you sign up now and you will not be charged at all for three months.
Presskit.to and The Musicians Guide Epic Deal!
In celebration of Presskit.to launching into public beta on September 4th, we’ve decided to participate in a 100-hour long EPIC DEAL going live on September 1st that gives everyone who participates early access to our system and a whole bunch of other goodies.
Our new friend Marcus Taylor of The Musicians Guide has gathered together some of the industry’s top players to offer up a $1,250 package of services, products, and consulting for only $69.
Every musician can benefit from this package. Even Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby says, “This is a great deal.” We’re thrilled to have Presskit.to involved in this package and have offered up 3 free months of our PresskitPRO account (10 mobile portfolios with public/private sharing) to those who participate.
Check out the EPIC deal here and spread the word!
Movin’ On Over! An Update From BML
All of us at Indie Ambassador couldn’t be happier with the increasing excitement surrounding our flagship web app, Presskit.to. Ever since the soft launch at SXSW in March we’ve been super encouraged by the feedback from musicians and industry professionals using Presskit.to in their daily business operations.
In the coming months we’ll be working hard to make the app an invaluable tool for all of your B2B dealings and as a result we’re shifting a lot of our focus from IndieAmbassador.com over to Presskit.to. This won’t affect any of the great articles and videos on IndieAmbassador.com as they will remain archived on this site for your reading & viewing pleasure.
But moving forward we’ll be publishing content, though not quite as frequently, on the Presskit.to blog. We’re excited and hope you’ll join us.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Make it happen!
Ben! and the Indie Ambassadors
Presskit.to SXSW Takeover!
We’ve teamed up with Los Angeles newcomers Mirror Lady to show off our new web app launching at South By Southwest 2012. Come find us on the Presskit.to BandWagon and snag an invite code. We’ll also be filming sessions and hosting some great showcases on 6th Street.
SEE WHAT PRESSKIT.TO LOOKS LIKE
Click the images below to see what you can do with a Presskit from Presskit.to!
MIRROR LADY (Los Angeles Bedroom Pop)
INDIE AMBASSADOR TV (Boston Music Sessions & Interviews)
Want your own Presskit? Request a Beta invite!
How To Approach & Contact Music Press
Interview by Ben Maitland-Lewis
Ben sat down with PR man Adam Ritchie, of Adam Ritchie Brand Direction and guitarist for Boston-based, The Lights Out. Adam has been at the pulse of the media industry for nearly a decade. His work spans from big name brands to budding bands.
“Everything has to have some kind of a hook in it. Everything should relate to something and it’s never too early to bring that into your creative process.” -Adam Ritchie
As musicians and professionals operating in a creative industry, we attempt to create art drawn from emotion, inspired by our surroundings and experiences. While this can be hard enough for some, promoting it and getting press for it is an art in itself. You can sit in a cube, rehearsal space or studio, writing, creating, or building anything you want, but when it comes to getting covered in the traditional or indie media, what makes it stand out from the rest? What makes someone want to write about it? How is it that some bands get full page spreads in ‘zines while others don’t even get a blog mention? What lies on the other side of that big stone wall of media? How do we break through?Have you had some success with the press? Leave a comment below!
- Give yourself plenty of lead time. That is, time to approach press. The magazine that you’re reading on stands today was conceptualized 3 to 4 months ago.
- Know what you’re pitching and know what section you’re going for, i.e. concert previews, mp3 of the week, etc. Look at who writes those sections and send material specifically to that author. If you send your materials to an organization’s generic mailing address, you’re sending them to a black hole that is bound to end up in a landfill. You don’t want to litter do you?
- When sending materials to press accounts, your packaging is very important. If you see a creative, colorful envelope sitting next to a blah, manila envelope which one are you going to open first?
- The biggest icebreaker you’ve got is a sense of humor. No one likes a form email that sounds canned. If you write something specific and funny to that person you’ve already taken the first step.
- Be careful to not burn your bridge before it’s built. You can’t really hound Indie media (blogs and social media), from 9 to 5 like you can traditional media because it’s probably not their day job.
- If you’re written up in a publication (physical or online), you should maintain a professional relationship with the author, but don’t over do it. Be sure to let them know you appreciate their piece, but it’s best to wait a few months before pitching additional article ideas to them.
- When the time is right, it’s important to build your team and bring on experts and specialists to contribute to your career accordingly. Ideally, you should be focused on making music, so when responsibilities start creeping in you can silo those off and put them in hands that you’re confident in.
- Always remember that you’re a band and your product is fun. Be creative!