Tag Archives: Featured
Tristan Prettyman

My Oh My, New Music from Tristan Prettyman!

Sands Media “Music Meeting” Playlist – Stream on Spotify

Tristan PrettymanI became a fan of San Diego born singer/songwriter Tristan Prettyman a few years ago.  At the time, she was promoting her second major label release, Hello…x, in 2008.  We bonded over the legendary shrimp cocktails of St. Elmo’s Steakhouse in Indianapolis, told dirty jokes, and discussed this new internet thing we both had recently joined called Twitter.  She’s back again with a new CD to be released September 25 on Capitol Records.  The first radio single from Cedar & Gold is “My Oh My,” a collaboration with Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra fame.

This is a great song!  It has a fun upbeat tempo, catchy hook, and definitely stands out from most songs on your playlist today.  She’s currently touring with Josh Radin and has already booked The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for 8/29.  Radio Impact on 7/30, single available from iTunes.  Early airplay from SiriusXM The Pulse, KLLC San Francisco, KWYE Fresno, KLLY Bakersfield, KCIX Boise, WSJO Atlantic City, KCDA Spokane, KSII El Paso, & more.  New adds this week from WZPL Indianapolis, WKRQ Cincinnati, WXMA Lousiville, among others.  Watch her cat on the prowl in the new music video below:

Tristan Prettyman:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Radio (Airplay) MP3 | Video
Tristan Prettyman tour dates:  8/19 Nashville, 10/30 Philadelphia, 11/7 Durham, 11/8 Atlanta

Linkin Park - Living Things

Linkin Park released their latest CD, Living Things, which features the debut hit “Burn It Down.”  This marks the band’s return to more familiar musical territory according to vocalist Chester Bennington.  “We’ve incorporated a lot of guitar work with big choruses and the heavier electronic stuff to give it that really big wall of sound feeling without getting too metal,” he says.  The CD was titled Living Things, according to founding member Mike Shinoda, because the album is more about people, personal interactions, and it’s far more personal than previously.  UPDATE:  Living Things debuts at #1 Sales, the band’s fifth #1 selling album!

Stream -Living Things- On Spotify

The debut single from this new CD, “Burn It Down,” is a song I really don’t think you could go wrong playing … after all, we’re talking about a band with multi-format exposure, 50-million in CD sales, and two Grammy awards.  Their mainstream rock/alternative familiar sound will help balance the abundance of pop songs likely on your playlist now.  Plus, it’s got tempo!  “Burn It Down” has already hit #1 at Active Rock & Alternative Radio (Mediabase) and is on the verge of moving into the  Top 30 and Hot AC formats.

The video for “Burn It Down” was directed by the band’s Joe Hahn.  Shinoda told Co.Create about the creative art for this project saying it will “blow [the fans] aways; the average person is not going to be able to look at it and go, I understand that that’s completely new, like not just the image but the way they made the image is totally new; so, there’s going to be that.”  “Burn It Down” was performed live during the 2012 Billboard Music Awards.  “Powerless,” the last track of the album, is featured in the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Linkin Park is touring with Incubus on the 2012 Honda Civic Tour:  Norfolk (8/11), Hartford (8/12), Boston (8/14), Wantagh NY (8/15), Camden NJ (8/17), Atlanta (8/19), Detroit (8/21), Cincinnati (8/22), Chicago (8/24), Indianapolis (8/25), Dallas (8/27), Houston (8/28), Denver (8/30), Tacoma WA (9/5), Mountain View CA (9/7), Carson CA (9/8), San Diego (9/10).

Linkin Park - Living Things CD cover

Burn It Down! New Music from Linkin Park

Linkin Park - Living Things

Linkin Park released their fifth CD last week since forming 15 years ago in Agoura Hills, California.  Living Things, which features the debut hit “Burn It Down,” marks the band’s return to more familiar musical territory according to vocalist Chester Bennington.  “We’ve incorporated a lot of guitar work with big choruses and the heavier electronic stuff to give it that really big wall of sound feeling without getting too metal,” he says.  The CD was titled Living Things, according to founding member Mike Shinoda, because the album is more about people, personal interactions, and it’s far more personal than previously.

UPDATE:  Living Things debuts at #1 Sales, the band’s fifth #1 selling album!

Stream -Living Things- On Spotify

The debut single from this new CD, “Burn It Down,” is a song I really don’t think you could go wrong playing … after all, we’re talking about a band with multi-format exposure, 50-million in CD sales, and two Grammy awards.  Their mainstream rock/alternative familiar sound will help balance the abundance of pop songs likely on your playlist now.  Plus, it’s got tempo!  “Burn It Down” has already hit #1 at Active Rock & Alternative Radio (Mediabase) and is on the verge of charting at Top 40 and Hot AC formats.  Early believers at HAC already include:  KMXP Phoenix, WWMX Baltimore, KLTG Corpus Christie, KLLY Bakersfield, WPTE Norfolk, KQKQ Omaha, KCDU Monterey, WSTW Wilmington, WZPL Indianapolis, WRFY Reading, KHMX Houston, WWFS New York, KIMN Denver, WSJT Tampa, KBIG Los Angeles, KWYE Fresno, KCDA Spokane, KCIX Boise, WTIC Hartford, and more!

The video for “Burn It Down” was directed by the band’s Joe Hahn.  Shinoda told Co.Create about the creative art for this project saying it will “blow [the fans] aways; the average person is not going to be able to look at it and go, I understand that that’s completely new, like not just the image but the way they made the image is totally new; so, there’s going to be that.”  “Burn It Down” was performed live during the 2012 Billboard Music Awards.  “Powerless,” the last track of the album, is featured in the closing credits for the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Linkin Park is touring with Incubus on the 2012 Honda Civic Tour:  Norfolk (8/11), Hartford (8/12), Boston (8/14), Wantagh NY (8/15), Camden NJ (8/17), Atlanta (8/19), Detroit (8/21), Cincinnati (8/22), Chicago (8/24), Indianapolis (8/25), Dallas (8/27), Houston (8/28), Denver (8/30), Tacoma WA (9/5), Mountain View CA (9/7), Carson CA (9/8), San Diego (9/10).

What kind of milk do you want after you win?

2011 Indianapolis 500

There’s a long-standing tradition at the Indianapolis 500 for the race winner to drink a bottle of milk on Victory Lane.  There’s a couple of lessons to be learned as you watch today’s race …

The first comes from 1936 Indy 500 Champion Louis Meyer.  Meyer was photographed gulping down a bottle of buttermilk, his favorite.  His mom recommended he drink it, claiming it would refresh him.  The picture was later seen by a Milk Foundation executive who immediately recognized the promotional opportunity.  He made sure that from that year forward, the race winner received a bottle of milk to drink.  The tradition is carried on today by the National Dairy Council citing, “a winning example for people everywhere who are looking to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.”

Lesson:  Look for promotional opportunities everyday, and if you sieze the right moment, your brand could also become iconic.

Dan Wheldon, Indy 500 Champion 2011, #RIP

There are so many different types of milk from which to choose; how does the race winner have the bottle of his favorite ready and waiting for him in Victory Lane?  There’s so much activity right after the checkered flag, who finds out what milk to bring?

Easy.  They ask.  Each year, before the race, the American Dairy Association asks all 33 drivers for their favorite milk.  This ensures that all possible milk types are on site, ice cold, and ready for whomever wins the race.  They simply look at the driver’s response as soon as the race is over.  The important part of this story is that the ADA asks all 33 drivers, whether they are the pole sitter or dead last in the field.  The ADA recognizes that as soon as the Green Flag drops, every driver has an equal chance to earn their immortality on the coveted Borg-Warner trophy.

Lesson:  “Everybody is born with an equal chance to become just as unequal as he or she possibly can.” — Anonymous

One of my heroes, Scott Shannon (currently PD/Mornings on WPLJ New York), has said “Winning is addictive. Once you get a taste of it, you want more. There is is no excuse for losing.  You have to surround yourself with people who want to win and don’t make excuses.  You need to find people who have the same fire as you.”

Good luck winning your race, whether it be personal or professional.  I hope you’re on Victory Lane drinking your favorite milk soon.

Connoisseur Media debuts “HITS 100.7” in Bloomington

It was a privilege to be part of Connoisseur Media‘s launch of CHR “Hits 100.7WWHX-FM in the Bloomington-Normal, IL market on April Fool’s Day.  The station replaces former AC “Magic” WVMG and challenges Townsquare Media‘s heritage Top40 WBNQ-FM, who currently sits atop the Arbitron ratings pile with a 16-share!

Connoisseur COO David Bevins and Vallie/Richards/Donovan consultant Harv Blain asked me to help build the station’s formatics, be on site for the launch, and schedule music for a few weeks until their new Program Director was in the building.  I had a blast, and I’m very thankful to have the chance to work – even just briefly – for Connoisseur and Mr. Bevins, as well as to once again partner with Vallie/Richards and Harv Blain.

Hits 100.7 sounds great and will only get better now that PD Chris Ryan has arrived and has air talent waiting in the wings ready to go.  I wish them all the best of success in this new Top40 battle!  Listen to “Hits 100.7” online here.

For the record, I’m still in search of my next great programming/management challenge.  Meanwhile, Sands Media is available for short-term radio management projects, off site music scheduling services, digital/social media strategies and content, and more.  You can reach me at 317-496-7268 or by email for more information.

Everything You Need To Know About Timeline for Facebook Pages!

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facebook plans to convert ALL brand pages to their relatively new Timeline layout, whether you want it or not, at the end of the month.   There always seems to be a negative public reaction to every minor change Facebook makes; primarily because most people don’t like change or don’t want to spend a few minutes learning about new features.  Don’t be afraid; Embrace this change!  If properly utilized, Timeline can enhance the visual impression your brand makes with consumers, foster deeper relationships and more meaningful engagement.

In this post, I’ll attempt to cover the basic changes you need to know about Timeline.  I hope you’ll familiarize yourself with the new layout, enhancements, and start working on your own Timelines now – before Facebooks makes the switch for you on March 30.  For some great examples of radio stations and personalities already using Timeline for Facebook Pages, be sure to check out this GREAT post from Stephanie Winans.  (update:  Mashable just published 5 Ways TV Newsrooms are using Facebook cover photos.)

If you are logged in to your page, you will see a new ADMIN panel at the top of your brand page.  Administrators are the only users who will see this panel, and only when logged in as Admin.  I’ll get to the Admin panel in a few paragraphs; first, let’s take a look at what your Fans will see when they come to your new Facebook Timeline


COVER PHOTO & YOUR ABOVE THE FOLD LOOK

  • The most obvious change you’ll notice with Timeline is the giant new banner graphic (“Cover Photo”) at the top of your page.   This is a great opportunity to make a good first impression with Fans coming to your Facebook page for the very first time, or returning for your killer content.  Over time, you’ll discover some very creative uses for the cover photo.  The “cover photo” is different than your “profile photo,” which is how you will be visually identified in Wall posts and in Fans’ Newsfeeds.
    • Stephanie Winans has identified some fantastic uses of radio station and personality cover photos here!
    • Mashable’s 5 Ways TV Newsrooms are Using Facebook Cover Photos
    • Facebook Terms of Service do not allow your cover photo to include pricing or purchasing information, contact information, calls to action of any kind, or references to Facebook features such as “Like” or “Share.”  In other words, you’re not supposed to have a cover photo with a big arrow to the Like button (“Like Our Page!”)  Facebook wants to provide the most organic, visually appealing, and content rich user experience possible.  Subtly, Cleverness, and Eye-Pleasing cover photos are the ones that will Facebook itends to work best in this new layout.
    • Cover Photo dimensions are 850 x 315 pixels.
    • If the cover photo you select appears “pixelated” once the site goes live, and you’re not a Photoshop wiz, try to increase the photo’s size to about 120% and re-upload it.  This should help make the Timeline cover photo appear more crisp.
    • The cover photo can be used to promote your hottest artists, big personalities, station concert, contest, something topical, et cetra.  If you just use the cover photo to post a larger station logo, city skyline, or staff photo that never changes – you’re just being lazy!
  • Under the cover photo, you’ll see your profile photo – this is the image that will identify you visually in Newsfeeds and Wall posts.  If your logo is not legible when condensed to this size, pick something else!  Be creative with it.
    • Profile Photo dimensions are 180 x 180 pixels.
  • The rest of the top banner may be slightly different depending on what “business type” you selected when creating your page.
    • Most pages will have space for your “About” description.  This may be 150 characters.  Other pages may substitute your address and phone number instead of the “About” description.  Obviously, make sure your business description, address, phone number, and website are correct.
    • Next to “About” will be a box for your “Photos.”  This is the only native Facebook app, in that fixed position, and you can not move it.  Your photos app will display the most recent photo you have uploaded, thus it will be constantly refreshed.  The good news is that photos are the most engaging content on Facebook, as I will discuss in an upcoming post.
    • To the right of the Photos box, you’ll see content boxes for three custom apps.  If your page is a “Places” page, one of those apps will be a Map.  Other defaults may be “Likes,” “Friends,” et cetra.  If you have a Fan-Gate, Sweepstakes/Contest, Special Offer, Twitter feed, or other custom content, they may be displayed here.  Move your best stuff to the remaining positions above the fold – click the down arrow to edit the page when logged in as Administrator.  I will address Fan-Gate / Like-Gate custom content in an upcoming post.
    • Custom App View dimensions are 110 x 74 pixels – which is actually larger than before!
    • Finally, you’ll see an arrow for the second layer of custom content boxes (officially called the “disclosure”).  If you have a lot of custom content, they will not appear unless your user clicks the disclosure; so, put your best stuff up front and kill whatever you don’t really need.  Previously, a nearly infinite number of Page Tabs was possible.  Now, you should carefully consider what “Tabs” or custom apps are most important and either kill the rest or move below the disclosure.  I recommend immediately moving Likes & Map to the second layer to free up app space.
    • Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, LiveStream, UStream, Static HTML, Tabsite, Involver, Fan Page Engine, ReverbNation and Wildfire are just a few custom apps available (some are free, some require purchase).

HOW THE REST OF YOUR PAGE LOOKS
  • Interestingly, after the user scrolls past your above the fold presentation, slightly different content will be displayed for each individual fan.
  • Unlike previously, you can no longer direct fans to a specific landing page.  Everyone will go to your new Timeline page.  I’ll talk about this more in an upcoming post; but, know this will change how you Like-Gate (or “Fan-Gate”) content.  It’s still possible, although not on your landing Timeline page.  The new execution requires an additional click-thru to one of your custom apps.  Facebook wants total control in order to provide a consistent user experience across all brand pages.  You will need to learn to capture user’s attention (and Likes) through content … and, what Facebook most most, Paid Advertisements.
  • You’ll notice immediately the rest of your page is no longer just a Wall, it’s two-columns of content.  Tabs are also gone (replaced by the custom apps at the top).
  • The left column is simple – it’s your Wall, updated chronologically, with newest posts at the top.
  • The right column is a completely new design:
    • At the top of the right column, you’ll see a box with your friends who also like that brand page.
    • Immediately below the page’s mutual friends box will be a random post or comment TO THAT PAGE made by one of your friends.  This will always be different if you have a lot of friends who frequently post to that page.
    • Next, you’ll find recent activity by other people, also constantly updating in real time.
    • Then, you’ll see a box of other pages that the BRAND “Likes.”
  • You’ll notice that your brand imagery (Cover & Profile photos) are no longer static on the page.  You’ll lose that branding as soon as a user starts to scroll down your page.  This is a change from previous Facebook pages, but not a bad thing; if a user is scrolling, it means they’re engaging with your brand’s content – that’s a good thing!


MILESTONES & OTHER NEW TRICKS

  • If you are logged in to your page as Administrator, you can manipulate your page content in a couple of new ways:
    • Scroll over any of your posts and you’ll see two icons in the top right of your post – a star and a pencil.
    • If you click the Star, you will “highlight” that post – which stresses the post across the width of both columns.  It’s a great way to highlight something important or especially interesting.
    • If you click the Pencil, you can delete/hide that post or now you can “Pin” it to the top of your Timeline.  It will remain the top post for seven days before it automatically un-pins.  Showcase posts that drive the most engagement or traffic to your website.  Pin week long contests, concert on sales, etc.
  • Custom Apps & Custom Content on “internal” pages (click-thru, Like-Gate, etc) can now display at 810 pixels wide (increased from the previous 520 pixels)!
  • If you want to Fan-Gate a contest on your Facebook page, here’s one trick you can use … Each inside page of your Facebook profile (custom apps) has a unique URL.  That unique URL can be set with a Fan-Gate, as long as it’s not your landing page.  You can then link directly to that URL from your station’s website.  On-air, promote to go to your website to enter the contest and then force click-thru to Facebook.
    • Your page’s “Latest News” can also be a Fan-Gate using the same unique URL trick.
  • On ANY page, regardless of whether or not you are the Administrator, you can now access SOME analytic data for that Page.  Simply click the page’s “Likes” box at the top to display that Page’s most popular week, most popular city, most popular demographic, People Talking About, and one month engagement trend.  This is a great way to gather a little competitive analysis for your own pages.
  • Interest Lists and Subscriptions are also getting more attention, and deserve more attention in … you guessed it … a future post.
  • As you have noticed on your personal Facebook profile, Timeline now tells the story of your life from birth to the present.  This is what sparked the initial negative reaction to Timeline — do we have to go back and post 35 years worth of photos and life events?  No, but it will certainly provide for a richer fan experience with your page if you take the time to tell your brand’s story.
    • A milestone is a major event that is particularly relevant to your brand; i.e., new show debuts, annual events, and other significant moment’s in your brand’s life.  Milestones are best told with photos, videos, or audio.  Milestones will appear across both columns.
    • Each time you add a Milestone, it will appear as a post to your Fans’ Newsfeed.  I encourage you to create as many Milestones as you can before your Timeline goes live.
    • UPDATE:  Now, when you add a milestone to your brand’s Timeline, there is no a check box as you enter the data which gives you the option to hide your milestone addition from the Timeline.  However, unless you’re adding dozens of milestones in the middle of the day, I would still recommend letting your milestone stream to Newsfeeds … this could potentially encourage your fans to engage deeper into the history of your brand.
    • Great examples of Milestone use on Timeline:  KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken, Coke, Tiffany & Company, Old Spice


NEW ADMIN PANEL

This is new, and somewhat annoying at first, but actually very useful when you get used to it.  Now, when you are logged in to your page as Administrator, you will see a summary of Admin data above your cover photo.  This is where you can access new likes, new comments, Insights data, and – most importantly – Messages!

Fans and even non-Fans now have the ability to communicate with you privately.  You must activate “messaging” in your Admin panel.  Once activated, a Message button will appear on your brand page next to the Like button.  This will send a private message to the inbox of the Admin panel, to which you can respond privately.  For example, if you conduct a Facebook contest, the winner can Message you with all of their information directly from your page without posting their address and phone number for everyone to see on your Wall.  Pages can NOT initiate communication with a Fan.


PLANNING FOR TIMELINE

Consider the visual first impression you want to make with your Facebook page.  Quality wins over Quantity.  Custom content is very important; although now presented differently, it differentiates the branded experience across the Facebook platform.  As I will discuss in an upcoming post, your content is now your advertisement.

Fan-Gating your page is no longer possible as Facebook wants to make Timeline for Pages the visual centerpiece of their user experience.  However, you can Fan-Gate individual content (exclusive videos, contests) through Custom Apps.  Simply “getting the Like” is no longer the sole purpose of promoting your Facebook page; engagement metrics are becoming key – as I will address in one of my next posts.

Your pages will automatically convert to Timeline on March 30.  Don’t wait, work on your upgrade now and Preview it!

Review your administrator settings and permissions before Timeline launches.

If you have any questions about how converting your brand to Timeline for Facebook Pages, call me at 317-496-7268 for a free consultation.  Administrator services for your Page are available at a reasonable rate.


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Sourcing Your Show Prep From Twitter

I should be mad at social media & marketing goddess (and fellow WABB & Spring Hill College alum) Stephanie Winans for revealing one of my favorite secrets, but I’m not … I’m mad at her for doing it better!  Over the last couple years, I’ve recommended a few different ways Twitter can be used for self-promotion and show-prep.  Most recently, I set up @click1015 in Dayton with an elaborate set of Lists for this purpose … Lists ranging from Local Personalities, News Outlets, and Tastemakers to Bands We Play, Celebrities, et cetra.  It was easy to “click” a list and look for great content to use on our website and on the air.  Stephanie has taken it a step further by compiling a list of great all purpose show prep Twittererers to Follow.  She also “claims” to have written a How To about Twitter Lists more than two years ago; but, all we have to believe his her word and some date on a blog, so interpret that as you will 🙂

Anyway … Check out the list on her blog here.  

And, bookmark her site here.  She’s got something great to say every day!  I hate her for that, too.  🙂  Kidding, Stephanie!

Follow us on Twitter @scottsandsmedia and @stephaniewinans
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