I’m Different, Yea I’m Different

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I may be wearing a white shirt with a tie in my picture above but don’t let that fool you, I am still Heroin Tracks! Seven months ago I made a life changing decision; go back to college. They say don’t ever look back, just look forward, but I think I made the best decision of my life so far (I hope). I thought I didn’t know much about corporate communications and public relations, but with all the blogging, attending events, interviews with artists, and social media promotion, I wasn’t totally out of the loop.

There are over 60 of my peers who are trying to land a job in public relations and I have to stand out from the rest. How am I different?

Well, I would have never thought that starting a blog in 2010 would land me back in college to a career in public relations. It’s hard finding what your passion is in life, but I’ve spent over four years working hard to know that I am ready to make the transition into a PR pro. Everything I’ve done has been a learning experience and in a way, it was tying into PR. Heroin Tracks was a platform me to practice my persuasive writing and introduce me to Twitter, which then led me to create a social media campaign for a not-for-profit organization with XTM Inc. That led me to manage the iconic clothing brand, Roots, where I engaged with thousands of customers through social media and create emails. Roots then led me to Centennial College, where I organized a charity launch event with no budget and I had to a write donation letter and save-the-date email to persuade the media and organizations.

I want to combine my new found public relations knowledge and digital marketing experience by working at a PR and/or digital marketing agency.

Oh, and even though I started a blog that covers PR and social media, I try and include a song in my posts. That’s how I’m different!

TMZ vs. YMCMB: Lil Wayne Suffers Seizures

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On March 15, 2013, one of hip-hop’s biggest artist, Lil Wayne, was hospitalized after having a seizure. Now here’s when it gets interesting. TMZ broke the news on their website stating that Wayne was rushed to the ICU (intensive care unit) at a Los Angeles hospital. TMZ said that Wayne was “unstable”, “placed in a coma,” “breathing through tubes,” and “shaking violently.” The gossip website was updating throughout the night reporting that Wayne was critical condition and final prayers were taking place. TMZ was basically stating that Wayne was going to die.

This was a lot of news coming from TMZ and it was all really serious. Wayne dying would make huge impact in the music industry. He has major endorsements such as Pepsi’s Mountain Dew, his own clothing line, Trukfit, and he has his own record label, Young Money Entertainment (signed Drake and Nicki Minaj). Whether you hate him or love him, Wayne is a big deal.

During that same night that TMZ was reporting their news, Young Money Entertainment’s manager Mack Maine was on Twitter tweeting to fans that Wayne was doing ok and he was watching a basketball game. Maine also said that TMZ was releasing falsified information about Wayne breathing through tubes and being on his deathbed. There were also credible bloggers like Karan Civil who tweeted out saying Wayne was not dying. Cash Money Entertainment’s president and mentor, Birdman, told reporters not to listen to TMZ and that Wayne didn’t suffer multiple seizures. The rapper’s spokeswoman Sarah Cunningham also released a statement in an email to CNN saying that Wayne did have a seizure but is recovering and is doing good.

Wayne was released from the hospital on March 18, 2013 and he is back to his usual self. I just hope that near death experience will make him a better person and artist.

But overall, who can you really trust in this situation? TMZ is known for their credible sources, but that night they could have been getting false information from a nurse or a staff member at the hospital. As I was watching this whole thing unfold on Twitter, I knew that Mack Maine, Birdman, and Karan Civil were close friends of Wayne so their tweets were credible. At the same time though, Mack Maine could be saying that Wayne was doing “fine” because of how much Wayne is worth. Putting business first.

Let me know your thoughts on this situation!

How To Create a Winning Resume

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I’m in the last semester of my corporate communications and public relations program at Centennial College and it’s interview season! Apart of my program, I have to look for an internship. It’s kind of nerve-racking applying to places liked MuchMusic and Sony Music Canada because those are the organizations where one day I dream of working.

Since 2012 I have gained much more experience and knowledge in public relations, so my resume took a drastic change, but for the good. Sending that first email hoping you persuade the employer to email you back is stressful; so you want to get to the point and show some excitement in that email. The key to get an interview is an awesome cover letter and resume. You really want to capture the employer’s attention within the first few sentences in the cover letter. For your resume you want something that’s easy to read and nothing more than two pages of relevant experience and skills.

I could always use some helpful tips on how to create an effective cover letter and resume and I came across this awesome infographic (attached above). The infographic was created by NowSourcing which is an internet marketing services firm. If you’re stuck on your cover letter or resume maybe this will help you out.

If you have any tips on how to create an effective cover letter or resume leave a comment below and I will post it on another blog post!

Artists Announce New Album Dates on Grammy Night

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Probably the biggest and important night in the music industry is the Grammy Awards. It’s where all the artists, producers, DJs, A&R’s, basically everyone important come out and celebrate. The 55th Grammy Awards took place on February 10, 2013 and it was ok. It wasn’t the best Grammys I’ve seen. The performances weren’t that spectacular (except for Justin Timberlake’s), LL Cool J kept making the show about him, and most of the awards were handed out during the pre-telecast.

Being such an important night in music, this was the perfect time for artists to announce new projects that they’re working on. The media from all around the world is on the red carpet, all music bloggers are glued to their TVs, and their PR practitioners are in full force. Here are some of the big announcements that were announced at the Grammys:

So as you can see, these are some pretty big announcements coming from artists of this high calibre. Being a music blogger myself, I was excited to hear album dates and future projects coming from my favourite artists. Looking it at a PR perspective, the 55th Grammy Awards brought in 28.4 million viewers, so it was the perfect time make a big announcement like an album release date. You’ll also have thousands of people tweeting during the night, so when Drake told us the name of his new album, fans were already talking about it and bloggers writing posts about the name.

Unless you have wardrobe malfunction, or a shaky performance, it’s all good publicity for an album/tour announcement during the Grammys. Now if only Jay-Z and Kanye West announced their new albums!

55th GRAMMY Awards #TheWorldIsListening Campaign

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This year, to help promote the 55th GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy teamed up with TBWA, which is a worldwide advertising agency (yes, they have a Toronto location).

#TheWorldIsListening is a social media campaign that helps feature up-and-coming artists. Musicians can upload their record on SoundCloud and share it on Grammy Amplifier. The musician’s track may be tweeted out by iconic artists such as RZA, Linkin Park, and Kelly Clarkson, who are the Amplifier Curators. Continue reading

Cruel Summer, Cruel Leakers

Last week, Kanye West’s highly anticipated album Cruel Summer got released in stores and online. This is West’s first album where he got everyone from his G.O.O.D. Music label together on one album. Being a huge West fan, I was really excited to hear this piece of art, but of course, leave it to the internet to ruin it for me.

A week before it’s release, Cruel Summer got leaked. Now in this day and age, it is very common that albums get leaked online but it really ruins the experience. Not only that, but the listener doesn’t know how authentic the songs are. To avoid album leaks, artists usually release their albums a week early on iTunes and that’s what West should have done!

So, are album leaks all part of the artist’s plan? Well look at it this way, when album leaks do happen it creates a buzz for the artist and the album. Everyone gets an early listen and consumers can decided whether to buy the full album or individual tracks on iTunes. But it also takes away the quality of the music. When it came to Cruel Summer, the leaked version was not mastered and sounded unfinished.

Overall, I think that music labels leak some albums so that they can get people talking about it. It can also go two ways, leaks can help increase CD sales and damage sales. Though leakers do spoil the musical experience when you first buy the album and hear it in its true form.

If you love the artist and/or the album, please go and buy the album!