Tag Archives: VPK

Music PR in 3-Months: 1 Week In

I am now one week into my Cyber PR campaign. (If you’d like the backstory, read my post last week here.) So, how is it going? A better question perhaps would be, what is happening? What is supposed to happen? Here’s the publicity workflow in a nutshell:

  1. CyberPR searches for media resources that may have interest in the type of music I do. These resources include blogs, podcasts, eMagazines, etc. They send them a VPK (virtual press kit).
  2. When a resource is interested, they interact with the VPK on Cyber PR’s site
  3. Eventually (hopefully) the resource will feature the music on their website by posting a review or including it in a music podcast
  4. I can build on the buzz by referencing the feature placements in my social media. The whole idea is to get buzz (i.e. “press”) that will intrigue people to check out my music

So far, the Cyber PR folks have reached out to about a dozen resources, fitting into the following categories: 4 blogs/audio blogs, 5 podcasts/internet radio stations, 2 general websites, and 1 newspaper. Here is a partial list: Blissology (yoga), DailyOM (yoga), It’s Your Health Network (radio), Outsight (indie radio), Erk FM & Insomnia Radio, Paranormal Ghost Stories, Lobstercast (comedy), Gaming Girls Want (gamers).

I am not sure of the relevance of some of these choices. Nonetheless, I am working on engaging with these folks through a combination of  commenting on blog posts and twitter interactions (mentions, retweets, and direct messages). The point of such engagement is to differentiate myself from the pack of people who may have VPKs (or other solicitations) sent on their behalf and do not interact at all. After a few days of rubbing cyber elbows, my next task is to contact them directly and ask if they would check out my VPK. I am not sure how much elbow rubbing is required, we’ll see.

I am rediscovering the value of Twitter, and I have been interacting with people, following them, them following me. I have discovered the importance of Twitter lists and have put all the resources in a list so I can scan what people are up to.

Well, that’s about it for now. As things heat up, I will be blogging about them.

Here’s what my CyberPR dashboard looks like for the resources that are added daily:


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Professional Bio

As part of the 3-month PR campaign signup process, I needed to provide a biography. I decided I was not happy with the one I had written which was in first person, so I hired a professional, Wildy Haskell, who was recommended by the Cyber PR folks. And this is what he came up with. I am quite happy with it, but I’d love to hear what you think too. So, don’t be shy with the comment box. :-)

Sometimes the thing you gave up for a lifetime of happiness comes around again.

This might be the perfect epitaph, in time, for Kelly Carpenter. A natural musician from childhood, Kelly was writing songs by the age of five, and performed live in various ensembles throughout his school years. After high school Kelly tried college, but one year in he walked away to pursue music full time. Along the way, he played in bands with some people who went on to have solid careers in the music business, but Kelly eventually returned to the safety and security of a college education. The path ahead was the American dream: A computer programming degree, a successful career, marriage to his best friend Merrilyn (30 years and counting), and music as an increasingly successful hobby.

Kelly also discovered a new depth to his spiritual life, and channeled his talents into worship music. This eventually led him to the Vineyard Church and a music community in the 1980’s and 1990’s that significantly influenced the popular revival of Contemporary Christian Music. His songs have been recorded by some of the biggest names in CCM, with “Draw Me Close” (Michael W. Smith, John Tesh, The Katinas, Kathy Troccoli) the biggest of them all. Kelly also did significant session work during this time, as music stayed an essential part of his personal essence.

In retrospect, it seems almost inevitable that Kelly Carpenter would one day be called back to music full-time. His inner voice began to exhort him in earnest in 2007 while working as a programmer for Microsoft and living a comfortable life. The Great Recession intervened the next year, however, and Kelly opted once again for the safety of a nine-to-five job. His muse wouldn’t be put off, however. A repetitive motion injury forced Kelly to take extended time off from work, and music filled the vacuum. Kelly finally found the courage to walk away and pursue his first love: music.

Jump forward to 2011, where Kelly has put the finishing touches on his first release in ten years, Passage. There are elements of new age, classical, jazz and pop woven into Passage, as well some of the dramatic sensibility found in modern worship music, but there’s a deeper connection in Carpenter’s work that is impossible to ignore. Passage is not your typical new age/pop effort. For one, Kelly doesn’t play by the rules, following wherever the muse leads even if the steps seem counterintuitive. There’s
an elemental feel to Kelly’s compositions; as if he weren’t so much writing pieces as channeling the very soul of the universe.

Kelly Carpenter was born to make music. He loves to make music. He practically dances to the universal motets he spins, circling around melodies like a child in the first moments of discovery. This pure joy and wonder pervades his compositions. It’s difficult to not get drawn into these moments; and impossible to deny the beauty and complex simplicity of his themes. Like all great composers, Kelly Carpenter lifts listeners above and beyond the moment; transporting the mind, the heart and the soul
into a world where the light is brighter and the colors more lush. Is this an experience you can afford to miss?

“Bio Inside” graphic courtesy of http://www.atiattractionmarketing.com

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Central to an internet (or “cyber”) PR campaign is the Virtual Press Kit (or “VPK”). In the old days, a package of information called a “press kit” was snail mailed to newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets. In the internet realm, the “press” consists of eMagazines, bloggers, podcasts, internet radio. These media outlets are called “resources”. The publicist’s role is to reach out to resources with an artist’s VPK, letting them know that the artist has something they may wish to “feature” on their site. The initial payoff for me is when a resource features my work on their site, thereby expanding my “reach”, (i.e. exposing my work to more people). The more people who hear my stuff, the greater the potential for having them buy my product or book me for a gig (if local).

You can check out my VPK at http://www.cyberpr.biz/clients/3028 By the way, if you happen to know someone in media who may be interested in my stuff, pass along the link to my VPK, or you could also tweet them from VPK page. Every little bit helps to spread the word!!

Here’s a screen shot of my VPK…

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Music PR in 3-Months: Day 1

I am quite excited to say: And so it begins!! For those of you who have been tuning in for awhile, I entered a blogging contest (way) back in the summer of 2010, blogging about my experiences working through the book Music Success in 9 Weeks by Ariel Hyatt. Ariel (pronounced like the initials “R.E.L.”) has a publicity firm called ArielPublicity which specializes in internet-based public relations. Her brand name is “CyberPR” and you can check it out here.

Anyway, as you may know, I won the first wave of three blogging contests her firm held. And the prize? A complimentary 3-month Cyber PR campaign. SWEET!! What does one get in a Cyber PR campaign? To quote their site “a Cyber PR campaign:

  • Gets you prominently featured on blogs, podcasts, & iRadio worldwide
  • Supercharges you Facebook, Twitter, & social media profiles
  • Creates a virtual cornerstone upon which to build future success”

I wanted to wait until I had my new CD finished before I “launched”; however, once I started the intake process, I realized I wanted a professional bio written. I will share the bio in a subsequent post. With that finally done, we are now officially launched!

I have a lot to learn and a lot to do. This is not something where they just run off and do their thing on my behalf. They are connecting me with various handpicked internet media “resources” (blogs, podcasts, and internet radio stations) by reaching out to them with my virtual press kit (VPK). It is my responsibility to cultivate a relationship with these resources now that the doorbell has been rung, so to speak. This initially can be as simple as a Twitter Follow or Facebook Like or blog subscription. Then it will move on to more direct messaging. I will be blogging about my progress.

Well that’s enough blog blabber for one day. I have some resources to connect with.

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