Home, sweet home

It’s been haunting me for years the idea that Mid Autumn Festival has nothing to do with mid or autumn yet as sad-memories-recalling as mid Autumn always does to us. It suppose to be a good time when people get together while I sitting here somewhere in New York typing nonsense.

“Let me go home” is something deeply inside of me. I graduated with no job here in NY, but it is empire state, it is New York where anything can happen but nothing I can do. Mid Autumn Festival is some big traditional festival back in China. Day after day, year after year, people leave their home to different cities or even different continents for different errands. Sometimes we are too busy, or trying to pretend being busy. This day was set up to remind there are always families, friends thinking of us. Whenever we want to go back, whatever bad happened to us, we share the same damn moon, we hold heartbeats in same rhythm.

Behind this simple festival, there are so many touching stories. We can spend all night trying to tell people how much we miss home and how hard living in a new city. Yet Michael Buble make all of these stories speechless.

“If you wander off too far, my love will get you home.
If you follow the wrong star, my love will get you home.
If you ever find yourself, lost and all alone,
get back on your feet and think of me, my love will get you home.
Boy, my love will get you home.

If the bright lights blinds your eyes, my love will get you home.
If your troubles break your stride, my love will get you home.
If you ever find yourself, lost and all alone,
get back on your feet and think of me, my love will get you home.
Boy, my love will get you home.

If you ever feel ashamed, my love will get you home.
When there’s only you to blame, my love will get you home.
If you ever find yourself, lost and all alone,
get back on your feet and think of me, my love will get you home.
Boy, my love will get you home.

If you ever find yourself, lost and all alone,
get back on your feet and think of me, my love will get you home.
Boy, my love will get you home,
Boy, my love will get you home.”

(Lyrics by Christine Glass-My love will get you home)

#PR time!

Thinking how a festival help selling tons of moon cakes all over the world is exciting. People telling stories, singing songs, making movies, to share their unique and teary memories. Emotion polishes stories, and stories motivated both the festival and related stuff like moon cake.

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Mainland Chinese music market is dying

Music is part of our lives, and that is why I started this blog. Is it true that people are used to listening music mostly from their own countries? In countries like America, UK, the answer maybe is positive. However, in china, people are listening more songs from other countries or from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Even for me, I only listen some old songs from old artists of mainland China. If someone asks me which artist I like most in mainland china, I can’t name even one single younger one.

I can still remember the good old-time when we still had good bands, good artists and good voices. How come they stop developing this market in mainland China? I don’t think music itself is the reason though our songs may be not as good as those in US and UK. Nowadays, we still have good voices and the audiences still give hope on the music market because those music competitions such as “I am a singer” got huge attention. However, comparing our approaches of promotion to other countries’, we can find that in US it works better.

Here is my favorite old song. It’s from Leslie Cheung, he is from Hong Kong, but China is included in the market. The song is “The moon represents my heart”.

The first reason came into my mind is radio. If you drive in US and you listen to these radios, you must find them really annoying because basically they never change their songs. In the certain period, they play the same songs on and on and on until every audience can remember these songs and even lyrics. It is annoying, we should admit. But it really works. All the Grammy songs went through this situation. In China, in most time, the DJ are talking about how is everything going on recently and making conversation between audiences, including call-in. These music radios in China never play a song more than once a day, which will never make these songs familiar to audiences.

 

Sina Weibo worksSocial media also matters in the reasons why mainland China music market is dying now. Although Chinese is, like people in any other countries, using social media frequently, we don’t have as many approaches as people who are from other countries. Sometimes we are just not able to know who and what songs are coming out. Furthermore, the PR people in music market in mainland China don’t use social media well enough. They messed it up more than use it properly. For example, in China, the artists can’t have Facebook pages for themselves. And on Weibo (Chinese Twitter), the artists share more personal lives than their music. Some of them barely care about PR.

It is also very important that people in China can download music free, which will reduce the profit of making music a lot. As long as they can’t make money, the whole market won’t live long.

If you are a Chinese, do you agree that our music have no branding work and they don’t promote them enough to let themselves famous? If you speak English, how do you think about the promotion of US or UK music? Do you like these radios?

Twitter “leader” Justin Bieber, still need mass media?

Justin Bieber, as one of the most popular artists all over the world, recently has replaced Lady Gaga and own more followers than anyone else. With the help of his PR team and his fame, he has done great job on social media. As cited from Sebastian, “ ‘Bieber can go around the media and effectively deliver his message to his fans,’ said Gini Dietrich, CEO of PR firm Arment Dietrich. ‘We used to have to rely on journalists to tell our story for us, but in the past few years, owned media … allows us to tell our stories by building legions of fans who love working with us, love our products or services, and want to see us succeed.’  ”

justin-bieberWe all know how social media matters these days in no matter what area, including music PR, especially in music PR. Look at Justin Bieber. After he did so many thing wrong, his  “Beliebers” are still following him. He had his laptop “stolen”, so his naked pictures can be seen on the Internet. He blew off his fans on his own concert and was late for near two hours. He said he didn’t care about these media and journalists in his Instagram, Twitter and in public. Each of these can destroy an artist. But the social media save Bieber every time. His fan still love this big bad boy. But is it because Bieber’s PR team is good at social  media  they are not afraid of being enemy of mass media at all?

Recently, there is a video is quite interesting and watched by 3,216,990 viewers on YouTube. It’s title is Justin Bieber lashes out at cameraman.

As most comments said to this video, Justin Bieber did nothing really wrong in this shot video. Journalists don’t like Bieber because all of these mistakes he made and all his bad words about mass media. So they maybe did it deliberately just to piss him off or they were really angry at him. Anyway, this video is definitely not good for him. He can survive all of these rumors and bad news because he maintains great influence on all these social media now. Can he do this after maybe two years, or five years? Mass media maybe have less power now, but as an good artist he should never underestimate any kind of media. What do you think?

Stick to yourself, girl!

In my first blog, I  talked about a popular music competition in China named “I am a singer“. After eight weeks, they started to apply new elimination rules in the show.

TurnplateThe former rules were simple; they eliminate one singer and invite a new singer every two weeks. An interesting thing is that every singer can’t choose their own songs after the first performance, which means every single song they perform in this show will be unique. The new rule is more challenging and compelling. Now, they are using a template to help the singers choose songs, instead of giving them complete freedom of choice. The audience votes for the song they want to hear.

It is obviously that the new rules make the entire competition more fun and worth watching. The abilities of all the singers are being challenged. Some people maybe think singers who are adaptable and able to deal with different music styles will win. For me, I tend to think the opposite; the new rules are asking the singers to stick to their own style. From a PR perspective, these singers have to adhere to their already formed style and personality. Maintaining this is also a kind of personal branding. There’s a Chinese saying, “以不变应万变”, which means Counter changes with changelessness. If a good singer can perform different music in different styles, someone who can expertly perform different songs using the same style is better. A good singer can make every single song labeled by his/her name.

Shang Wenjie in weird clothes

So who was eliminated this week? Shang Wenjie. She is famous for her unique style, both in music attitude and dressing. Actually, she came from an old music competition named Super Girl. She and her PR team have been developing her unique personality and outstanding style since this competition which took place in 2006. In her words, at the beginning it is hard to keep this image in front of the audiences. Some people don’t like her over-dressing style, so they call her “Chinese Lady Gaga”. Her music is different from all other Chinese music. Many professional music analysts give her great credit and respect her braveness to develop new music and stick to her own style, which maybe weird to many common audiences who like Pop music or R&B. She is always overwhelming on the stage and never changes her “weird” singing style no matter what others say to her. Actually, before the 9th week performance, she was one of my favorites among the competitors.  Her version of “Let’s get it started,” for me, is even better than the original one.

One mistake she made is that she gave in to her music team. She changed her always unique style by performing a popular teenage girl song without any recomposing. Imagine Lady Gaga using a girlish voice to sing a Carly Rae Jepsen song. Actually, it is quite stupid to give up the original image which has been accepted by most audiences, especially when it has taken seven years to build her strong image.

Shang WenjieIt is smart for the TV station to change the rules. But it is also a challenge to the artists and their PR teams. Their clothes, choices of songs, and the way they talk all have something to do with PR works. In the weeks before Shang Wenjie was eliminated, her team maintained her image by picking up special clothes, choosing difficult and not-that-popular songs including “Man in the mirror“, a Michael Jackson original and so on. If you want to know how important sticking to your own style is, you should note her experience and watch the following video. It is also a good lesson for PR people to know how personal branding matters in changing people’s lives. This is why a innovative and ambitious artist got eliminated. A simple choice.

Stop being a queen

Talking about artists, every people maybe has his or her favorite one. For me, I love Adele, Beyonce, Emeli, Jack Johnson, and so on, but Christina Aguilera is always the best for me.

This is one of my favorite performances of her.

Christina has won five Grammys and owned five top one Billboard single songs. She was once one of the best selling singers in the world. In many competitions, her songs are people’s first choice. “Although the ever-pretentious Madonna would probably argue that she is the undisputed Queen of flop, the dookie colored crown actually belongs to none other than Christina Aguilera.” She was the queen, but now she is only the queen of flop. How could this happen?

christina-aguilera-lotus

It is not hard to find the reason. Actually, Christina is a perfect example to prove how important it is to maintain a good image of an artist. I think her mistake on Super Bowl National Anthem Flub was a start to ruin her image. She forgot the lyrics of National Anthem. She did screw up this show. First, Super Bowl has too many audiences, so this mistake can’t be either forgotten or ignored. Second, it is quite unbelievable to make such a severe mistake. The lyrics should always be kept in mind because it matters both to the country and citizens. However, this mistake is not what her PR team can avoid for her in advance because no one would know it could happen. “I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country.” This is her only “apology” after this crisis. Obviously, it is not enough at all. Aguilera was described as being “devastated” when she went backstage after her performance. “I have been performing the anthem since I was 7 years old and I must say the Super Bowl is a dream come true,” Aguilera said before the game. “I am really excited to be part of such an iconic event.” Her team definitely underestimated how bad this crisis could be. They made a beautiful image for her before the accident, like she is familiar with this song and she love this country so much, but they barely said anything about the mistake. They didn’t even say sorry about that.

Thinking about Christina’s image, it wasn’t maintained well enough since the beginning. Her story can remind the PR team of any other singers how important a good image is to their artists. In Christina’s age, two great stars matters to the whole world, Mariah Carey and Whitney Huston. Christina was described as a merged voice between those two artists. But sometimes, she was too self-confident about her voices. As Gossip Pen says, “There’s also the fact that Christina Aguilera is just an unlikable person, and has been from day one. She’s always been a huge snob that has turned her nose up at any and everyone she felt wasn’t on her level.” To be too self-confident and looking down on anyone are the description of her image. She left the bad image to the audiences by her gestures, words, the way to response to the journalists and so on.

All of these can be avoided if she has a better PR team at the very beginning. “She doesn’t have the fan interaction and continued cross-promotion that the likes of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga have.” As cited from JUNO, I think she needs more two-way communication. Christina has done a great job on improving her image since she joined TheVoice. She tried to be humble and behave better. And she started to communicate more by being more active on twitter and so on. Her PR team also shares more her funny expression and how she became fat these years.Christina in TheVoice

She doesn’t need to pretend to be the best because it will only hurt image which is important to artists. People need a normal star. People like Whitney Huston even after her drug rumor; like Michael Jackson after his abusing children incident. Why? Two-way communication matters. The audiences will bear with some mistakes by their favorite stars if they know they didn’t mean to do this and their star still love his or her fans. Christina’s image was ruined by her bad PR consciousness and her way of communication. And here are some successful images of artists.

People need a normal diva, not a queen to run the world. Diva, Queen, funny people, these are built by communication and PR people. And that is an important part in music PR.

Best choice of Bri Music,Emeli Sandé

If you like good voice, perfect skills, and British music, you must know the new singer Emeli Sandé. She is a 23-year-old from rural northern Scotland. Emeli started to write songs since she was only ten. Although she released her first album “Our Version Of Events” on 2012, which has gone on to become the UK’s biggest selling debut album of 2012 so far, winning Emeli this year’s coveted BRITs Critics’ Choice Award, many great pop singers have already sung her compositions before. Actually she is never a new singer because of her performance for London Olympic Games in 2012.

Emeli Sande's coover of her new single

I am excited of knowing such a good singer, but it makes me curious about how PR works in promoting this great singer. Obviously, although Emeli was good at her job since many years ago, she just made her name known by most of us from 2012, with the help of her PR team. Talking about PR works of British music, they are really good at their job. The most successful example these years must be our great Adele. Adele’s team told us a fantastic story about her. Adele produced this album when she was 19, so the album’s name is 19. She is talented, both at writing songs and singing. However, they made the story like a tragedy. It is said she wrote all of these touching songs after she was abandoned by her boyfriend, her friend, and even herself. All of these painful things made her successful. And just as Kitchener mentioned, “Since Adele, whose career now needs no explanation, the title has been handed down to Florence And The Machine, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J; and each triumphant lady has gone on to score a chart-topping debut album and a huge commercial following.”  Actually it is a tradition story of promoting a new singer. Sia became more popular after the audience knowing her boyfriend, with her for seven years, died in a car accident, and then she wrote the song “Breathe Me.

Her promotion is quite traditional for me. I first heard about Emeli through a post on Twitter. I followed a lot of music cyber shills so that I can know who the new singer is and what is or will be popular next. In the post, she was titled as diva, queen, and goddess and so on, which is obviously not that appropriate for a new singer. But audiences like these titles, and they are curious about how good she can be. After clicked the link, I was shocked and addicted to her voice, melody and the lyrics in a few weeks. The song is “Clown”.

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Queen Bee’s Back

Queen Bee is back, lets enjoy her super perfect super bowl halftime show first.

Recently, a big star is coming back to the stage, which is so exciting. But the real exciting things for me are more than that. When a star wants  more attention from the audiences PR people matter a lot. In this case, I feel this better than anything before. Talking about Beyoncé halftime show, her team is so talented to arrange all the promotion for her. First, she is the honored guest for this year’s halftime show performance of Super Bowl. As we all know, Super Bowl is the most popular championship game in America, and almost everyone in America is waiting for it. The halftime show is the highlight of it, and that is why many people don’t even know the rules of football expect the game every year, like me.

Although Beyoncé isn’t like Justin Timberlake who hasn’t released any songs for seven years, fans are waiting for her since the MTV Video Music Awards and it’s quite a long time for a popular diva like her.

Beyonce and Destiny's Child on Super Bowl 2013 Halftime show

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“I am a singer” makes a twenty-years dream come true.

Recently, a name is known by almost everyone in China, Huang Qishan. Before a show, “I am a singer”, only some professional singers and album producers knew who she is. She is so good at singing that other singers called her Chinese Mariah Carey, Chinese Whitney Huston and so on, but weirdly she was never popular before that competition. She became a big name from no one in just 5 minutes at a one hour show.

Huang Qishan

According to Wikipedia, I Am a Singer (Korean: 나는 가수다) is a singing competition program originated from South Korea. Seven talented singers who are already popular before the competition perform, and audiences vote to eliminate one singer after each week’s performance.

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