Posts Tagged ‘Metal’

True Till Death: How Metal and Hardcore Punk Shaped my Career in Public Relations

November 7th, 2011

The hardcore/metal scene is one formed upon community, friendship and progressive ideas. Yes, it has evolved over time, but for the most part, its ideals have remained the same: choosing to focus on integrity, morality and finding light within the dark.

NicholasGPorter.com_AmericanHardcore

The belief system referenced above also exist in public relations.  Sure, the structure, tools and players have also changed with time, but the message and goals have also remained the same.

Share stories with a positive message.  Value your relationships.  Respect your audience’s trust. Shine a light where needed.

It’s not exactly rocket science. The similarities exist because both communities have important stories to tell. I guess that is why I am a member of both.

Below, is a short documentary on Enjoy The Massacre – a Chicago-based metal/hardcore band whose talent is only surpassed by their passion for life and music. The documentary puts the finishing touches on my above-described ideas rather nicely.

An added bonus – fast-forward to 3:42 to hear about the time my band, The Auburn System, played a crack house in Detroit, Michigan while on tour with ETM in early 2008.

How Not to Write a Press Release

February 18th, 2010

Big news hit the world of heavy music today, as Carl Severson and Paul Conroy – founding owners of Ferret Music – announced the formation of  Good Fight Entertainment, a sports and music management company that will also act as a record label.

That is the long and short of it. I advise you to take my word for it too. The reason? Well, the press release for this announcement is borderline unreadable.

What went wrong? Well, a few things. Let’s take a look:

1. Not Making Each Word Count

At almost 1000 words, this release is too long. Did we really need a full paragraph explaining that this new company plans on having a website and a Facebook page?  Also, I understand the point of endorsements by opinion-makers, but a quote from hardcore legend Freddy Cricien discussing Madball’s career is completely off topic. It should not have been included in this release.

2. Jargon

Buzz words are sometimes necessary, but I think we have a case of overkill on our hands. Take a look at the following excerpt:

“Pioneers in the hardcore and metal scenes, and former partners at Ferret Music, Warner Music and ChannelZERO, Conroy and Severson have proven track records for innovative thinking and unwavering tenacity. Their abundance of experience has taught them how to spot cutting edge talent and propel them into the spotlight.”

Terms like “innovative,” “unwavering tenacity,” and “cutting edge,” reek of contrivance and continue to hide the facts that are really important. The term “cutting edge” is even used again in the very next paragraph.

Perhaps the biggest issue here is that the name of this endeavor is not made very clear. Most of the release refers to it as “Good Fight Music.” However, there are instances where it is referred to as “Good Fight Entertainment.” I have found pages on social networking sites referring to it as “Good Fight Records.”  Are these all the same thing? Can the names be used interchangeably? When your reader is confused, you are in trouble!

3. Unanswered Questions

Last but not least, there is an unfortunate lack of information here. This announcement is newsworthy because Conroy and Severson founded Ferret Music – one of the biggest labels in the history of the hardcore/metal music scene. So…what’s going on with Ferret right now? Has it ceased to exist? If not, who is running it? The label is home to a slew of bands not mentioned as artists who will be releasing music under the Good Fight Music name. Have their contracts been terminated? Even a nonfan has to wonder what has become of the label that launched these men’s careers.

I did not write this to attack Ferret, Good Fight Entertainment/Good Fight Music or anyone involved. After all, this is huge news. Two hardcore/metal pioneers are branching out in a new direction. Hardcore stalwarts like Madball and Disembodied have a new label to call home. In many ways, this is another step towards the legitimate recognition of heavy music.

Though the bottom line still stands; I was ready to stop reading this press release by the third paragraph and this is coming from a fan. I imagine a journalist’s attention span would expire much sooner.

Hipster Journalism: A Case Study

January 13th, 2010

I’m up for reading snarky pop culture pieces as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t mean that some hipster journalist has the right to assassinate anyone’s character they choose.

The latest piece to burst out of the bohemian media gates comes from James Montgomery of MTV news. On the heels of Mark McGwire’s admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs, Montgomery decided to list several figures in the music industry who he believes are steroid users. Among them was Dillinger Escape Plan front man, Greg Puciato. Montgomery explains:

“The diminutive wailer for New Jersey spazzers Dillinger Escape Plan is ripped enough for a man five-times his size, and though he’s denied using steroids (he chalks his physique up to “eat[ing] a lot of protein and work[ing] out a lot”), we’re still not entirely convinced. Then again, positively destroying the stage on a nightly basis has to have some benefits, right?”

Puciato, who subscribes to the belief that “sometimes pacifism is simply being lazy,” responded to the accusation by issuing a statement to Noisecreep.com, decrying the allegation and giving its author a piece of his mind.

Montgomery soon realized the consequences of his actions after no doubt being scorched by legions of DEP fans.  He eventually reached out to Puciato via Twitter early Wednesday morning and not only apologized, but offered to write a retraction.  Strangely enough, Montgomery also tried to explain that his article was never intended to insinuate anyone was using steroids, but that is a story for another day…

While Montgomery is not exactly a reporter for the New York Times, his piece still lacked common sense and decency.  There is nothing funny about unfounded accusations of drug use.  One might wonder why he even wrote the article and question how much he actually believed in it since he was so quickly willing to apologize for it. Was it a looming deadline? A case of writer’s block? Maybe a good old fashion lapse in judgment? The world may never know.

What do you think?

Update

Montgomery has added an amendement to his article. In it, he issus an apology and attempts to explain his actions.

To err is human; to forgive is divine.