Creative marketing using Spotify

11 Jan

How to use Spotify for deeper engagement

If you love music, you’ve no doubt heard of Spotify by now. Spotify is a new music steaming service that allows you to listen to music through your computer, or for a small fee each month, on your smart phone. For those users who do not pay a monthly fee, they can listen for free as much as they’d like but will hear the occasional ad. Most advertisers would point you directly to buy ads via Spotify to increase your marketing efforts. But here’s another idea. Why not create a playlist that has a tie-in to your client or brand and then use that as a vehicle to engage with your audiences? The possibilities are endless: an owner of a small bakery can create a playlist and share it with his customers (Bob Marley’s Stir it Up, anyone?); a global brand could create a “best of” office mix and share with their clients (and employees) via social media; or a music teacher could create a playlist of class favorites and parents could listen at home with their kids.

For my clients last music film festival, Reel Music 30, I took this approach. I created a playlist by choosing a song from each musician who was being documented in the festival and shared the playlist via social media. I also sent it out to select press contacts. This created great results— bloggers were posting the playlist and a major music festival posted to their Facebook page. Others shared it via Twitter. The users who listened on Spotify subscribed to the playlist. This means that the ReelMusic 30 playlist shows up on their page to visitors and that they enjoyed it enough to keep it for later listening.

In addition, we piped in the playlist into the movie theater for people to hear before the films. And theater staff did an announcement about the playlist, touting it as a take home item, like program notes. This creative approach brought the Reel Music Film Festival into homes, offices, and connected the brand with people that may not have even been able to attend the festival.

Listen to the Reel Music 30 playlist here:


Tricks For Battling Creative Blocks

16 Oct


This is a great post about how to help yourself be creative. Hint: Sleep is REALLY important! There was enough in this post to make me want to buy the book and so I’ve already got my order in via Amazon. Check out the article and let me know what you think.

To Instagram or not to Instagram?

30 Sep

This could be your brand.

Technology is moving fast and a new social media tool pops up everyday, or so it seems. How can a small business, start-up, or non-profit stay current on the latest trends by allocating resources and time to post, tweet, pin, etc.?

Chances are you have a Facebook, and possibly even a Twitter account. And you’re feeling really good about it. Now, the buzz is all about Instagram. Do you need to Instagram? What is it?

Instagram is a photo sharing tool that transforms the pictures that you take on your phone by applying an artistic filter (think old-timey sepia or colored gels) and then allows you to share those photos with the world. Instagram also makes it simple to send photos to other social networks including Twitter and Facebook. You can chose from 17 filters (including original), write a brief description of the image, and then tag or hashtag the image. But what Instagram really does is give your brand a cool factor.

When a user takes an Instagram photo, often times they’re not posting the cute group pictures of friends that Facebook has an influx of, they’re posting something odd, interesting, vibrant, or something that speaks to their visual aesthetic, including brands. The most mundane things look cool with a filter on Instagram. A ketchup bottle, a company sign, someone’s office desk—that’s the beauty of the app. It allows people to look at the world differently, and therefore, they look at your brand differently too.

In addition, it takes less time to Instagram than to write a tweet, Facebook post, or blog post. So, set-up your account today (via your phone) and start sharing your great work and cool brand with the world!

If you need more of a reason, here’s some data:

  • Each second, 58 photos are being uploaded to Instagram
  • Each second, a new user is gained
  • The total number of photos uploaded (since inception) is more than one billion

(data taken from Wikipedia, dated May 2012)


25 Sep

This summer I moved into a studio apartment. It’s a cute place and in a great location but my ratio of space to stuff  (years of collecting vintage furniture) did not match up. In order to find small space design solutions I started looking online and that’s when I discovered (and fell in love with) Pinterest!

Now I use the site to find recipes, clothes, DIY projects, and even nursery room ideas. No! I’m not having a baby but a dear friend of mine is and she needs some help planning the nursery. Lucky for me she’s going for a baby animal themed room. Check out my Pinterest page and then start one for yourself. Come on people, BABY ANIMALS!

But, what does it have to do with marketing, you ask? Well, a recent study on found that Pinterest drives more visitors to third-party sites than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined. So, whether you’re looking for inspiration or to drive traffic, Pinterest could be the answer.


Trends: Homepage Traffic Changing

29 Aug


“The old mantra that every page needs to be a homepage has never been more true.”

A great article that shares the homepage vs. sideways entry into news sites. This relates to any website.

PR-ing with Wim Wenders

15 Mar

February 16, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.

In the middle of this year’s 35th Portland International Film Festival, the Film Center’s busiest time of the year, we were approached with a unique opportunity to host Wim Wenders. Wenders is a world renowned filmmaker best known for films such as Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, The Buena Vista Social Club, and recently Oscar nominated for the 3-D documentary Pina. Sadly, since February 26 has passed, we know he didn’t win. But the Film Center and Cinema 21 pooled their resources to bring him to town on February 16 for two special screenings at the Cinema 21.

IFC, the distributor for Pina, contacted me to see if I was available to help drum up press for Wenders when he was in town. Of course, this being a great opportunity to meet one of my icons and get some experience running a press junket for a big time film director, naturally, I said yes.

The results include:

An interview with Wenders by Shawn Levy at the Oregonian:

An interview with Wenders on OPB’s Think Out Loud with Dave Miller:

An interview with Wenders on KPOJ with Mary Loos:

An interview with Wenders on with Inessa M.:

A live TV interview with Wenders on KGW8 with Joe Smith:

So, it went great!

Because I am always thinking of my client—the Northwest Film Center and the School of Film—I also asked IFC if we could do a couple of things with Wenders to help both of these organization. Wenders graciously agreed to sign a couple of posters while he was in town to raffle off at the screening. This raised $2000.00 for the Film Center! And to enrich the lives of the students at the School of Film, we were able to give them the chance to meet Wenders and conduct a video interview with him that is online here:

IFC was happy, my clients were happy, and at the end of the day Wim Wenders shook my hand and said that I did a great job!

Wim Wenders, Jessica Lyness, and Bill Foster

PR/Marketing Events of 2011

1 Jan

It’s time to reflect on what the hell I’ve been so busy doing in 2011. This is a month-by-month highlights reel and gives a general overview of all the love, sweat, and tears put into promoting the NW Film Center, Queer Documentary Film Festival, and Shine a Light at the Portland Art Museum.


January 2011: Reel Music 28 – The ONLY Music Film Festival in Portland. I project managed a new brand roll-out working with ad agency Weiden + Kennedy’s school. Biggest challenge? Building an audience for an Opera documentary on one of the biggest nights in football—the Oregon Ducks vs. the Auburn Tigers. This poster, designed by Yi Fanlu, certainly helped get some people into the theater and created a buzz on social media.

February 2011: Hello 34th Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) – the largest film event in Oregon! This was my fifth year promoting PIFF. Highlights included PIFF After Dark (Rubber) at the Hollywood Theater, hanging out with director Larysa Kondracki (The Whistleblower), seeing many films, including Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives with friends, and PIFF-tini’s at Hotel Modera. Thanks to long-time partners Regal Cinemas and the Oregonian for support. Marketing highlights included working with amazing Festival artwork created by Ken Orvidas and designed by Steve Sandstrom seen here on the PIFF microsite and distributing door hangers around the SE and NE to introduce PIFF to the neighborhood(s). This year broke box office records – 36,00 tickets sold!

March 2011: Clearly, I flipped my bowler hat over the Charlie Chaplin film series at the NW Film Center. Pictures and more on my travels with Chaplin around Portland. Below, Michael Showalter at Powell’s Books poses with Charlie. Yes, that means I met Michael Showalter too!!

April 2011: The NWFC presents the 19th Portland Jewish Film Festival. I had the opportunity to work with partners, Joan Sher and Hal Nevis, at the Institute for Judaic Studies to see the Festival get record attendance! Seeing an early version of the film Sarah’s Key with friends after dinner at Higgin’s was a treat!

May 2011: I Love Deneuve and so do you! May brought the French actress to the silver screen at the NW Film Center. We created these promotional posters for the fans and gave them away for free.

June 2011: The 5th QDoc: Portland’s Queer Documentary Film Festival took place in early June at the Clinton Street Theater! There were many highlights—one of which was meeting the talented Joey Arias in the bathroom at the Opening Night event. Don’t ask! Parties, filmmakers, films, and brunch. It’s all an amazing whirlwind. Thanks to Mother’s Bistro for the delicious food!

July 2011: Top Down, of course. Rooftop Cinema on a beautiful sunny night in Portland, Oregon. Need I say more? From the glittering lights in the West Hills to the downtown skyline, this is the best thing that I do all year—get paid to enjoy summer and hang out with my coworkers on a roof. Bonus: Video promotion from the Oregonian and a big full page story.

August 2011: Top Down magic continues, and along with it NW filmmakers flourish on the big screen. Highlights of the month included: The Wanteds (Interview with director Stephanie Smith), The Body Electronic: An Evening with Jesse Malmed, and Evening with Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon.

September 2011: Prepared for third annual Shine a Light event at the Portland Art Museum. Designer Tricia Chin and I concepted this year’s artwork, based on infographics and color theory. This year the event began with a soft opening at 10 a.m. and as usual, things really took off at 6 p.m. and lasted until midnight. 2400 people came out! Check out the Oregonian coverage. A stronger relationship with Portland State University increased visibility for the event on the PSU campus and with Portland media.

October 2011: Reel Music 29?!? Yes, you read that right—two Reel Music Festivals in one year because this was the year we moved the Festival to October. Highlights included seeing Wheedle’s Groove—the super-group band perform before the documentary of the same name by Jennifer Maas’ about the (largely) unknown soul music scene in Seattle. Bonus: Hanging out with The Decemberists Chris Funk at the event. He offered to do the sound for my next film (OMG!) Partnered with MusicFest NW and Search Party.

November 2011: The 38th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival dropped in November. Hundreds of filmmakers descended on the NW Film Center’s School of Film and Whitsell Auditorium for films, panel discussions, parties, and networking. We kicked everything off with a birthday party for the NW Film Center’s 40th Anniversary on opening night of the Festival. Photos here. I promoted the Festival using this hilarious creative—which takes the idea of films being filmmakers’ babies literally—made by Mutt Industries. What’s more wrong than judging babies?

December 2011: Getting ready for 2012 is always the highlight of my December. What’s in store? NWFC 40th Movie Marathon, 40th Anniversary Gala + Fundraiser: Lights! Camera! Auction!, PIFF 2012, a Nicolas Winding Refn (director of Drive) series, launching a Film Center news room, producing a podcast, taking a video marketing class, and more!

Happy New Year everyone!