Post by Waves PR intern, music blogger Halima Amina
Friday was the last meet up for THUPR, but it was indeed indexical of the whole THUPR vibe and journey. From big meet ups and company involvement, to small scale conversations. It’s with great sadness but with a brilliant ending that we say goodbye to THUPR.
The final meet up was under the theme of music, with contribution from Steve Lawson, Emily Breder, Claire Thompson herself and all attendees. THUPR has always been about bringing the conversations that count-and that’s exactly what we did.
Ideas bought up included the idea of branding. Is branding now merely a crass tool used to stamp something on the head and sell it on? Perhaps branding doesn’t cater for the multi faceted and terrifyingly impersonal nature of modern media, but the question then is-what’s the quick, strong alternative?
One cannot speak about music at a PR event without piracy taking a stake in the air time. Steve, as an independent musician himself, explained the concept of “gratitude” being the highest currency available online. Making his work available for free download, he welcomes (and receives) optional payment should the listener have enjoyed it. So the power goes right back to the consumer. A risky tactic maybe, but it is clear a radical change of the digital music market is needed.
I raised the point, from a consumer point of view, audiences are much less likely to feel the obligation and need to pay for an album when little or no engagement with audiences is being made; bragging about money in every song will probably not strike a chord with students the next time they’re in HMV. It stands to reason then that this concept goes right back to branding-an impersonal brand is less likely to earn money than an approachable personality.
The massive debts and charges of record companies and the industry in general were exposed and the need for a much more engaged PR stance with bloggers and writers over spamming audiences were discussed too.
Whilst this topic was as broad as the possibilities for movement in the future are, the meet up was a real eye opener and greatly enjoyed by my self.
The experience and working with Claire have been absolutely wonderful and invaluable.