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 Everett True

how the music press works

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The following is an email that was forwarded on to me by an interested party. I have removed the names of the relevant parties to spare the blushes of all concerned

Dear all

Just want to remind everyone again of the rules and guidelines around external media and social networking – these apply if you are a TITLE’s staffer or freelancer. Please email **** back with an acknowledgment that you have read and understood the below.

Thanks, ****


**** SOCIAL MEDIA AND PR GUIDELINES 2010

As an employee or contributor to TITLE your presence online can represent TITLE to a public audience. You are therefore required to maintain the highest levels of professional conduct at all times.

The use of personal Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts to broadcast a viewpoint or opinion that relates specifically to a TITLE’s issue, or a viewpoint or opinion that could be deemed to have a negative impact on TITLE, is not permitted unless it has previously been signed off by either the TITLE’s Editor or Editor of TITLE’S WEBSITE.

If you are a TITLE’s staff member and are approached by any external media to write, freelance or comment on any issue (music or other) the enquiry must be routed to **** in PR for approval before you agree to anything. This rule also applies to freelancers if they are being credited as a TITLE’s contributor.

All COMPANY staff should also make sure they have familiarised themselves with COMPANY’s social media policy which can be found on the intranet.



TITLE’s Editor

——————————————————————————————————————————————————

Some observations:

  • The music press – mainstream and alternative – often presents itself as one of the last bastions of independent thought and action. Well, yes. But only if your independent thoughts and actions have been approved by the magazine’s PR department first.
  • As has been proven countless times, discourse around a CD or magazine or event will increase awareness of that CD or magazine or event. No publicity is bad publicity. You’d have thought that this title in particular would be aware of this: how is any medium going to grow or flourish without commentary and criticism around it, both good and bad? Censoring contributors’ voices is not a way forward at all.
  • Freelancers are under no obligation to the titles they contribute to.
  • In fairness to the offending title’s editor, they probably finds this policy just as laughable as the rest of us. They are under an obligation to the title, however.
  • Print magazines really don’t understand how social networking online works, do they?

10 Responses to how the music press works

  1. Everett True November 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

    (from Facebook)

    Ian Watson
    Wow, that’s incredible. What I loved about another title when I was a lowly freelancer was that it seemed to be a hotbed of dissenting opinions. That I could read writers laying into other reviews, bands that were on the cover that week, etc, and that it felt like it was a broad church and you could just find the writer and opinion that you felt closest to for that week. I think you’re right to say it’s not necessarily the editor of this title’s fault – for what it’s worth, I think they’re doing a sterling job of bringing it back from the grave – but even so. Surely when you square up to a title you should be confronted with confidence and authority – not fear.
    11 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person

    Wallace Wylie Aw, too bad you didn’t print it. Well, in any case I’ll just read this e-mail you got and…hey, wait a minute. That’s not…..no, it couldn’t be.
    11 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person

    Taylor Parkes
    I couldn’t quite believe the bit about what freelancers are supposed to do if they’re “approached by any external media to write, freelance or comment on any issue (music or other)”. I mean, even if those freelancers were earning something vaguely approaching a living wage from TITLE, it would still be completely unacceptable.
    11 hours ago · Like

    Massimo Usai
    got to share this and let everyone know how fucked up things are…
    8 hours ago · Like

    Neil Kulkarni
    I’m totally willing to delouse my use of social networks if it meant I could write for the NME. I want to write for the NME so much. It’s my ultimate ambition. I want to slowly build a career again working my way from lowly contributor to section-ed to deputy-ed and finally to editor. Then I’d sack everyone, retitle it Melody Maker, occupy-by-force the 25th floor (after rehiring extensively) and start churning out what would basically be a Royal Trux fanzine until the SWAT-team storms the building.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Ngaire Ruth
    As a public servant I avoid having any Friends who know me as a teacher – and I use the wall for more interesting things than moaning about work. My wall is for people who only know me as Ngaire Ruth, as I scramble to get my self esteem and identity back after bringing up Maedb 24/7 away from hom (London) for 12 years. HOWEVER if you make a living out of having an opinion, you bloody should be respected and admired by your title – especially when your slagging them off! ET – you loved that sort of behaviour.
    about an hour ago · Like

    Ngaire Ruth
    Oh. And everything will be alright bcos Neil K has a good plan.
    about an hour ago · Like

  2. tomfiend November 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Man, even as a lowly “casual” enthusiast such as myself, if a publication I was freelancing for told me they had to sign off on any other work I was to do, I would tell them to blow it out their ass so quickly.

  3. max November 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    this incredibly discouraging and extremely insulting to WHOEVER enjoys music – listeners, players, readers and writers alike. whoever these guys are (and it would be good to know because our brand new album promos are about to be mailed out) they should totally get a boycott action going… this sucks real bad.

  4. Everett True November 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Unfortunately Max, I’m not at liberty to divulge where this comes from.

    But clearly the folk responsible are the… (cough)… enemy.

  5. public NME November 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    it’s ridiculous

  6. elbo November 19, 2010 at 1:56 am

    this has the nme all over it

  7. Princess Stomper November 19, 2010 at 4:57 am

    “Neil Kulkarni
    I’m totally willing to delouse my use of social networks if it meant I could write for the NME. I want to write for the NME so much. It’s my ultimate ambition. I want to slowly build a career again working my way from lowly contributor to section-ed to deputy-ed and finally to editor. Then I’d sack everyone, retitle it Melody Maker, occupy-by-force the 25th floor (after rehiring extensively) and start churning out what would basically be a Royal Trux fanzine until the SWAT-team storms the building.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1 person”

    *likes*

  8. han March 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    If the enemy had any idea what good music was, I’d be on their side. As it stands they haven’t a clue and it reads more like a catalogue of photos and names for the reader to discover with no help from the writers. If they say it’s good. It will be crap. If they have luke warm feelings- it will be the best thing you’ve ever heard. Self-proclaimed ‘taste-makers’ (the arrogance and falseness of such a claim makes me wanna blow chunks up in their face) MUST be taking bribes from record labels to write what they do- pandering to advertisers at the very minimum. What is the point of that??? Also, I met a nineteen year old who had previously briefly written for the enemy and he knew fxxk-all about music- Compared to him, I know everything and even I know that my knowledge has it’s limits. When that guy told me that, I was appalled and thought ‘no wonder’ it comes off like the blind leading the blind into a hole in the ground at high speed! I lost even more respect for them then. It also explains why EVERY blonde singer or female fronted band was described as being ‘exactly like Blondie’ (to paraphrase)- Blondie is the only female in alternative music any of these idiot kids had heard of at that point. Riot Grrl happened while they were in nappies so they were clueless. I really want to like the enemy, but I really can’t… I have never preferred it to Kerrang! At least at Kerrang! the writing is done with knowledge of the genre and bags of humour… now if only the enemy could achieve that for the less heavy styles of music, it would be a damn good read. The enemy will become a white elephant soon if it doesn’t compete with the free flowing ideas of the music bloggers. I am not the only one who thinks this… the Guardian newspaper ran an article to similar effect yesterday- the press is no longer the only tribe of people who need ‘wining and dining’ by bands and their labels… enter the bloggers. The enemy should get real and rethink their strategy and fast- like you said all publicity is good publicity for them and if they have their nuts in a vice by some ‘powers that be’ advertiser types, then having one of their writers- sorry, contributors being able to continue free speech then that’s good for their street cred. If you’re freelance, surely whatever you say on here is like an offshore account that they can’t touch. And if they take themselves that seriously then the SUCK. Big time.

  9. Joe August 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    It’s understandable I suppose because they are looking to protect themselves.

    But it ain’t rock n roll.

    And I think, (although I’m just guessing here…), that rock n roll is what they think they are.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA

  10. Joe August 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    just to clarify – I meant ‘understandable’ for a mainstream company with no sense of free speech, rebellion or any idea of what rock n roll is.

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