The Commuters Project By Andrew Ferguson, Cory Smith, Paul Keiss, and Will Strickland

The Commuters – New York, NY
The Commuters are a relatively new band, playing their first show in late 2010. They released their first EP in August and have completed a full length album scheduled for official be released in early 2012.  Their first video, “As I Make My Way,” has recently appeared on mtvU.

Analysis
  •  The first thing we noticed when analyzing The Commuters’ social media was that their website needed no help from us.  The landing page consists of news on the left, and on the right, email for media, a streaming player, and a link to their Facebook and Twitter pages. What we realized needed help was the content.  The band’s personality could not be seen in their blog, Facebook, or Twitter page.
  • We also noticed in their News section that The Commuters had recently been receiving quite a bit of  radio airplay on college radio stations. We decided that this needed to be addressed in our strategy as well.
Strategy
      After deliberation within the group and speaking with Zeeshan, front man of The Commuters and Ariel and Jason, we decided to go with a three-pronged approach to our campaign. We would focus our efforts on placement in blogs, developing relationships with radio stations where the band has already received airplay, and starting to incorporate personal content into day-to-day social media posts and blog posts.
  • The Commuters' Radio Twitter list

    Radio –  We decided that it would be good idea to reach out to the college radio stations to try to get more than just airplay.  With all the music that students hear on college radio, it may take more than just hearing a song to make a fan out of a new listener. We decided to take the list of radio stations and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter, and email to be featured in dj blogs and radio interviews. At this point, we have sent sample posts to The Commuters that are pending approval. The posts will thank the radio stations and listeners for listening and begin to foster relationships.

  • Blogs- We have begun to pitch the Commuters to bloggers, starting with local music bloggers throughout the New York area. The blogs we are targeting are based on a questionnaire that we developed and received responses to from Zeeshan. We have used his interests to compile a list of potential blogs that we believe we have a good angle to pitch the band. An example of our strategy for blog targeting is that The Commuters have recently begun to work with the DNA foundation and Adrian Peterson on the Football for Good campaign, raising money to help at-risk youth and prevent human trafficking.  This gave us the idea to reach out to football bloggers as well. We have already prepared pitches to multiple different bloggers. These pitches are specific to each blog. Once we have approval from the band, we will contact the bloggers.
  • Content- We have been brainstorming with Zeeshan over the past few weeks about what types of personal content he wants to put into his blog.  We collectively decided that it is better that we avoid actually writing the blog, so that it remains authentic.  We thought with their recent work with the DNA foundation would be a good starting point. However, we have agreed to take a load off of Zeeshan by constructing a bank of sample posts. The posts that we construct will be sent out from Facebook and Twitter.

Struggles/Difficulties

  • Timing- With the Commuters living in New York, and the group having different class schedules, it is hard to find regular meeting times.  Since the band is an hour ahead of us, our ideal meeting times are often inconvenient for Zeeshan.
  • Busy schedules- The Commuters is a part-time job for Zeeshan, so he has a lot of other things that he is working on that aren’t band related.  Sometimes he has to put is work first, and get back to working with us second.
  • Detail- As with most professionals dealing with college students, There is a bit of hesitance as to our approach to The Commuters project.  This is understandable because of all the hard work Zeeshan has put into this band, but it can slow processes and makes it important that we make sure everything is right before it gets sent for approval.  If we come up with a post or  blog pitch that misrepresents the Commuters’ brand, then we have to redo it until it fits.

We are thoroughly enjoying working with Zeeshan and The Commuters. In the beginning of this project, things seemed like they would never take off, but now that the campaign is set in motion, we have gained a feel for the way Zeeshan works and how we need to work with him.  We are looking forward to an intense next few weeks as we finish the campaign.

– Andrew, Cory, Paul, and Will

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