Guest Post: A Letter Addressing NYC, DPCs, POVs and Vulnerability

Photo by Carissa Stolting

This guest post was written by Hudson K, a soulful dark and shiny electro-rock musician, who attended our Summer 2012 Digital Press Conference (DPC)…

Dear Ariel Hyatt:

You asked me how I felt about your CyberPR DPC (Digital Press Conference). You asked me what it was like from an “artist POV.” It took me a moment to figure out what POV stood for, but I think I got it. I also discovered what a DPC was when i accidentally tweeted “Hey, are you going to the DCP?” to @CarlaLynneHall. This may or may not be what you were looking for, but here is the answer in butt-naked glory. I’m not really sure that word is supposed to be hyphenated. How about BNG?

>What you may not know is that prior to my trip to NYC, life was continuing to remind me how false my sense of security was. My summer started with this:

Yeah, I smashed my fingers in one of the old windows in my old Victorian house Blue Bungalow. One trip to the ER and I was high on hydrocodone and contemplating my other skill sets. I came up with dog-walking. I guess everyone needs their hands for the work they do. Obviously, I was left feeling a little vulnerable.

The accident was followed up with a successful video release party for our newest single, “The Knife.” As you might guess, I was packing to leave for NYC with a healthy dose of anxiety as to whether my next experience would be of the yin or the yang variety.

Photo by Carissa Stolting

The expression on my face might make you think I have conquered said vulnerability. Click on the word FIRE if you want to experience the burn. I think it will make you feel better.

To be totally honest, I had no expectations of what this trip would bring. I had not a single gig booked and only tentative plans to meet up with people. You Ariel, were one of those people. Trust me, you were high on my list, so when I got the invitation to come to your actual place of residence I rejoiced and also felt a twinge of fear for the reciprocal yang. For a moment I realized that I had an #epicfail when I contemplated how little PR I had done for “The Knife.” I thought, “Ariel is going to be so disappointed in me.” You taught me how to do this promotion thing, and I just couldn’t keep all my kites in the air.

I tucked my tail between my legs, pretended to have my shit together and ventured across mid-town Manhattan in the middle of the day. I kept thinking there just had to be a back road across town and why dear God why did I keep traveling at rush hour? But by Tuesday I had adapted to driving my minivan over bridges and through tunnels and was no longer taking on damage. You even let me bring a guest with me. You should know that Jill Cagney is a total asset to have at any party. More on that in a moment.

Walking through your neighborhood I felt a rush of importance. I felt like I was somewhere where things actually happened….no, wait, somewhere where people made things happen. It had to be true because the brownstone homes and the gardens were all stunning. I thought out loud to Jill, “this is where I want to live when I’m successful.” And, and…I could hear music coming out of your home.

(This is the part where I don’t tell you about how I slammed that same hand in your door. It hurt so bad I could feel the blood rushing to my face-but at that same moment a wonderful young gentleman greeted me and squeezed that same hand in a handshake…which caused me to completely forget his name, his face and whatever it was he was trying to say to me.) Nevertheless, nerves raging and hand throbbing, feeling vulnerable, I continued inward.

Walking into a room full of successful, motivated and organized people wearing nice clothes and smiling is absolutely devastating for an artist. Somehow it stirs up that little devil voice in my head that screams, “hey, dummy! See how motivated and successful these people are! They have real homes, real cars, real kitchens with ACTUAL food, (SHRIMP AND DIP!!!!) bathrooms and multiple levels!” I’m ashamed to admit I took a photo in your bathroom as a reminder that one day I may too have such luxury:

Ariel's envy-inducing bathroom

In these situations I suddenly feel like the ultra-hip outfit I pieced together from Goodwill and sisterly hand-me-downs just highlights my lack of adult responsibility and financial shrewdness. Needless to say, one word sums up how I normally feel in these situations: VULNERABLE.

Ariel Hyatt's kitchen with ACTUAL food and a really cool antler-thing hanging from the ceiling.

Alas, Ariel, you must suspect that I’m not going to end this letter on a negative tirade of self-effacing nonsense. Because ultimately what happened was this: I looked at Jill’s face and saw her smiling. I bashed that little devil over the head and went out into your back yard and FREE BEER! I kid. But I saw you sitting at a table laughing and taking pictures with your iPhone in it’s cute little tape cassette look-a-like protector case. At that moment, I realized I need not feel vulnerable in situations like these. I mustered up my courage, starting with your interns behind the bar and slowly working my way through several strangers with my trusty Jill at my side. We conquered blogger after blogger in a friendly and enthusiastic manner. I didn’t bring any cards with me, so I was truthfully in it for the experience of meeting cool people.

Once I dismantled my vulnerability I got lucky. I bumped into Benji Rogers, CEO of Pledge Music, as he was walking out the door. I spotted the pile of records he had under his arm and started up a conversation. Benji took the time to get to know me, and he explained in very clear terms the difference between his company and Kickstarter. Because of that conversation I feel really solid in my decision to use PledgeMusic for our campaign. If you are interested to see how our campaign rolls out follow us here @hudsonkmusic or sign up for our newsletter here. I have to thank you Ariel, for the chance to meet Benji in person. What it all comes down to is people. You and Benji and all the other folks from Reverbnation all built empires from the ground up. You had to overcome your own fear and walk out on the plank. You are just like us. I feel it now. We are on the same team.

You see, artists are essentially terrible at events like these. We are intensely inward, hyper-analytical, sensitive and overly stimulated by free booze and food. We are acutely aware of the other artists in the area and don’t want to come off as “desperate” or “clingy” or too confident or as having low self esteem. We want our art to speak for us and we want you to like it. Or, alternatively, if you don’t like it we don’t want you to pretend you like it.

What I learned at your DCP was that, given a little space to chill out, we are all the same. Whether you are the musician, the blogger, the publicist or the CEO of some awesome start-up you are really just a human and are prone to vulnerability. Ariel, I had an epiphany in your kitchen and I only wish it had happened sooner. If you sense it in yourself, it probably exists in others. So, in that case, why not be the first person to walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself.

Me wearing what I thought looked awesome...until I walked out the door!


Final Chance to Buy Ariel’s DIY Publicity Bootcamp Until 9/12

It’s still my cat Hunter C. Thompson’s birthday month and we have another purrrfect offer for you!

Musician’s Publicity Bootcamp is a deep dive into the world of traditional PR and teaches you how to get your own results. It was co-presented with the amazing Bob Baker and we recorded the full day workshop live in my office in New York.

We had retired this wonderful product but many of you have asked us to bring it back!

So, that’s what we’re doing — now through September 12th we will give you Musician’s Publicity Bootcamp at 70% off the original price!

For the discounted cost of $27, the package includes, the audio from a five-disc set and one bonus disc, and 46 pages of lessons wrapped into a digital bundle!

And to continue the kitty celebration 20% of all my sales will be going to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), where I adopted @TheHunterCat

Want more info? Please take a minute right now to visit this Web page, hear samples and see how Musician’s Publicity Bootcamp will help you get a lot more publicity.

Here’s what some of the artists who attended had to say…

“Ariel and Bob don’t leave room for crash and burn in the music industry. With their constant empowering guidance, there is simply no room for reasons why artists will not reach their personal goals. No more excuses!”


“I now understand so much more about publicity after the seminar. I’m no longer confused. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.” -Karen Brown, Royal Stone Records,


“Absolutely amazing and informative. I found this workshop to be focused, clear and full of information to empower musicians to stop thinking and start acting in the realm of music publicity.”
-Beth Callen, The Callen Sisters,


“The information Bob and Ariel shared really helped to ‘demystify’ the writing of press releases for me. The workshop sparked a bevy of ideas that I wrote down the rest of that weekend. I can’t wait to try them out!” -Denise “Nicee D” Todman,

So, visit the Musicians Publicity Bootcamp workshop page now, and decide if it can help you get more exposure.

P.S. Remember, 20% of all profits will be donated to the ASPCA, where Hunter C. Thompson lived until I rescued her!

P.P.S – Don’t like digital files?  That’s OK!! We can sell you a PHYSICAL COPY of Musician’s Publicity Bootcamp  – Just call us at (212) 239-8384 and we will process your payment of $27 plus shipping, (depending on wear you live) SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED! THERE ARE ONLY 17 Copies left.

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CASE STUDY: Students Use Cyber PR®, Next Big Sound & Topspin To Boost Dove Awards


This article was original published on Hypebot

The Recording Industry department at Middle Tennessee State University has partnered with Ariel Hyatt of Ariel Publicity to create a Cyber PR course exploring the intersection of social media with engaged behavior, PR, and online marketing.  The Spring 2012 advanced section was tasked with designing, analyzing and implementing Cyber PR strategies for The Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards in April of this year.

The class learned and used Next Big Sound’s Premier and Topspin Media’s Plus applications alongside Cyber PR strategies to aid in their marketing and analysis. The results – which provide insights and lessons for all music marketers – are a detailed case study of the marketing plan and its resulting execution.

Click here for the downloadable PDF.


The Musician’s Guide to Spotify and Rdio

Radio Gets Social

This article was co-written by Corey Denis of Toolshed. She can be reached most easily on Twitter.

This week we are going to focus on something that I believe is the biggest missing link in today’s fractured “new” music business.

The old way dictates that we should get radio airplay.

The formula was simple. Get as much radio airplay as you humanly could, saturate the market, drive people to stores to purchase the CD, go on tour, sell the tickets, win big.

For any of you who have spent money on radio campaigns, as independent artists, without extremely deep pockets and major label support, you probably ended up turning a large fortune into a small fortune. And aside from a few radio chart reports, most probably, you had very little to show for your expensive radio campaign.

The new music business says it’s all about social media, making as many friends as you can across prevalent social media platforms and driving those friends to your mailing list, creating a mailing list that goes out regularly and consistently with calls to action and tracking your effectiveness.

As you can see, these two models are disparate.

Here at Cyber PR®, we consistently work with artists who are using traditional radio promoters to try to break their music as well as us to help them with their social media strategies. What follows is our signature system for connecting the dots.

Rdio and Spotify: The Alternative to Terrestrial Radio

Rdio and Spotify are On-Demand Subscription Streaming Music Services. For those of you familiar with Pandora, they are not the same.

Pandora, like radio, enables you to passively listen to streaming music without choosing what music you want to listen to, or when. Rdio is an on-demand service which means you can pick what song or album you want to listen to and listen to it at that exact moment on your computer, mobile device or even your TiVo (among many other devices, including cars).

What makes Rdio and Spotify special is that they are also large social networks built solely upon music, and what people are listening to. This is where you will find people who love music. It’s the only reason they use the service! To listen to music and socialize around it!
How to Get Your Music on Rdio & Spotify

Rdio and Spotify do not do direct deals with artists at this time, so you will need to make sure your distributor has enrolled you in distribution to Rdio and Spotify. All of the important indie distributors can distribute your music to both platforms.

You may also notice that in using other social applications (such as Facebook, Twitter, Soundtracking, Turntable and others) that Rdio and Facebook are integrated. In other words, when you tweet a song from Rdio, anyone can click your tweet and they will see the Rdio player. Anyone can click play on the player. Subscribers will hear the full song, as will anyone who is using Rdio’s initial free version.

How to Get Set Up With Rdio

To enter the community as an artist, create your profile on Rdio. It is free to sign up, and you will have a long time to listen to music free before you are asked to subscribe.

Connect your Rdio profile to your twitter profile (for your band). If you want, you can also connect it to your personal facebook page.

Now start using Rdio! Once you’ve connected Rdio to your twitter account you can search for fans who are also on Rdio and follow them. Add music to your collection and make playlists.

Like all other social networks you will need to use Rdio in order to maximize your presence and role in the existing community. Practice using Rdio for one full week without promoting yourself. Follow others, make a few playlists, review a few albums and spend about an hour a day perfecting your Rdio skills. You may even enjoy listening to all that music!

Don’t forget to tweet out music when you are listening to it so you can take advantage of (and maximize) the social syndication of twitter.

After that week is finished…

How to Use Rdio

Now that you know how to use Rdio and have fearlessly clicked buttons, happily listened to all that music, and feel confident that you know how to use it….

Make A Collaborative Playlist

A collaborative playlist is like a mix tape that anyone can add songs to, and has no time limit. Make it have a theme and invite your friends, fans and family to collaborate on your playlist!

a. Log in to your Rdio Account
b. Find the first song to put on your Collaborative Playlist
c. Click the arrow next to the song and choose “Add to Playlist / Create New Playlist”
add 3-5 more songs
d. Name the playlist – make sure it has a theme!
e. Write the description of the playlist in the space provided
f. Click “Make Collaborative”
g. Tweet the link to your fans by clicking the “share” button, then choose the Twitter option. Add some language to your tweet and encourage all of your fans to add music
Have fun!!!! Make as many of these as you want!

How to Get Set Up With Spotify

Unlike Rdio, Spotify is deeply integrated with Facebook and you will be required to sign up (and log in) with your Facebook account. In order to do this, you must have a Facebook account (personal – not just a fan page).

Once you do, go to Spotify and log in.

Note: All of your account information on Spotify will pull from your Facebook account, so make sure that your profile picture is up to date!

Any music that you listen to will automatically post to your Facebook timeline so there is no need to take the extra step and share the music you are listening to. This includes songs, albums and most importantly, playlists that you listen to will all be displayed on Facebook for your friends to see.

How to Use Spotify

Once you’ve made your Spotify account, you will automatically be connected to Facebook and thus you’ll be ready to start making playlists to share with others.

While all of your playlists can be subscribed to by any of your Facebook friends (after all, the playlists do automatically post to your Facebook timeline), you can also make a ‘Collaborative Playlist’ just as you did with Rdio!

Here is how you can do so:

a. Login to your Spotify account.
b. Click the ‘+ New Playlist’ button on the left hand side.
c. Name the playlist – make sure it has a theme!
d. Once the playlist is made and appears on the left hand side of your screen, right click the playlist and click ‘Collaborative Playlist’
e. Start off the playlist by adding at least 5 songs to the playlist (make one of these songs your own!).
f. Once again, right click the playlist name on the right hand side and click ‘Copy HTTP Link’ – this can be used to share your playlist on Twitter and your Facebook Fan Page so you can invite your friends and fans directly to the playlist.
g. Have fun!


Cyber PR® Tribute to 9/11 – Part 2 of 2: “Hope After Tragedy”

It has been almost 11 years since the tragic events of September 11th. This fall, we have 20 Cyber PR artists who are paying tribute. These talented women and men all have unique stories of how the events changed their lives and shaped them into the musicians they are today. These are 11 artists who have songs about hope after tragedy.

View Part 1 of our 9/11 Tribute series here.

Ariel and Team Cyber PR®

Grab the player for your website here:

Susan Picking


Susan Picking found her way to being a singer/songwriter on a path in the sky….spending 16 years as a flight attendant for a major carrier. She writes songs through her life experiences that are often skewed through her lens of quirky humor. This spiritual song, I Pray, was written on the Anniversary of 9/11 in honor of her lost flight attendant and pilot colleagues. The song is intended to be A Peace Anthem to remind us all of our human connection. Picking’s musical intention is to reconnect people with themselves, others, with LOVE,JOY, and HUMOR. Susan is a World Citizen based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and performs her message infused Contemporary Folk throughout the country and world.

Larissa Jaye


Larissa Jaye’s “All This Empty Sky” was released as a special edition benefit single on Rella Records in September of 2006, to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. An ethereal and futuristic firsthand narrative that speaks to the concept of historical tragedy as big-screen blockbuster, “All This Empty Sky” is a piece that Jaye conceived in the immediate aftermath of September 11th, though wrote slowly and therapeutically across the first two years that followed. Since that time, Jaye has built an additional career as a Life Coach, and counts supporting others creatively through challenging times among her most important work.




October Project



October Project is its own Brill Building of spiritually-transformative pop. Like the famed American music landmark, the trio has its own distinct division of talents with Marina Belica’s sensually angelic vocals, Emil Adler’s imaginative and dreamy compositions, and Julie Flanders’ achingly beautiful harmonies, supportive counter-melodies, and revelatory lyrics that mesmerize as they illuminate. The three’s connection dates back to their teenage years and their richly storied history together fortifies their nearly 20 year professional career as October Project.


Patty Mattson

Patty Mattson’s sensational singing voice and revered spoken voice are each success stories on several dazzling fronts.

No stranger to recording, Mattson, a gifted songwriter, invites us to share her undeniably well written and performed Debut release “The Road” Late Oct 2011. Completed with the expert production and mixing of Grammy winning producer Rob Chiarelli. Mattson takes us on a moving personal journey from the powerfully rockin, soulful and sexy, to the pristine and still manages to deliver amazing surprises along the way. This is a record that will inspire you, make you wanna dance, rock, tug at your heartstrings and send chills up your arms. “The Road” is Record of the year material that you shouldn’t miss…



Rajdulari is a Hindi name that loosely translated means Daughter of a King. A most befitting moniker for a woman who emanates the tantalizing, elegant gold light of royalty the moment she steps into one’s presence. A prolific artist – vocalist, storyteller, songwriter, poet, plus model and producer, this stunning singer exhibits a spicy balance of acute seasoning, deep silky soul and vocal freedom in her music. Her purpose on this earth is to entice her subjects with her art which at once stimulates, nurtures and fills the human spirit.


Wes and Victoria

Wes and Victoria are performers in the American/Folk genre. Wes is an award winning songwriter whose work appears in a compilation CD along with Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger and in the upcoming Sony Film’s release Abel’s Field as a featured vocal performance. Victoria is an extraordinary Harmonica player who has recorded with Johnny Cash, Robert Altman and Hans Zimmer. The duo has appeared with Townes Van Zandt, Lucinda Williams, and Donovan among others, artists to whom they get compared. Veterans of the Austin and Los Angeles music scenes, they currently reside in Colorado.

Prayer for the Living was written and performed for a celebrity fundraiser in NYC on 11/ 2/01 that raised over 40,000 dollars for Engine 219 and Ladder 105, who lost 7 men in the Twin Towers.

Dahlia Wakefield


Dahlia Wakefield is a powerhouse adult contemporary performing singer-songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with 3 commercial releases under her belt. Dahlia graduated from Grant MacEwan University, is a vocal coach with Cooper Studios as well as a busy mom of two little girls who also love to sing. Songs off Dahlia’s latest CD “Full Circle” have been played on CBC Radio and many internet stations worldwide, as well as placing as finalists in several international songwriting contests. She recently sang for the Edmonton Indy. Currently, Dahlia is promoting her new album and looks forward to a lifetime of making music.


Parents With Angst

Parents With Angst is the reincarnation of NYC folk-indie band Amelia’s Dream, featuring standout songs about the trials and tribulations of parenthood. From angst ridden songs like “No More Time” to happier and calmer numbers like “Pinwheel” the duo, consisting of singer/songwriter Amelia S. Gewirtz and producer/songwriter Harold Stephan, breaks ground in the new arena of parenting music. With hints of folk rock and family-inspired tunes, the songs on Parents With Angst creates an undeniable connection with listeners recently earning them a NY Family Magazine “Choice Music Pick” award.


Michael Lee


You’ve never truly understood the phrase larger than life until you’ve met Michael Lee. The San Antonio-born, LA-based actor, Emmy-nominated television producer, singer, songwriter, director, ghost hunter and alleged vampire walks the walk in a whirl of outrageous clothes, chutzpah and a mischievous mirth not seen since the heyday of hair metal. Enamored with the glamour of big-time rock n roll, Lee lives the dream by staying true to himself, a throwback to the days when people made rock n roll music that they themselves liked instead of writing for a myopic commercial niche.


Joe Blanda


Growing up in Texas, just across the river from Louisiana, Joe Blanda soaked up a wide array of rootsy music styles. You can hear it in the songs he writes and the soulful way he sings and plays guitar. While attending the University of Texas, he discovered the vibrant music scene that’s made Austin a synonym for great music. It inspired him to begin writing his own songs, songs that are clean and spare but powerful. His song “Faith Is An Angel” is about enduring pain and adversity . . . and finally rising from the ashes to begin again.

Leslie DiNicola


Leslie DiNicola’s debut EP, It Resembles Fiction, was released in 2010 and immediately launched Leslie into the spotlight singing the National Anthem for nearly every major New York sports team and opening sold out shows for bands like the renowned October Project. Currently in the studio again with acclaimed producer/musician, Julian Coryell (Aimee Mann, Leonard Cohen, Jewel), Leslie will be releasing her highly anticipated sophomore album (including It’s Alright) in 2013.


Cyber PR® Arsenal: Killer Apps, Tools & Sites – Hootsuite


Ever since the inception of Twitter in 2008, the most frequent complaint has been the lack of organizational options, leading to major content overload.

Thankfully, several 3rd-party services have been introduced over the last few years that help Tweeters (Twitter users) to get organized by offering an experience that focused on the idea of breaking down each component of Twitter (i.e. main feed of tweets, @ replies, direct messages, lists, etc.) into their own feed.

This gives one ‘30,000 foot view’ version of Twitter so all aspects are viewable at once, in an orderly fashion.

While many of these services originally offered very similar experiences to users, such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Seesmic, Hootsuite has carved itself out as the clear leader of the pack by offering users a highly customizable and integrated experience to manage not only Twitter, but their entire social presence.

Social Analytics

Unlike other services such as Tweetdeck and Seesmic, Hootsuite has always put their focus on your ability to not only get organized but to then have the opportunity to analyze the effectiveness of your content so that you can truly maximize your efforts.

Hootsuite offers fully customizable social analytics reports that will track not only the effectiveness of your tweets, but your Facebook fan page, website and blog (using Google Analytics) as well as give you a full breakdown of what is currently your most engaged demographic.

NOTE: In order for Hootsuite’s social analytics to work properly, all links must use an link (Hootsuite’s own short link) so they track fully track the click-throughs.

Content Scheduling

While Twitter is an amazing tool for engaging in two-way, real-time conversations with your fans, it can also be difficult to keep up with posting high-quality content on a consistent basis with so many other things going on in your life. An obvious benefit of Hootsuite is it’s ability to schedule your content ahead of time using the Hootsuite ‘Publisher’ feature. Using the Hootsuite ‘Publisher’, you can schedule as many tweets as you would like in as far in advance as you’d like it to be!

Klout Built-In to Hootsuite Profiles

Last week, we introduced the Cyber PR® Arsenal series with focusing on Klout, a social monitoring service that can help you to understand the influence of yourself, your fans and followers as well as help you to identify niche influencers in separate markets (read the full Cyber PR® Arsenal article here).

Hootsuite makes Klout even more effective by baking it in to their user profiles so that you can see the Klout of every person you engage with, helping you to quickly and effectively identify influential people to follow and/ or interact with on a more regular basis.

Hootsuite Empowers Your Entire Team

If there is one thing that any successful ‘DIY Musician’ will tell you, is that do-it-yourself doesn’t mean do-it-alone. Having an effective and reliable team is critical to your success as a musician. Hootsuite makes it easy for your whole team gain access to all of your social presence to work on your behalf.

Apps Directory

While Hootsuite was created as a way to effectively organize your Twitter account(s), it has since become a platform to manage all of your social content in one dashboard. Hootsuite’s App Directory allows you to expand your social presence into additional niche platforms (i.e. Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, etc.) without ever having to leave your hootsuite dashboard.

Note: While this is an amazing tool for you to stay organized, some social networking platforms, particularly Facebook, don’t work well with 3rd-party platforms and may hurt the overall effectiveness with your content, so be careful and test the waters with each new account you add to your Hootsuite dashboard.