Jonny Dawson From The MMF Team Sends Us His ‘Letter From America’ Number 2

24 October 2018

Hello again everyone – this is my second ‘Letter from America’ and i have news to report.
The first Manager Meetup event of the new series kicked off in LA in September. It was a success, and well attended with around 70 managers in the room – with thanks to Partners AWAL, MMF UK and to Gibson for hosting us.  The topic for our Meet Up was  The Music Video and Beyond, Content Strategy in the Age of Social Media.
So, an interesting subject. The world is changing, or has changed rather. Publicity still plays a role, but is ever eclipsed by the importance of presence, of connecting with a fanbase and creating a digital footprint online -on socials…..and at the centre of all of this, visual content. The panel consisted of Wade Davis, Artist Manager – Gallant & Lauren Duski (Moderator), Mario Kristian Director, Music Video & Content Production, Atlantic Records Group, Chris Shelley Partner & SVP, Creative, Light Switch Digital, Nicolas Jandora Director – Lil Skies. 
A big part of this conversation revolved around the importance of an artist having a creative collaborator. Even the brightest stars have them. Gambino collaborated with long time creative partner and Atlanta Director Hiro Murai on ‘This Is America’. You can read a little on Hiro’s perspective on the process here.
So what does that involve, and at what stage? So these are very circular conversation points, but the take aways really are that its essential to have a creative collaborator from as early on as possible. Some on the panel felt that a consistent (same person) collaborator in this department was key – which as we know is difficult, but not impossible to find early on – panelist Nicolas Jandora had just that from the early DIY days with Lil Skies. Part of the argument for this is the artist feels comfortable and confident to take risks.  A long time collaborator maybe creates this level of trust and enables the key to success – being real, being vulnerable, taking risks.
There was also discussions on strategy, although this was less-so a panel on digital marketing and more-so a panel on creative (digital marketing is coming in the future!). So the points at which creative and strategy meet. The panel discussed the importance of having some level of awareness on what audiences are reacting to. Having an interest in what the top 50 trending creative outputs are in the world. Not necessarily retrofitting creative to that, but understanding the market. We (managers) also have unparalleled access to data, and utilising this to help us truly understand our audience, in the context of creating visual content, is most useful.
A final thread through this conversation, and it may seem obvious but important non-the-less, is Intention VS Perception. What is the intention of making this content, does the perception match that original intention.
Does the audience believe it?

I’d like to expand on the subject matter for this next letter and I hope it will offer some useful insight to everyone that couldnt attend – we are repeating the same event (different panel) in NYC on 30th of October in case you happen to be in town! You can RSVP here and see website here.

As always, feel free to get in touch if you feel I can be helpful in this market.
Email to be put in touch with Jonny

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