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MAD4Brass Bands day countdown; 2 days to go!

Published in General on 2013-07-04 by Empty Chairs

More news from Brass Bands England

This year’s Brass Bands England MAD4Brass Bands day campaign is encouraging bands to use as many varied methods as possible to shout about their band. Catching the eye- or ear! – of, for example, the local newspaper editor, a manager of a printing company, or a local school headteacher, could lead to untold opportunities or support.

By focusing on bands spreading the word about their activities, achievements, and good deeds, Brass Bands England believe that sponsors, players and new audiences can be attracted.

“ There are some great examples of bands who are concentrating specifically on publicity” says Rachel Veitch-Straw, BBE National Liaison Officer. “One is Spennymoor, who are soon to be campaigning within one town, aiming to attract new players. Another is Loxley Silver Band, who, as a result of a strong web and local news presence, have boosted their audience and performed concerts at new venues- some of which are “headline-grabbing” in themselves.”

One band who have used their own website, Facebook and Twitter, posters, newsletters, local radio, local newspapers, and who talk to everyone they meet about the band, what they do, and what they need, are Buckinghamshire-based Amersham Band.

Digital heroes

Amersham began tweeting way back in May 2012. They have found Twitter (@amershamband) a really good way of linking with other local organisations, finding new followers - which translates into audience members - and sharing information. A recent Rotary Club concert brought them much positive attention, both on the web and face-to-face.

They have a rapid and regular system of sharing news via their website and local online newspapers - “picture and story, picture and story, about every two weeks. It’s a drip-drip effect that works" says Caroline Perkins, co-ordinator of much of the band’s publicity.

The band are fortunate in that they have plenty of “techies" in their band - graphic designers, users of Kickstart crowdfunding website, Tweeters, and SKYPE users.

A recent technological experiment for Amersham was at the Whit Friday Marches. They gave out stickers of QR codes, the black and white pixellated squares that are scanned by mobile phones, and which then lead the “reader” to a website. Amersham’s QR codes had the band logo in the centre, and directed people to a mobile website introducing to the band. As Caroline said, “All this publicity - it works. It’s amazing how people come back to you, even months later"

@Amersham Band are a digital wonder! Brass Bands England hope that bands will use success stories like this, and the Mad4Brass Bands Day focus, to put renewed effort in building their public profile. “ A publicity drive does work.” Rachel told us. “ Imagine your band is looking for volunteers, players, venues or sponsorship. The fact that the people you are approaching for these things might already have heard of your band is extremely valuable and does Make-a-Difference. We’re urging bands to try a conversation, send a story to the press, or make a publicity plan, on MAD4Brass Bands day this year”

Brass Bands England understand that not all bands or committees have members who are experienced in IT or using the internet, and as such are looking for volunteers – not necessarily banders!- who can promote a band via the internet, who could give up a couple of hours a week to undertake these kind of tasks for bands who have other strengths but need support with Social Media. Contact Rachel@brassbandsengland.co.uk .

The Liaison Officer recommends that for those who would like to learn about promoting their own band, they should contact their local Voluntary Action Group, Funding Advice Bureau, or google “Third Sector” or “Voluntary Group” training - there are often free training opportunities for Community organisations- i.e. Brass Bands - about Social Media.

BBE, supported by the Arts Council, are encouraging all bands to use this day to spread the word about the wonders of brass banding. Not only do bands raise thousands for charity, re-generate communities and sustain musical heritage, they offer an escape from worry, a chance to concentrate solely on the music, and a fun social scene – so it’s time to get the word out to those who don’t know.

Brass Bands England’s Liaison Officer is collecting information about your MAD4BrassBands Day events or plans – please email any news or links to Rachel@brassbandsengland.co.uk or look for @BrassBandsEng, #MAD4BBDay on Twitter.

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