Cyberbullying within the Entertainment Industry

The requirement of part of my university degree is to write a blog once a week regarding my everyday running of my business. The blog is a perspective from a business person’s experience of the challenges they come across in the entertainment industry.

The last blog I uploaded on Sunday evening caused a massive “Tsunami”  throughout the South Wales Entertainment Industry. My stats on my blog has certainly gone through the roof and revealed to me where the hits have come from. The hits have mainly come from social media site such as facebook, twitter and google. The link has been viewed far and wide and the stats have even revealed what part of the country it has been viewed. My blog was picked up for Mondays edition for Wales Online Social website. The link is: http://paper.li/Wales_Online/1349001103?edition_id=9b5e3cc0-2744-11e2-8f7b-0025907212e8#  and also re-tweeted on twitter by a local news paper. This link was also attached to another link headlining the subject “Cyberbullying common at workplace?”where advice can be given to anyone who has been bullied in the workplace.

This cyberbullying link was picked up because in the contents of my blog I employed the words “dismissed from the Team due to bullying Contestants!”  While we are on the subject of “Bullying”, as a business person you come across people who go out of their way and make it their business to undermine everything you do at any given opportunity.  These kind of people seem to want your business contacts, others will undercut you regarding budgets, some will go with promises that they can supply a better deal than you and some want to grow their own business to the point they don’t care what trail of destruction they leave behind.

 Vital tools that are an asset for any business today are the social media networks of Facebook and Twitter. Over the last few months one of my businesses has experienced a case of “Cyberbullying” , that business is the Welsh Factor!  The way this has operated is where a fake profile has been put up on Twitter and also Facebook under the same name which is aimed at the competition and the organisers. The fake profile has been sexually derogatory and degrading to our business, even to the point of their followers endorsing such filth and who are running current talent competitions or judging them. To support such action is feeding the “bully” even more and people who are involved in this kind of dialogue are confederate by default.

One thing everyone has to ask themselves, especially parents, “Do you want your children to be associated with such people?  Unfortunately, you do have people in the industry supporting this site who are  also dealing and working with your children, Some of the lewd sexual comments on there are not fit for anyone to read, let alone children! When you look at these actions in detail, it doesn’t look very good, does it? On advice from Government Agencies we have been keeping screen shots of all members and comments which have been added on there.

Cyberbullying is not just aimed at children, it is aimed at adults, celebrities and businesses! It is only aimed at successful people and you have to ask how much damage does it cost the individual especially those not strong enough to cope with this kind of behaviour. If you are a strong person it will not affect you, but for others it can tip them over the brink as some people are not as strong as other. Over the last few months we have come across contestants being bullied and targeted on social media sites due to them being gifted with a talent. We have been helping some of the contestants with this matter and have put them in touch with the Police and professional organisations who deal with this matter.

The point of this blog is to make people aware of situations that arise behind the scenes regarding of what goes on within the entertainment industry.

This happens every day in our society no matter what field of work you are in. It’s all about talking and taking a stand against the person or group of people who think they can benefit by such sick actions. The people who place fake pages of this nature on social media sites are nothing but cowards and thrive on other people’s insecurities and fears.

What is a bully? : http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/serial.htm

Some people have jumped to conclusion that the previous blog was focused on just one talent competition. I can assure everyone that it was a general and honest report on the current experiences and history of the Welsh Factor.  I was inundated by calls to say that comments were coming through thick and fast and I had caused a bit of a stir! The mobile networks have certainly been busy over the last few days of discussions regarding my blog. It seems all kinds of people from all walks of life came out of the woodwork and began scribbling all kinds of comments like industrious beavers!  If names were not mentioned in my blog, why do they think it’s them? This displays a sense of guilt by the people concerned not having read my blog carefully! If a person is innocent, why do they feel a need to justify themselves or explain their actions! They just express by this behaviour that the blog must apply to them for some reason. It just goes to show how quickly my blog had got across to these people and how much they want to see what we have to say and seem to be desperate to see what the future developments of my business will be! The power of the worldwide Web!

From this incident of cyberbullying targeted at my business and contestants being bullied over the last few months, we have made it a policy to set up an anti bullying campaign working very closely with the Police and Government officials.

We have been given the green light to go ahead and launch an anti bullying campaign which will reach out to school children and teenagers. This will make them more aware about bullying within their surroundings and what help is out there to support them. In this environment we will support and develop their talent to bring out the best in each individual.

If you have been a victim of cyberbullying, here are a few links that might be handy to you:

http://www.cybermentors.org.uk/

http://www.childline.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx

http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/

http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html

Unprofessional people creating a bad example in the Entertainment Industry

This week has been very busy for myself and my Welsh Factor Team mates and this week we held the Cardiff Regional Welsh Factor at Cathays Conservative Club in the City on Wednesday.

Although there were 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners who were Morgan Wescott, Bekki Leigh Owen and Toriah McIlroy respectively, there were also allocations for fourteen other Contestants from this Regional Final that will qualify for the National Semi final of the Welsh Factor to be held on Wednesday 14th November at the Three Saints Hotel in Llantrisant. From the National Semi Final, twelve contestants from various categories will qualify for a placement to go forward to the National Final in The New Gwyn Hall, Neath on Wednesday 20th February 2013 where the overall winner will win a one Album deal with Music Wales and a Management Contract with GTMP Entertainment Group. This will be the first time that a Welsh Record Label has joined forces with an Entertainment Agency to help launch a career for a Welsh Artiste, one who would have been discovered from a Talent Competition.

Since we launched the Welsh Factor project four years ago we were the only professionally organised Talent Competition in Wales, which provides monetary prizes, development programmes and employment as part of our “Prizes”.

Over the last few years we have noticed a number of “Talent Shows” crop up around South Wales that have been organised by previous contestants who jump on the “Bandwagon” and have launched their own “Talent Show” which we feel is a breach of copyright law and the theft of our “intellectual property”. What needs to be asked is, “What are these people actually offering potential contestants?” Let’s have a look at some hard facts:

The Organisers of these new Talent Shows all have one thing in common, they either competed in the Competition themselves, never got placed in any of the Regional finals of the Welsh Factor or they have been dismissed from the Team due to bullying Contestants. There are other reasons for defections such as conspiracy to undermine a business and we are presently seeking legal advice on this matter at present.

The Welsh Factor project is creating a “new” structure within the Entertainment Industry and what was the norm twenty years ago, doesn’t work in today’s economic climate. There are many of the “dated” Artistes who cannot see or discern the present climate and we see them as doing great damage by offering their advice to new vulnerable people coming into the business. We ask anyone receiving advice from such people to enquire the following:

How long have they been in this business?

What have they achieved during that time?

What have they earned in the business apart from their Fees?

The answers will tell you everything you need to know!

Next question, “Do you as a contestant or promising Artiste want to be in the same position in your career as they at present given the information from these questions?”

These other people offer similar prizes on their competition which is a copycat version of the way we have set up ours, but on a degrading scale, such us lack of prize money on the night or in one case writing in their “terms and conditions” that if they fail to generate the prize money they will not be able to pay it out in full!”

They promise contestants a prize of recording an album and when some have expected to turn up at a professional recording studio on the arranged day, have discovered it is just in someone’s house in their living room!

Promised Photo Shoots and Portfolio to start your career has ended up with some just having a Photo Shoot in their Local Park by the organiser with a sub standard camera.

Some Competitions don’t even offer prize money, just gifts at the end of the show, such as a music stand! You have to see this to believe it, you can’t make it up! What exactly is this going to benefit a potential contestant if they don’t even play an instrument? It’s like giving them a set of car keys without giving them the car!!! They even have the audacity to advertise that they gave you the tools of the trade to start a career in the “business”!

It has taken the Welsh Factor quite a while to bring sponsors on board and select a professional panel of judges which have the knowledge and experience between them so they can advise the contestants who wish to work in areas such as TV, Singing Coaches, Business people, Music Production and Performance Teachers. We take great pride in our work and it is disappointing when you see “unprofessionals” making a mockery of this business and jumping on the “bandwagon” but it is clear that the Welsh Factor has set the standard which no other Competition has achieved to date. There are new innovations in the pipeline and we look forward to presenting these in the near future.

(10 Hours)

 

Making changes to the Entertainment Industry for the future – Part 2

Setting up a structure for Promotion:

Apart from traditional events which are not available in abundance there is a NEW idea to market extra events if organised in a sound structural manner. The project will be called the “Audience development structure” which will recruit “Audience development officers”. A Promotion Company can be set up with a view to creating events and selling tickets. It is easy to put a show together, find a venue and book a date for the event. What is very difficult to achieve however is the sales of tickets in order to ensure the project is successful!

The High Street is full of retailers who have shops and want to sell their wares to the general public in order to make a living. The Manufacturer, who makes the products, relies on the High Street retailers to sell its wares in order to keep the factory in business. So it follows that if the High Street system is the way forward for Manufactures then this system can be the way forward for the Entertainment Industry. In this scenario, the Manufacturer is the Promoter and the retailers take on a different name such as the “Audience Development Officer!”

The Audience Development Officer

These are in effect, people who sell tickets for the show that has been organised by the Promoter. The High Street retailer will make a profit on each sale they make to the general public and this will range from 10% to 40% so in the case of the “Audience Development Office” the mark up will be 20% as a means of reward or profit.

Recruitment:

Recruiting “Audience Development Officer” will be the next step and vocation of the Promoter. The Show is booked, the date set and all that is needed now is the sale of tickets to ensure the project makes a profit. Places to recruit ADO’s (short for Audience Development Officers) are in work places where numbers of people are employed in offices, departments, clubs, associations and charities where a nominated person can sell tickets to friends and family and make a living from such an activity. This will in itself create a new industry where people can benefit to the mutual cause of all concerned.

Promoting:

The Promoter, once he has appointed the ADO’s, can now prepare the advertising publicity and set up a ticket facility whereby they can be sold. It is very important that tickets are supplied to the ADO’s as they will find it easier to sell something that is physical and tangible that people can identify with in exchange for their cash. This module of business can benefit the Entertainment Industry and Promoters alike, all it requires is the will and energy to make it work. Once a figure of ten ADO’s has been achieved and they become pro active the demand for shows by Promoters will increase and each ADO, once they taste the feel of money they have earned will want to duplicate the success.

Next…. Employing Marketing Ideas….

Making changes to the Entertainment Industry for the future – Part 1

Ideas:

The entertainment industry is in desperate need of ideas for promoting live entertainment and this is an area to explore in this blog.

Traditionally, people get together to celebrate a birthday, marriage or an event of substance and employ musicians or shows to entertain them for the evening. In this example, we have an audience that is expectant and eager, looking forward to the content that will lift their spirits for the long awaited event. This works as there are to items in the equation that come together to ensure a successful event, the audience and the musicians or artistes.

Musicians require employment in order to make some money by performing gigs and they are quite eager to repeat the occurrence as often as possible in order to make a living. The question these days that everyone is asking is “where is the audience” and it is becoming increasingly difficult to o gather people together whenever an artiste or musician wants then to attend the event. In order make an event attractive it has to be advertised in such a way it appeals to the people who would normally attend a live event. There is so much competition out there that any event to be promoted must stand out from everything else that is being promoted. Methods of advertising can be considered in the following manner bearing in mind that this work must be long term and not a one-off event.

Marketing:

This is a word employed to discover and find people who will attend an event. When this is embarked upon there are two goals to consider and that is the short term and long term exercise to gather patrons to these events. It means doing a feasibility study by asking people if they would attend the event being promoted and would they attend other events in the future. This study can never be completed as it will be an ongoing exercise to make more contacts. Once one date has been sold out, some not all of the people will attend another show on a later date so it is important to build up a contact list that can be used on a diversity factor to sell out other shows. This will lay the foundation on which basis other shows can be promoted and become successful events.

Types of Shows:

For the rising talented Artiste or Musician to become successful if is essential that they gather customers and not only gather them but keep them happy. One reason for promoting a show can be a local Charity. Charity causes are never ending and you never need to look far to find a cause.  There is always someone somewhere that can benefit from fund raising for their cause. To make these events successful set up a meeting with people who organise such events and offer to participate in an event at a reduced fee if they will help sell tickets. The proceeds after expenses can be donated to the said Charity and the Artiste or musician will be kept in employment.

In the next blog we will explore setting up a structure to ensure promoting live entertainment on a regular basis…..

Where is the Music Industry Structure?

The music industry as I see it has no structure at present. Everyone is doing an analysis on the business and although these statistics are valuable and impressive they do nothing to heal or improve the business in its present state. I came across Dr. Paul Carr’s you tube video Dr. Paul Carr – Live Music Exchange Leeds, May 4th 2012 regarding the statistics and very relevant questions he put forward regarding the music industry in Wales. He brought out some mind blowing points as to why for instance promoters and managements did not send their acts to Wales. What we have discovered in the industry regarding “named” acts and attractions are two things.

First, if an Act is a very big name and at their peak, it would be very rare that the Management would engage the services of a promoter! They would book and promote the event themselves with their own in house team and take care of everything. That way, all they would need to do is book the Venue and slip into the “ticket” distribution system of the Venue and the tickets would literally sell themselves for a big attraction.

Secondly, an Acts Management will sell dates to a promoter when the popularity of the act has the ability to fill certain size venues. In the business there are Acts that can fill very large Venues such as Stadiums and others that would struggle to fill venues of a 500 capacity so a balance has to be drawn on the “pulling” power of an act. The Act’s Management will gladly sell to a promoter because they have the security of a fee and it is good as “money in the bank!” for their client.

The music industry in South Wales at present can be compared as sheep that have no shepherd meaning there is no guidance from any source. Every big business has three elements to function efficiently, recruitment, training and employment. I have started implementing this structure in the present form of the “Welsh Factor Talent Competition” www.welshfactor.com and through this project have created a “Recruitment” facility for new talented Artistes. Once the talent has been identified I then approach them for the Welsh Factor Academy so their skills can be polished and prepared for the next step which is Employment. Once they are trained I place them with a mature and experienced Artiste to gain confidence and for them to get additional experience and then book them out into small venues initially.

In response to Paul Carr’s video he declares that people in Wales are very slow in purchasing tickets on line and indeed, this is a major concern for most promoters. In the industry which is called “showbusiness” we have to remember that it is a business and the people who purchase tickets are customers. If a shop in the High Street does not stock good that people want they will not purchase anything. It is the same in our industry and I believe that there are plenty of people out there who want to go out and see entertainment but there is nothing of a standard acceptable to them to see and there are people who have money to spend on entertainment but nothing to spend it on. These are the challenges that face us for the future but the good news is – I have some ideas which will appear in my next blog!

Making changes to the Industry & creating work for people

Wednesday night was the 3rd heat of the regional competition for Welsh Factor Talent Competition in Cardiff, which was held in Cathays Conservative Club. The aim of the competition is to discover, develop and nurture new talent to prepare them for a future within the entertainment industry. They can also to gain a working contract with our Management Agencies, GT Management Promotions and Artiste Management and be included on our artiste roster.

People have asked us, why do we hold our talent show in a Social Club or privately owned venues?

When the welsh factor project was commissioned over 4 years ago, it was at this time that the recession had started to kick in and hit the live music venues in the surrounding areas of South Wales, we noticed as an Entertainment Agency, venues were now cutting back on budgets, cutting down on the nights they were providing entertainment.  Most concerning of all, closing their doors for the very last time, where for some villages, their venue or public house was the only hub of the community bringing people together for social evenings.  Due to bad attendances, or lack of “new ideas” to bring the public and the community through their doors, a choice emerged where people had to travel to other venues which had bigger budgets for entertainment and better shows, or choose to say at home because of the cost of travelling was so expensive.

The Welsh Factor was our idea of bringing “new money” into some of the struggling or privately owned venues who were very keen to increase their turnover on a mid week night by bringing “new people” into the venues to show them the facilities available. We selected venues throughout South Wales to start the project and the first show to be commissioned was in Merthyr.  Each area revealed an abundance of talent some of which found their way onto our Agencies books and have entered the professional ranks of the Entertainment Industry.  The idea of families coming out together eliminated the need for baby sitters and the idea seemed to be successful. Normally in Social Club Venues this was unheard off and from the success of this show, we moved on to Briton Ferry in Neath at a Venue called JK’s. The show was so successful here that it returned 4 years running! Many Venues tasted and experienced the success of the Welsh Factor and the project has grown from strength to strength, with sponsors now on board because of the growing popularity.

The Welsh Factor has not only generated business for the Venues who have hosted the competitions but the invisible knock on effect for the subsidiary businesses involved has been very effective. Traders that have benefited include Stationers, Breweries, Hair Dressers, (contestants use these to make themselves presentable for the heats) Garages for fuel, more hours for staff in the Venues, food suppliers, and the list goes on.

This year we will be holding our first National Final on December 6th at the newly refurbished “Gwyn Hall”, with all winners from the last 3 years competing against each other. The main prize on this night will be the recording of a 1 album deal with Music Wales record label with their album being distributed in all leading record shops, supermarkets and leading download sites.

Since we started the welsh factor, we have paid out over 20k in prize money, there are now over 60 contestants who are now in self employment, and between them, they have earned over 1.5 million pounds, not bad for a talent show which has not had any media or television input.

The World of Talent Shows

Welcome to a small part of my world in the Entertainment business!, tomorrow is the 3rd heat of the Welsh Factor talent competition in Cardiff, I will be on the lookout and hopefully to discover some new welsh talent! as an organiser of the competition, I am either constantly on the road, sitting at my desk on the computer, or on the phone, dealing with clients, artistes and various projects I am involved with, from the outside world with people looking in, they probably think that it is all nice lunch meetings, an amazing social life with V.I.P launches and parties! How I wish my life was styled in this way! they don’t see the hard work that goes into putting a talent show together, the amount of hours spent on the phone, speaking to potential contestant’s who want to enter, passing on important information to your team before the night, the amount of time travelling on the road to get all the advertising out to various areas, where the show needs to be promoted, the amount of time taken to keep all the social media sites up to date and to reply back to messages send on them, all this preparation and organisation just for the production of one show for one weeks heat.

For once I am finishing early tonight, which is now 9pm, hopefully to catch the new series on MTV “The Valleys” based on a group of young welsh people from the Valley’s, who have moved to Cardiff, let’s see what they have to offer, and if any of them have got any talent? I wonder if they will listen to their mentors, should be interesting viewing!