A Kase of…. what should I blog about?

29 10 2010

Hey friends and readers… I need your help – I want to put a greater focus to my blog and I need your feedback.  What do YOU want to read?

I started this blog almost a year ago, and I’ve been admittedly inconsistent with my posts.  I wrote as the spirit moved me, and as I could discipline myself to sit down and just do it!  I’d like to have 3 blog posts a week, and I have a couple of ideas for areas of focus:

The Social Network meets Blair Witch?

Social Media –  It is certainly my passion of the past year and has affected my life in sooo many ways.  My entire scope of friends and contacts has changed, expanded, and grown exponentially.  There’s no question I am a twitter addict – “I am powerless over twitter and my hashtags have become unmanageable.”  Yes, I DO want to put that on a T-shirt (as a run-on hashtag, btw).

I’m not a fan of people calling themselves social media “gurus” as the medium is still so new and evolving.   If we are participating on a regular basis, we all have our experiences and opinions on elements we like or dislike.

Music – I have been a music fan since I was a a pre-teen.  I think I’ve wanted to marry a rock star since I was 16 (still waiting on that one, btw).

"Rock" Music, get it?

As some of you know, I was a radio DJ for years… I did college radio in Chicago at Northwestern’s WNUR (which lead to many a club DJ gig), then I had my first “professional” on-air position when I lived in Key West, and then finally for over 10 years I was in Cleveland at Classic Rock 98.5 WNCX.  At all of these gigs I have had some wild adventures, been to some amazing concerts and had some fun pix taken.  I have a wealth of stories to draw from, as well as passion to move forward with music programming and DJ-ing in new media – I think there will be many options to provide quality music programming via the web, especially as wi-fi comes to cars.

I also want to keep up on new releases, but I need to learn more about many of the new artists.  This would afford me the opportunity to have guest bloggers for concert and new releases reviews, and possible interviews as they become available.

So what do you think?  What should I cover in my blog?  Are there things you don’t want to read?  Would you be interested in being a guest blogger?

And a final note – these pictures were taken during one of my recent walks.  I used found objects for all of them; I can’t help but think that the “Social Media” pic is a little like The Social Network meets Blair Witch…  What would you have thought when you found that left on a sidewalk around Halloween??  A message written in acorns and twigs ?  hmmm….





Why Hire Kasey for your PR Job….

19 02 2010

So one of my new great friends/contacts I’ve made though twitter, Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich), is involved with an innovative social media promotion TODAY for HAPPO (Help A PR Pro Out) Day!  In order to be considered for any of these open positions, they want to know on our blogs why they should hire us.  Not from our resume, not from our LinkedIn page, but from our blog.  Cool!  Here it goes….

Here is what I bring to the table:  I believe I can offer the best of both worlds:  an understanding and working knowledge of current social media, balanced with the work experience that can only come with time.  What does that mean?  I’m not a 20-something, but I can speak their language and then some.  Most importantly, I can be an interpreter of social media to ALL persons, from the newbie to the “expert”.  And I never want to stop learning.

My background is varied – years as a talent in radio doing tons of promotions, to years in sales, from the technical (biochemicals) to the whimsical and fun (I was a tour guide on the Conch Train & Trolley in Key West).  In ALL areas, at all times, it has always been about marketing and selling at one level or another…

For me, it’s always been about grabbing peoples’ attention, finding out what they want and need, and then delivering them a product or experience that meets or exceeds their expectations.  I love making people happy; I thrive on relating to people.

In radio, it was about selling the music, the station and me; developing brand loyalty and engaging the listeners and letting them know they matter.  If the audience is there, then putting the right products together for the audience isn’t about selling, it’s a service to listener & advertiser alike.

In B2B sales it wasn’t just about offering the lowest price, it was about setting up relationships of trust.  Really understanding the clients’ needs and very specific requirements.  Watching the details.  Following through.  Being available.  There is no price which can be put on peace of mind.  I like to provide peace of mind; then I (and my company) become invaluable.

And even in what might seem to be strictly entertainment (being a tour guide), there were lots of areas of sales and PR.  Not only did you want to have people take the tour (the obvious sale) but then if you did an exceptional job of engaging them, there was often a nice tip at the end!  More than that, you were the ambassador for a small but thriving community which relies almost entirely on tourism.   It’s to everyone’s benefit for people to be  happy they chose to spend their money in Key West; to make the most of their time there so that not only will they want to come back, they’ll encourage their friends as well.

All of these varied jobs I was able to do without the benefit of social media.  When I think of how much more I could have done if social media was around then; I would have rocked it!

I have embraced social media wholeheartedly.  I went from a place of thinking it was silly and stupid, to where I am now – I can’t imagine my life without it.  What better person to communicate the value of a product to your client than someone who is a “converted sale”.  And social media wasn’t sold to me… it was introduced to me, and I played with it.  It engaged me; I engaged it.  It began working for me, now I’d like to work on its behalf.

If you’d like a fun, energetic, enthusiastic social media PR pro, I’m your gal.  I’m natural networker, and I hope this is just the beginning of our conversation.  @KaseyCrabtree





the number “3”. And why I left WNCX!

8 01 2010

Yep!  you read that correctly.  Big changes for me as we head into 2010.  I’ve felt them brewing, I felt the right time was coming, and the energy feels good… right here, right now… and some of it has to do with the number “3“…

I’m not a big “numerology” person, but I have often been drawn to certain numbers more than others, the same way someone might be with colors.  Some people like green, others prefer blue… most people are drawn to the colors that complement them the best.  My favorite color is purple; and it was long before I attended Northwestern University.  The fact that I get to wear purple with all things NU is a bonus – the color looks really good on me!

Similarly, I have always been drawn to the number “3“.  I consider my lucky number to be 39, with is 3 and 3x3.  Or in the numerology world, you would take 39 as 3+9= 12; then take 1+2=3 and I’m back to 3 again.  I first learned about numerology when I was about 11 or 12 on summer vacation, reading about it from a book (remember those – that’s a whole OTHER blog post).  Just thought it was cool.  So for the year 2010, that year becomes a “3” as well 2+0+1+0=3.

I got this from the web:  “The number 3 suggests that the direction of growth in your lifetime will be toward a more creative and inspirational nature. This path also leads to establishing yourself as an inspiration person spreading optimism and cheerfulness wherever you reside or travel.”  Ok, COOL!

Therefore… NOW was the time for me to make some big changes and growth.  My website (where you are reading this) is going to evolve into a 3 point platform:  an on-line portfolio of the work I can do for companies using social media; Voiceover demo/info and, lastly, my “content”.  For now, my content is going to be my blog.  In ALL of these 3 platforms I want to take the 3 step approach of crawl, walk, run.  These are self-propelled elements, so I have to be realistic with abilities and what is in my control.  It is all about building momentum, therefore the I need to be patient and trust the process of crawl, walk, run.

I plan to also have my blog progress in steps as well (hmm… 3 steps, kinda) printed word, then add in podcasts (both audio & video) and then eventually, I would love to create an on-line radio station.  With the recent announcements of wi-fi to be standard in new cars within 2 to 3 years, I truly believe it is the future of  radio (we may not call it radio then, but for now… you understand).

And…. that brings me to the recent decision I made to resign from WNCX.  It had been a good, long run.  14 years.  That is a LONG time in the radio world.  But my heart wasn’t in it anymore.  I first fell in love with radio because the DJs were my musical mentors – they turned me on to new artists, new genres of music and were also the friendly and familiar voice in the dark.  Sadly, this has changed over the years, and terrestrial radio is now heading into its greatest challenge to stay profitable and relevant.  The nature of a “Classic Rock” station dictates that there are not new artists going to be played, so I realized that would not be the platform to allow me to be a musical mentor to others.

So I’ve taken the risk and stepped off into the unknown with the belief and faith that I can help create or be a part of something that is truer to my personal vision of “radio”, and truer to my personal “brand”.  Yes, it’s scary, but if I don’t make the change, change isn’t going to happen on its own.

I’ve been sitting on this news for almost 2 weeks now, and I wasn’t sure how and when I was going to present it.  But then I come across 3 women in the past week who also have also chosen to make big changes in their lives this year: Jennifer, Gini and Heather.  Their stories are all very inspirational, and I will give them proper attention in my next blog!  Their willingness to take the plunge and be open about it inspired me to do the same, and share it with you.

Ok, that was a lot.  Hope you understood the number “3” thing;  for my wonderfully loyal WNCX listeners, I hope you will follow me to my next adventure (more info next week!) and for my new friends and everybody else – here’s my final reference to the number “3“… my goal is to have this blog out 3 times a week.  So I guess I will see you on Monday!!!





It’s one for the Bucket List

22 12 2009

Being able to go backstage at a rock concert really is cool.  I’m not going to deny it; it is one of the elite experiences that is an earned privilege.  It’s one of the things I would have everyone put on their “bucket list”.  You cannot buy a backstage pass like you can with “special vip” seating and parking at certain concert venues (a smart, albeit annoying, marketing ploy in my opinion).  So I always look forward to when Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) comes to Cleveland and I get to go backstage.

I have “earned” this privilege as WNCX (the radio station for which I am DJ) was the first station in the country to really play TSO, and my boss, Program Director Bill Louis suggested to TSO creator Paul O’Neill that he take the story and do it as a concert.  I have always been a big advocate and believer of the band, doing my best to promote and support them and the individual side projects as well.  The first two years of TSO shows were very “evolutionary” compared to the current, regulated grueling tour schedule; back then TSO would have a show in Cleveland, then 3 or 4 days off, drive to another city, then come back to Cleveland.  The band got to hang out a lot here in Cleveland, and that’s how we all got to know each other.

This past weekend marked the 11th year TSO played in Cleveland, with matinée & evening shows on both Saturday & Sunday. Yes, I was at all four shows and I stayed true to my philosophy: I want to share this fun experience with friends and family who have never seen the band and/or have never had the “backstage experience” before (so they can check it off their bucket list!)

This year my guests were:  Mary Kay Stahley, Executive Director of Malachi House, a wonderful facility which provides hospice for the dying poor www.malachihouse.org @MalachiHouse;  Adam Gercak (@acgercak), the man behind Throwing Quarters blog & podcast www.throwingquarters.com/ and his lovely wife and graphic designer, Jenn (@jmacgercak); Susie Sharp, CLE social media enthusiast and soon-to-be blogger (@SusieSharp); and a last-minute fill-in, Pat McKay, good friend of Adam and a drummer with local band The Poland Invasion http://www.myspace.com/jenpoland, who was blown away by Jeff Plate’s drum kit!  (http://www.jeffplate.com/)

I told my friends to forget about any pre-conceived notions of backstage drunken debauchery; this tour is now a well-oiled machine, with no time for shenanigans.  But there is awesome catering (sushi bar, lamb chops, prime rib & even a full cooler of Dippin Dots!) Plus it just looks cool to see everything works.

With four shows in two days, you know these peeps work hard!  To help them blow off  some steam, there was a special after-show private party Saturday night at the Q – a Karaoke party for band members, crew and friends.  There was a similar party 4 or 5 years ago (the years have begun to blur).  The last party was hilarious as professional singers mixed with, er, “non-professionals”, singing everything from Madonna to Metallica.  I’m not a singer, so I never thought to get up and “karaoke” last time.

HOWEVER, that changed THIS year!

Yup, after quite a bit of prodding from Rob Evan (who, btw, starred in the original Broadway cast of Jekyll & Hyde, playing the title roles for three years and over 600 performances www.Rob-Evan.com ) I got up to sing in front of a bunch of professionals.  I didn’t have any booze for “courage”.  I had never done karaoke before.  It was all pretty scary stuff- guitarist Alex Skolnick (@AlexSkolnick) was watching too!  www.alexskolnick.com.

Sorry, there is no “and then she was discovered” story happy ending here – the fact is, I bombed!  I tried to sing “Pepper” by The Butthole Surfers.  http://www.last.fm/music/Butthole+Surfers/_/Pepper I couldn’t keep up, so I had them start the karaoke machine over again.  My mouth was so dry by the end of the first verse, I could barely swollow.  But I stuck it out all the way until the end and finished the song.

Driving home later that night, I kept replaying my “performance” in my head, berating myself for doing so badly.  Then a smile slowly came across my face.  It didn’t really matter how well I did; just that I had done it!  How many people will EVER have that opportunity in their lifetime:  to sing Karaoke in front of broadway leads, rock stars, and professional singers? I had the opportunity and I DID IT!  (I should tell you that NOT ironically, you could see the giant LeBron Nike “Witness” billboard outside the window – the one that takes up almost the entire side of a building).

Another very cool, elite, and special experience I can check off my bucket list!

I’ll leave you with this thought:  The next time something comes along that seems too scary (or potentially embarrassing) to tackle, take a pause… maybe it’s the universe giving you an “at bat” with something from your bucket list.  Think for a moment; will you walk through your fear, or live with regret?  Nike gets props for this one, “Just Do It!”