Anxiety is not the Enemy – in Sports or PR

May 23rd, 2017

by Laurie Jakobsen

I attended a great sports psychology clinic last night with Dr. Janet Sasson Edgette, who has a different approach than the usual “just relax” one tends to hear when it comes to performance. Her thinking is that telling someone to relax is counter-productive. The sport in question, horseback riding, has intrinsic dangers, and being too relaxed in a competitive situation will likely get you in trouble. You’ve got to be a bit amped up to go into a ring to perform, with the spectators and the judge watching you. In fact, in some classes, they begin by announcing, “You are now being judged,” which really drills home that point!  Her focus is on how you can embrace your anxiety, and learn how to perform while feeling nervous.

It reminded me of what I tell people when I coach them on public speaking and for interviews. It would not be normal to be relaxed when you’re about to get on the stage in front of people – your stress response will kick in before you’re even aware of it; if it did not, something would actually be very wrong with you! So the goal is to recognize that you’re anxious, and figure out the strategies that work for you in that heightened state so you can deliver. Perhaps that means marking up your speech with notations in the margins to “breathe,” “go slow, or “you’re doing great!”, in your favorite color ink. And of course, lots of practice.

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Do What I Want: Lessons From Arthur Russell

May 5th, 2017

by Kyle Wall

Arthur Russell was one of the strangest musicians of the 20th century in just about every sense, and the numerous musical personas and contradictions that hooked me into being a major fan of his years ago were on full display at a recent exhibition at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It also made me ponder what it would be like had he made it to the 21st century, and what artists today have that he did not – namely the internet.

Jaybird’s 2017 Resolutions

January 13th, 2017

ResolutionsBy Bill Greenwood and Laurie Jakobsen

Happy New Year! We’re already more than a week into 2017, but it’s never too late to make a few resolutions. Here are a few goals that we at Jaybird will be working toward throughout the year.

Be More Conversational on Twitter
If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that Twitter is an immensely powerful communications tool. We always strive to provide our followers, and those of our clients, with engaging content relevant to their interests, and we’ve been successful at building a strong audience for our online accounts. But there’s always room for improvement when it comes to actively stoking and cultivating a conversation. Therefore, we resolve to re-double our efforts to foster interaction on Twitter by adopting a more conversational tone. So ping us @jaybirdcom!

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“The Blue Jay Way”

January 10th, 2017

Dave Taft of The New York Times wrote about our favorite bird in the Sunday paper. I learned something new about Jaybird’s namesake avian: “The blue jay, actually, is not blue at all. Its brilliance is based upon ‘structural color.’ Microscopic elements within each feather reflect light, favoring blue, with magical results.”

Reflecting on Eno’s Long History of Innovation​

January 6th, 2017

by Kyle Wall

​January 1 marked the release of Brian Eno’s Reflection, the music legend’s latest ambient soundscape, and as a longtime fan of his ambient work in particular, it felt like an appropriate way to turn the page on a surreal year. This time around, the album is a single 54-minute track, with Reflection chosen as the title because it “seems to create a psychological space that encourages internal conversation.” It’s a beautiful piece of music that certainly lives up to its title and description.

Reflection also encourages curious listeners to download an app that morphs the music at different parts of the day, “like sitting by the river,” as Eno said, creating a literally endless work set to shifting blocks of colors. Perhaps that impressive length justifies its hefty $40 price tag.

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Singing Like a Bird: A Labor Day Playlist from Us to You!

August 31st, 2016

Hope you’re ready for the Labor Day weekend! Jaybird’s offices will be closed this Friday and Monday so we can enjoy the last gasp of summer, but we’ve taken steps to ensure we’ll be with you in spirit.

To the right, you can find a playlist with some of our favorite work-related tracks, which we hope will paradoxically put you in the mood to party it up over the long weekend. There’s a little something for everyone, from classics by The Beatles, Dolly Parton, The Cure, and Donna Summer to under-the-radar gems from Courtney Barnett, Janelle Monáe, Cass McCombs, and The Paper Jets (managed by our own Bill Greenwood).

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Is Frank Ocean a Genius or a Man without a Country?

August 25th, 2016

by Bill Greenwood

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean performs at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in August 2012.
Photo by Fred von Lohmann. View original image on Flickr.

Frank Ocean certainly seems to have gotten the best of the world’s biggest music company, pulling the wool over Universal Music’s eyes with the self-release of new album Blonde only days after his contract-fulfilling visual album Endless. That means that, according to Billboard, instead of receiving only 14% of Blonde’s revenues under his old contract, Ocean will now get to keep 70%, while Universal is left with what many consider a subpar album linked to a tedious video that is only available for streaming and not for sale. It certainly feels like a victory for Ocean, and taken as a modern day David vs. Goliath story, it’s hard not to cheer for him.

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Don’t Hit The Road, Jack

August 19th, 2016

by Kyle Wall

There have been murmurs for months now that Apple was considering ditching its headphone jack. Jason Snell echoed my mindset of denial in PCWorld:

So when the first rumblings of the headphone jack being removed from the next iPhone surfaced, it was easy to laugh them off. Outlandish rumors are common early in the iPhone product cycle. The next iPhone release was nearly a year away. There was no way Apple would do something as shortsighted as removing the worldwide standard for attaching headphones to electronic devices. This was just a silly rumor filling the space during a quiet period for Apple news. We’ll be the ones laughing come September.

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Hooray for the English Majors

August 12th, 2016

July-August-2016_401 IncCatching up on my reading, and was going through the cover story on the July/August issue of Inc. magazine on Robert Herjavec, the co-founder of the Herjavec Group, on the lessons he learned being a Shark Tank judge. His comments on the value of his non-technical college major caught my attention, both as a fellow English major and a PR person (emphasis mine):

“I went to college for a business degree but thought it was boring. So I wound up graduating with a BA in English literature–and then I didn’t know what to do with it. It took becoming a judge on Shark Tank to realize just how valuable that degree really is. At Herjavec Group, we’re experts in cybersecurity–but my degree has allowed me to compete with people in this field who are smarter than I am technically, because I could always tell a better story. Shark Tank is the American dream being played out every week in front of judges in half-hour segments. The format forces you to tell a concise and compelling story. As a result, I’ve learned how to squeeze drama out of every moment and make an impact–both on the show and in my work.”

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Summer “Word from a Bird”

June 30th, 2016

It’s summertime, and we hope you’re enjoying the warmth and sun as we head into the Fourth of July holiday! While this season is typically a quiet one, we’ve been working hard to ensure that our clients continue making noise in some of the biggest publications around, and the results speak for themselves. In the past few months, we were heavily involved in organizing and promoting the Music Business Association’s Music Biz 2017 conference in May, announcing the merger of NY Tech Meetup and the New York Technology Council to form the NY Tech Alliance in early June, publicizing Music Reports’ historic licensing agreement with the U.S. Copyright Office, and helping to create and promote videos and infographics for Rainbow Broadband and Vlado Meller. It’s all led to significant coverage in diverse outlets such as Forbes, Billboard, the New York Business Journal, American Songwriter, HITS Daily Double, Music Row, The Tennessean, Crain’s New York, and many more. Read more here!