BrandStoryNow Marketing Training for Classical Artists launches at SF Conservatory of Music


(San Francisco, CA) - Positioned as an independent marketing training for classical artists, BrandStoryNow launches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on November 20. This first training will be presented by arts brand strategist Cristin O'Keeffe and brand consultant James Mowdy, the BrandStoryNow concept growing out of Mowdy's 2015 client experience with Santa Fe Opera.

Working with SFO PR Director Daniel Zillmann and several department heads, Mowdy built a strategic brand storytelling plan to help The Company meet specific PR, marketing and business goals, as well as grow Santa Fe Opera's social to real-world ROI with the SFO comms team. Early in the season, Zillmann asked if Mowdy could present a social media-related training to fifty apprentice singers. With only a short time to prepare, Mowdy went with what he knows best - brand identity, brand story, and brand strategy. Positive feedback regarding his consultative and conversational approach from apprentice singers and SFO leadership led to the development of the BrandStoryNow concept: training classical artists to strategically self-market and meet professional goals. 

Freelance arts brand strategist O'Keeffe brings far ranging classical music and arts and entertainment business knowledge, experience and passion to the BrandStoryNow collaboration. A New York University-trained lawyer who works for a San Francisco startup, O'Keeffe is well-known amongst the Bay Area's classical set, both online and in real-life. She is often found mingling with friends at San Francisco Opera, Davies Symphony Hall, and various, other classical music venues. O'Keeffe has also established a robust social media "cheer leading section for classical vocal artists, musicians, and opera companies" presence on Twitter, tweeting as @Aspasia_1. If that weren't enough, she somehow finds time to manage social media, real-world PR and event assistance for San Francisco's LIEDER ALIVE!, as well study classical voice with Heidi Moss in the Adult Extension program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. A native San Franciscan, O’Keeffe also lived on the East Coast where she graduated from Harvard University and went on to gain valuable entertainment industry experience in the business and legal affairs departments of NBC, the WGBH Educational Foundation (a television broadcaster and program producer for PBS), and Sony Music Entertainment, before returning to the West Coast.

O'Keeffe and Mowdy first met via Twitter, when Mowdy was working with the late countertenor Brian Asawa. O'Keeffe, a devoted fan of Asawa's, met her favorite countertenor at one of Asawa's 2015 performances in San Francisco. O'Keeffe's and Mowdy's friendship developed over the course of 2015 and 2016, both mourning Asawa's unexpected passing this past April, attending his LA Opera memorial in May.
It was during this period that Mowdy suggested that O'Keeffe guest-present for the then-unnamed concept: a brand-oriented training specifically for classical artists. Given O'Keeffe's multidimensional classical arts and entertainment knowledge, first-hand understanding of the artist experience and a shared interest in helping them succeed, it was an easy sell. "We bring different skills and experiences to the table. James' brand storytelling experience, in addition to his passion for opera and turning 'social into real-world,' means we're uniquely positioned to help classical artists in a competitive global marketplace," says O'Keeffe. Mowdy agrees: "Cristin shines a light where I might lack some (classical arts) knowledge or understanding regarding repertory, history, entertainment business affairs and so forth. Cristin has this ability to gently illuminate and correct...and I couldn't be more thrilled."

Published via | October 17, 2016