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Entertainment News

Monday, 5 April, 2010 7:10 PM

Jo Dee Messina Broadens Marketing Outreach with "Music Room Series Tour"

Photo by Stephanie Orr-Buttrey

Jo Dee Messina greets a young fan during a “Music Room Series Tour” Concert at Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in October.

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2010 CMA Close Up News Service

Many artists have their own music rooms — places to relax and maybe entertain a few friends. Jo Dee Messina has two: one at home and another that she takes on the road.

Since breaking into the spotlight as winner of the 1999 CMA Horizon Award, Messina has consistently gone the extra mile in reaching out to her fans, even releasing her mobile phone number and inviting the public to give her a call. So it made sense for her to book a series of intimate shows in smaller venues, where she performs with a trimmed-down version of her band, takes requests and otherwise welcomes the audience from a stage set modeled after her music room at home.

But why not take the idea a step further and add more value to the experience for both the artist and those who attend her “Music Room Series Tour” of concerts? That was the question asked — and answered — by Stephanie Orr-Buttrey, President, CountryWired Inc., which does Web site promotion, marketing design and maintenance for Messina and other artists.

“We decided to give everyone who bought a ticket to these shows free membership for six months in Jo Dee’s fan club,” she said. “That allowed us to know everyone that bought a ticket and to put together a large database of information about people who enjoy seeing her live. With the new single and album coming, that gives us a much larger database to market to.”

Annual dues for the Jo Dee Messina Fan Club are currently $15. The free six-month membership extended at each “Music Room Series Tour” show includes most of the standard perks, such as access to her live post-concert “Nightcap with Jo Dee” meet-and-greets on www.JoDeeMessina.com and invitations to fan club parties. A few extra privileges act as incentives to sign up for full membership once the complementary period has elapsed.

“You know my history: I’m a hard-core appreciator of my fans,” said Messina. “They’re dishing out a little piece of their household income for tickets, and I always want to give them more for their money, so the ‘Music Room’ show is based on interaction. We don’t wear ear monitors; we use floor monitors so we can talk back and forth, make jokes, take requests and answer questions. But giving them fan club membership lets them follow me beyond just that night. They come to hang out, we spend the evening visiting and then they get to see what I’m up to afterwards.”

The benefits work both ways: As fan club members enjoy their special access through meet-and-greets, Twitter and other channels, Messina’s people will be able to reach back with targeted marketing for concerts, music and merchandise. This gets the promotional ball rolling even before Messina’s single, “That’s God,” written by the singer and Brent Rader, drops in January, with her Curb Records album Unmistakable set to follow in the spring.

“I don’t have product in the stores, so I can’t tell you how it’s going to affect numbers. All I’ve got is me,” she said, laughing — but for her fan club members, that’s a great start.

On the Web: www.JoDeeMessina.com

 

Photo by Stephanie Orr-Buttrey

Jo Dee Messina performs during a “Music Room Series Tour” Concert.

 

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