My friend Lisa Lynne asked me to answer some questions for her upcoming where I live, is a hotbed of hip HOP.  If I advertised myself in Boston as a Hip Hop artist, I’d be jeered off the stage.  And rightly so.

But I figured maybe the radio announcer just read the ad copy wrong. A lot of people accidentally say “Hip Hop” when they try to say the name of my website.

A lot of people accidentally say Hip Hop when they read my website Share on X

I stopped for pizza and there on the wall was a poster of for my show.  It had a big picture of me and it said “Hip Hop Harpist.”

I called the publicist, explained the mistake and she said nobody would know the difference. I said it was a HUGE difference and that anyone who knew anything about hip hop would know immediately.  She said it wouldn’t be a problem in Montana.

There was no point in arguing, especially not the day of the show.  All that mattered to me was that I didn’t piss off audience members who thought they were coming to hear hip hop.

So a few minutes before the show, I walked out on stage and told the audience that if they’d come to hear hip hop, I’d love to have them stay, but this was Hip HARP, not hip HOP.  People laughed, nobody left, I didn’t think any more about it and had a great show.

A week later I got a scathing email from the publicist, railing me for insulting the stage manager by walking out on stage before the show and speaking directly to the audience (mind you, this was a small rural theater).

I was mystified, emailed the theater, apologized if I’d insulted the stage manager — and finally realized that I hadn’t insulted anyone, and that my speech to the audience had probably tipped off the management to her mistake and that’s what she was mad about.

My takeaway from this?

Make sure you see the ad copy and the posters before they’re printed or recorded.  My rider now has a clause requiring that I be sent all radio and promotions copy for approval  — and I always send my own copy to presenters to get their OK before I send it to print.

Do we make mistakes?  Sure.  We all do.  Then we fix them.  And we don’t tell people they aren’t important if they think they are.

The sad thing was, this publicist had probably worked hard.  She had posters up all over town, she had ads on the radio.

She actually did a good job of getting the word out.

It was just the wrong word.

She did a good job getting the word out - it was just the wrong word. Share on X
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