Tag Archives: Morgan4congress

How Do You Dethrone Charles Rangel? Guerilla Style. Welcome to Team Morgan!

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Vince Morgan looking dapper at our lunch meeting at Settepani.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve been working with Vincent Morgan and his campaign to become the next Congressman for the 15th District of New York, a seat currently occupied by Charles Rangel.

In 2010, we ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat Rangel, who was in the midst of an ethics investigation, and perhaps more vulnerable than he had ever been in his 40 years on office.

Although we ran a smart race, we did things the traditional way, and were very careful not to say anything too polarizing or controversial about Mr. Rangel.

We wanted Vince to be the focus of our efforts and not Mr. Rangel, who everyone else seemed to be gunning for.

We are now, once again, in an election cycle, and with an election under our belt, we feel confident that the results will be different, this time around.

Why?

Well for one, it’s a presidential election year. People typically turn out to vote in greater numbers when the president is on the bill. In the last primary election, Rangel won with less than 20,000 votes. In a District with over 200,000 registered Democrats, that screams apathy. It says that folks weren’t particularly interested in the race OR that they weren’t interested enough to vote for Rangel OR that they believed that Rangel’s re-election was a foregone conclusion. Whatever the case the last time around, this year, it’s a whole new ballgame.

Second, we know what we’re up against. In the last election, we were green. We had no idea what we were doing or what to expect. Although we were very passionate about getting Vince elected, our strategy for how we’d accomplish that was untested. This time around, we’ve got a game plan. We’ve got a great (and growing) team of experts. Our message is tight and our candidate is out early, raising awareness about his campaign.

Third, we are raising money. Everyone in this politics game knows that you need money to run a campaign. Nearly everyone in the race last time raised and spent more money than we did. This time around, raising money is of paramount importance to our efforts. Even though folks aren’t pouring boatloads of money into our coffers (yet), we’re focused on fundraising. What’s interesting is that it seems that everyone else is finding fundraising challenging too.

Fourth, our street game is bananas. Unlike anyone else in the race or planning on running, Vince has young legs and is ready to walk the entire district. We’re actively recruiting young college students, who have unbridled energy and a real desire to participate in the political process to add to our street team. Keep your eyes on the streets in Harlem, in the coming days, and you’ll see what I mean.

Fifth, we are masters of all things digital. There is no other candidate in this race with the internet, social media and general online savvy of Team Morgan. Vince is fond of telling the story of how he taught Mr. Rangel how to turn on his computer. And while the story is genuinely funny, it underscores the point that Mr. Rangel is out of touch with so much more than just the District he purports to represent.

Unlike other candidates, Vince is particularly savvy with all things digital. Vince regularly blogs, tweets, FourSquares, updates his Facebook and other social media profiles himself. He’s equally comfortable on his iPhone, iPad2 or Mac. In an increasingly technological age, it is of critical importance that our officials that aren’t technologically out of touch.

Applying the Art of War to a campaign.

Sixth, we’re going guerrilla. If you’ve ever read The Art of War by Sun Tzu, you know that any successful campaign starts with a plan. But rather than being focused on some rigid, fixed strategy, Sun Tzu emphasized the need for flexibility and fluidity, the ability to quickly adapt to changed(ing) situations.

Finally, folks recognize that enough is enough. One of the central themes (and campaign slogan) for this election cycle is that “It’s Time.” It’s time for Rangel to step down. It’s time for cronyism to end. It’s time to re-establish confidence in our elected officials. It’s time that big business did it’s fair share for the people, and not at the expense of the people.

Every once in a while, you’ll notice that I post up about Vince, share a story or link, or ask you to donate to the M4C campaign. I’m going to keep doing that. But I’m also going to write about what’s going on in the campaign, from behind-the-scenes.

Hopefully, you’ll be excited about what we’re doing, and join us…or give us money…or share it with your friends…or give us money…or volunteer to work with the campaign…or give us money.

And if you’re at a total loss for how to get involved, you can just give us money.

So stay tuned for my daily updates and welcome to Team Morgan!

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Brands, Bands, Fans and Mobile (updated)

I’ve been on one of my extended working hiatuses, so this will be one of my catch-all posts.

KiwiTech. Think Global. Act Mobile.

As a few of you may know, I’ve recently accepted a position with KiwiTech, a mobile application development company, as their Director, Strategic Partnerships.

I’m charged with identifying and forming partnerships with brands and businesses interested in implementing a mobile app strategy.

So far, I’ve roped a few brands in my web, including Morgan 4 Congress, Bang! Boxing, and MyBrownBaby.com. I’ve got a few more in my sights, including Marcus Samuelsson, Rodney Jerkins, and the Red Hot Boyz (out of St. Louis).

A few weeks ago, I was a panelist at Winter Music Conference at a session titled, Get Synched: Alternative Revenue. The panel, which was moderated by Jed Carlson, co-founder of ReverbNation, included Alan Jurivstovski, CEO and Co-Founder of MetroLeap, Angela Rose White, of David Rose Publishing, Dusko Justic, Director of Global Marketing of Sony Music, J. Read Fasse, founder of Honor Roll Music, Timothy Lincoln, Senior Catalogue Director at Music Dealers, Shane German, artist manager at SoundExchange, and Ivan Alvarez, co-founder of CdA Group.

During my part of the session, I talked about the increasing importance of a mobile strategy to help artists promote, monetize and distribute their content. Artists need to take advantage of the growing number of mobile devices capable of interacting with rich media applications, such as music videos, movies, HD audio and video, games and social media games.  The one piece of advice, that resonated most deeply with the audience, was the long term utility artists could derive from mobile apps, which, once they’re on a user’s device, can be used repeatedly to drive future messaging, content, updates and alerts.

Last month, I attended Social Media Week, where I spoke on Personal and Professional Branding to the Linkedin Group, Network 4 Net Worth. If you caught my post, I offered the attendees some practical branding advice, as well as extolled the virtues of mobile, which this generation is abundantly more familiar and conversant with. Their adoption and use of technology is virtually second nature, and brands need to prepared themselves to interact with a buying demographic that in inherently more technologically savvy and discerning than they have previously encountered.

I also attended a few sessions, including Bands & Fans: How Indie Artists and Baby Bands Can Use Social Media To Get Noticed, Get Gigs and Build a Fan Base, hosted by CMJ. The session included panelists Ariel Hyatt, President, CYBER PR and Ariel Publicity,  Robbie Mackey, Senior Manager, The Orchard, J Slider, Founder/CEO, Root Music, and Marni Wandner, President, Sneak Attack Media.

One of the takeaways from  the session was the growing relevance of mobile and social media for bands looking to attract and grow their audience base. Significant attention was devoted to the concept of the mobile device as the ‘first screen,’ and the importance of developing marketing and promotional strategies that factor mobile as an integral (as opposed to ancillary) part of the overall plan. Artists, like Lady Gaga, T Pain and Soldier Boy, who have effectively leverage the power of mobile apps to enhance their brands were discussed, alongside new and emerging artists, who were using mobile as an entry point into the music marketplace.

In May, I’ll be attending the Cannes Film Festival, hoping the convert the attendees, producers, directors and production companies to mobile disciples.  My primary goal is to convince them that, in addition to selling their films in multiple language markets, mobile as the next platform to promote, monetize and deliver their content.

With major motion picture studios developing ancillary channels for their content, such as all the bonus features found on DVDs, mobile represents a very real way to engage with consumers, beyond movie trailers and clips. Mobile represents a very real way of identifying and targeting audiences, in unprecedented geo-, device- and content-specific ways.

Cannes is just one of many destinations for 2011, that will have your’s truly evangelizing the virtues of mobile (and technology) to all who will listen.

And somewhere in there, I’m going to try to schedule more time to blog, so I can keep you updated as to my progress in real-time.

Dare to dream.

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I’ve been on hiatus (not really)

I haven’t made an entry to my blog in over a month.

Its not that I haven’t thought about it, or that I didn’t want to.

My issue was that I had so much to talk about, I didn’t know where to start.

And you know what they say about inertia…

But today I’ve resolved to just sit down and type, until I got it all out of me.

I’m thinking the best way to do it is to start with the most recent stuff, and work backwards.

All you’re getting are sound bites, and hopefully, at some point, I’ll get around to elaborating.

So, without further ado…

Midnite

Last night I attended the Midnite show at S.O.B.’s. If you’re not familiar with Midnite, you should be. They are one of the hottest Caribbean reggae artists out today.

They played some classic tunes and well as new music, and as they went through their set, I felt as if I were communing with the music, swaying back and forth (or side to side) as part of one large rhythmic body.

I totally forgot I was supposed to be checking out their performance (my first) and assessing how their brand could be further leveraged. But DAMN! their music was good!

Check out some video from their last S.O.B.’s visit.

Third World

For the past few months, I’ve been working with Third World band’s management to produce a number of different on and offline projects.

It started with the Third World simulcast of their rehearsal at Circle Studios in Miami. Over 7,700 people tuned into the live stream on iNation.tv, which featured special guests, such as the incomparable Tessanne Chin.

Currently, we’re working hard to get their digital store, the Third World Digistore, up and running in anticipation of the August 10th release of their 22nd studio album, Patriots.

We’re also working on the video for the remake of their classic, 96 Degrees in the Shade, featuring Stephen and Damian Marley.

Check out a live version of 96 Degrees in the Shade.

Global Boxing

My good friend, Michael Havaien, is the president of Global Boxing Gym, a state of the art facility for professional boxers and MMA fighters, located in North Bergen, New Jersey.

He recently invited me to two press conferences, preceding the Zab Judah (vs Jose Armando Santa Cruz) and Tomasz Adamek (vs Michael Grant) fights.

We’re working on enhancing the overall digital signature of the Global Boxing brand, focusing on their young up-and-coming fighters, which include 21 year old Brooklyn native Adam Kownacki (5-0, 5 KOs) and (potentially) Bronx native and newly crowned NABF champion Maureen Shea (15-2).

Check out a clip from the Adam Kownacki vs. Yohan Banks bout. Spoiler alert – someone gets knocked out!

Morgan4Congress

As many of you already know, we’ve been working tirelessly on the United States Congressional campaign of Vincent Morgan, who is in a historic race against the embattled Charles Rangel.

We’ve redefined Vincent’s online presence, and provided ongoing support to all of his digital efforts, including the development of branded video pods, the production of offline events and the creation, management and support of various social media and mobile initiatives.

With the primaries rapidly approaching September 14, I anticipate getting a tad busier.

Check out one of the RapidFire series pods:

A Restless Media Musical Showcase

We’re planning a musical showcase featuring Meta & The Cornerstones, Malik Work, Zing Experience and Radical Revolution, at one of the meccas of music in NYC, Sullivan Hall.

We’ve got DJ Twilite Tone on the ones-and-twos, and all kinds of special treats in store for our guests.

If you’re in town on August 15th, please stop in.

Oh yeah, its also summer, and the kids are home. So things have been hectic on the home front too.

I don’t want to blame my hiatus wholly on work. I’ve had a little bit of fun too.

My sister-in-law and her husband invited us to Martha’s Vineyard to stay with them in a lovely five bedroom, four bathroom house in Oak Bluffs, two blocks from the beach.

It was really nice to get away (even though I jumped on my laptop a time or two).

But I’m back to the grind!

So hopefully, you’re all caught up and I’ll be able to get back to writing on a schedule.

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Harlem Stand Up! Vince Morgan is coming!

I had an interesting call with Vincent Morgan last Friday, and I came away intrigued by the man who has recently thrown his hat into the ring to challenge incumbent New York Democratic House of Representative member Charlie Rangel.

This guy could be your next Congressman! He looks electable.

The call was interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that he was so cool. Not to say that someone running for office shouldn’t be, but the ease with which we spoke had me feeling like I was kicking it with one of my boys, and not having an in-depth discussion with a viable Congressional candidate.

Some background. I was introduced to Vince (as he likes to be called) by Kofi Bannerman, a partner is one of my many ventures (a brother gotta keep multiple hustles going – ya dig?), who suggested that I reach out to him because he was getting his house in order for this run for office, and might require my considerable experience (forgive my self-indulgent plug).

We were supposed to meet face-to-face, but since I wasn’t sure what this face-to-face would be about, I felt that an introductory call was in order. So I called him.

I was impressed that he picked up his phone (I figured a guy in his position would be screening everything). I was even more impressed when he said that he had time to talk, considering his admittedly hectic schedule.

After the compulsory introductions and ice-breakers, we went in on the purpose of my call – figuring out what (if anything) Morgan4Congress needed, and how I could fulfill those needs.

Nice logo huh?

In preparation of our call, I had done a preliminary search of Mr. Morgan and his fledgling campaign. It was readily apparent, however, that things were buttoned up quite nicely from the door.

His website http://morgan4congress.com was up and active, as were his various social media sites, including a Facebook fan page, Twitter, blog, and YouTube channel.

He’s been interviewed on CNN and Fox 5 regarding his run, and both the NY Times and Huffington Post have reported on his candidacy.

Vince talked about his background as a community banker, his wife and two children. We discussed his roots, growing up in Chicago, and getting chased home from school.

He broke down his stance on the issues of the upcoming election, and by the time we were done, I was left with the distinct impression that this guy was electable.

He’s spent the past three years putting together his team and readying himself for this run. I told him that I’d shoot some ideas his way for leveraging his social media assets and generating viral movement on and offline.

However it goes, this guy is the future of politics in New York. He’s young and smart with plenty of Obama-esque swagger. Did I say he was from Chicago?

All I’ve got to say is this: Harlem stand up! Vince Morgan is coming!

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