If you spend any time downtown at any of the local venues, it’s likely that you’ve seen this shining face. Hillary Brown, 33, is a co-founder and co-owner at On Pitch–a music, entertainment, and lifestyle marketing agency that promotes events like the ever-popular 80/35 music festival. Along with Jill Haverkamp and Zoey Miller, Hillary works to create hype on our fantastic local musicians, entertainers, and venues (a cause I definitely back!).
She left Des Moines for L.A. and later returned to help revolutionize the way artists, entertainers, and musicians present themselves in and outside the borders of Des Moines. Hillary’s past client line-up is solid: she has worked groups including Apple, Nike, USA Network, Twentieth Century Fox, X-Games, and Disney, to name a few.
Take a few minutes to get into the head of one of the ladies behind the screen promoting the entertainers and venues you love.
Band Bombshell: What do you do and why do you love doing it?
Hillary Brown: I currently provide consultation and support as needed on client projects and our internal communications and social media efforts. My background is in social media and online marketing, so I usually help with strategy and consulting on those types of projects.
BB: Tell me about your first interactions with On Pitch.
HB: I met Jill Haverkamp in 2008 while volunteering through the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition. Music has always been a passion of mine, and I was looking for ways to get involved in the music community when I returned to Des Moines after living in L.A. for six years. Jill and I saw a real need for entertainment and music marketing services, both locally and regionally, so we decided to start On Pitch to help music, entertainment and lifestyle clients with their marketing efforts.
BB: What has been your favorite project/client so far?
HB: 80/35 is always a fun project to work on, and the best part about it is that it happens every year. On Pitch helps with all aspects of marketing the festival, including media relations, public relations, advertising, online marketing and social media. It’s so fulfilling to see how much the festival has grown since it started in 2007. I can’t wait to see how much the festival has grown in another five years.
BB: What’s your background with PR and music?
HB: My background in music and PR began when I lived in L.A. I worked for a youth marketing agency and we would manage street marketing and online campaigns for record labels and movie studios. My career eventually moved online when I went on to work for a company called Passenger, a provider of branded online private communities for fortune 500 companies. When I returned to Des Moines from L.A., I started volunteering for the DMMC, where I got even more great experience helping plan and market local concerts, festivals and events.
BB: Any special tips you have for local musicians trying to get themselves out there?
HB: There are so many ways musicians can leverage social media and online marketing, from building their fan base to networking to marketing their music and shows. The best advice I can give is to find a way to connect with fans and other musicians that fits your niche and personality. Some musicians connect with their fans through a blog and others through Twitter. Technology and social trends are constantly evolving, so it’s also important to keep up with music tech trends. One minute your fans are listening to Pandora and the next minute everyone’s hanging out on Spotify. You really have to find where your audience is and connect with them there.
BB: What was the best concert you’ve ever been to?
HB: That’s such a tough question because I’ve had the opportunity to see some of my favorite bands of all time, including Pixies at Wiltern Theatre and Radiohead at Coachella. Some of the best concert experiences of my life have been at large festivals like SXSW Music, where you can discover so many emerging artists and then see them over and over again at different venues. I highly recommend that experience for musicians and music fans alike.