value of service

Jeff Shattuck's Avatar

Jeff Shattuck

20 Feb, 2012 05:50 PM

Hello,

I cancelled my account with you today because I simply cannot find anything out there on the web about people who use you and what they think. Further, when I google your staff (the one guy!) I get next to nothing, not evidence of an industry luminary. To seal the deal, I tried to cancel and got a 404 page. I know enough about the web and hosting to know that this is easily avoidable. Oh, one last note: there is no customer service option save for this maddening discussion board. I'll be watching my statements to make sure you do indeed cancel me. More important, though, I would love it if you could win me back. Point me to some success stories, fix your 404 bug, add customer service via email or chat. Hope you succeed, I really do, it's a neat idea, but not for me as it stands.

Jeff

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by dmitri on 20 Feb, 2012 06:10 PM

    dmitri's Avatar

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for writing and for trying out the service. I do indeed want
    to win you back! If we cannot add value for you, why should you pay for
    the service? We want users who are fanatical about the value we offer
    and WANT to pay for it.

    The reason you haven't found any testimonials online is we are just
    getting started. And we are tweaking the service and the model based on
    user feedback.

    I'm not sure which guy you Googled, but I am the founder of StoryAmp,
    and I have one full time guy working with me: Garrett Baker. I've been
    in the music industry for fourteen years, first working for a prominent
    distributor out of Portland, OR and then starting my own PR company:
    www.rockpaperscissors.biz, which has placed hundreds of artists on NPR,
    NY Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork, Wall St. Journal, Leno,
    Letterman, etc. I've been running rps for 12 years and have a staff of
    six there. I watched the emergence of digital retail followed by digital
    distribution (a.k.a. aggregators) as the answer to shifts in the musical
    landscape and wondered what the PR equivalent would be. I developed
    another company: www.FlipSwitchPR.com to see if there was a market for a
    more automated version of music PR and whether journalists would be
    responsive to a "lighter touch" version of publicity. Garrett has
    managed the clients and press send outs from the beginning coming on
    three years. So I have basically been grooming him to be a great
    customer service rep as StoryAmp unfolds. We found that they were so we
    teamed up with www.SproutBox.com to build a more fully automated
    platform for labels and artists. You've seen the functionality and look
    of StoryAmp, but are wondering: does it work? Does anyone care?

    We're playing a little game of chicken and egg. We need to build up
    traction on both the artist and the press side. The good news is that we
    are migrating journalists over from FlipSwitch to our new system. So we
    started off with 4200+ journalists in the system and are adding more
    every day. Once they are there they can tweak their preferences helping
    us to better customize what music they get (based on their genres,
    concert cities, and lead time). We expect their level of engagement will
    deepen as we increase the quality and quantity of music in our system.
    The other good news is that we are just building partnerships with some
    of the largest digital music platforms. The system works best for
    journalists when more musicians and labels use it.

    You can be a part of that by continuing to use the system, as an early
    adopter. But I understand if your risk tolerance is more suited to
    waiting to see success stories. Send me a link to your music and tour
    schedule and maybe I can offer you something.

    As for the 404 error, thank you for bringing that to my attention. I
    will take a look and see if I can re-create that and get it fixed right
    away. If you can specify what you clicked to get to that point, that
    could help, though i will look regardless.

    And I will certainly check our back-end system and make sure your
    account is canceled as you have requested.

    As for customer service, would you say that this discussion board is not
    responsive enough? I personally get an email every time someone submits
    a question here. How was my response time? Do you feel that I responded
    in a way that was accountable.

    Thanks again and I look forward to working with you again in th future!

    Dmitri Vietze
    [email blocked]

    StoryAmp, LLC :: amplify your story
    a platform connecting musicians and the press

  2. 2 Posted by Jeff Shattuck on 20 Feb, 2012 09:45 PM

    Jeff Shattuck's Avatar

    Thank you for this note, it means a lot. In fact, I might re-up, but a
    couple of things eat at me. One, the cost of doing a dispatch is very
    high,
    and I'm not sure I'm ready to spend that kind of cash on an untested
    service that is vague about who it reaches and why an email from
    Storyamp would be
    more likely to be opened than one from me (I know I don't have the
    list, but still). Further, I don't think blanketing journalists is a
    great strategy, much better would
    be individual bloggers who have serious cred in the music biz, much
    more so that old line media. For example, when I read about Ariel
    Publicity, they really hit hard on
    the importance of blogs. Where do you stand on this?

    I'm still on the fence about what to do...

    If you're interested, here's my blog

    www.cerebellumblues.com

    and here's my album (not released yet)

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/127400/Cerebellum%20Blues.zip

    Just a quick note: I'm not and never wil be a touring act. I'm mainly
    just hoping to get my album heard, not even so much make money.
    Just don't want to have done this and have no one know about it.

    Thanks again for your note.

    Jeff

    PS - Your response was fast, just that posting for help on a bulletin
    board feels impersonal and random (will anyone help me?).

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by dmitri on 20 Feb, 2012 10:14 PM

    dmitri's Avatar

    Hi Jeff,

    We are working on ways to clarify recipients to artist/label users
    without giving up the "buffered anonymity" that we give to our
    journalist friends. My experience is that journalists WANT to know
    about and discover as much music within their genres of interest, so
    this will not be perceived as blanketing, so much as about creating a
    format that is journalist friendly (targeted by the things that matter
    to them, within the time frames they need, and with the info in a
    uniform format for quick access to the assets they need). I'm sure you
    can envision that a lot of independent artists target the wrong
    journalists (in terms of genre or city), forget to include important
    things (an easy way to listen to audio, release or concert details,
    hi-res JPGs for print, etc.), are way too late in pitching the press.

    As for blogs, yes, they can be useful for certain artists/genres. We
    have blogs in our lists, though they are not the sole emphasis. We
    still believe that press of all formats have a role to play in
    building fan awareness. There was a moment in time where some people
    thought it was all about blogs and podcasts. But it has become clear
    that those are just two of many formats that are sustaining or
    emerging. We're more focused on the discovery and curatorial process
    of journalists. And the tastemakers in traditional media will be the
    tastemakers in future forms of media. Writing about music is the same
    in print or digital form. And having a repertoire of musical criticism
    is an asset that applies across formats.

    I suspect that our service will work better for serious touring
    artists in its initial phase. Concert press HAS to be kept aware of
    everything coming to town and we give them a quick way to ingest the
    information and music, make a decision, and take action. Later it will
    become a more useful tool for releases. I understand you not being
    ready to spend more money to take this gamble with us yet. We'll be
    here for you when you are ready.

    Stay in touch!

    Dmitri

  4. 4 Posted by Jade on 26 Jul, 2012 06:30 AM

    Jade's Avatar

    Hi.

    I see that this post was from Feb 2012, and I read a post about cancelling their account in January 2012. It is July 2012, and why is it that I'm still seeing the 404 page about cancelling the account?

    If there are more charges after this date, after downgrading, because I find no use of it, it will be found the hard way, because I will be putting a stop on any reoccuring payments after today. I simply can't pay it, and I don't think it's working for me.

    Thanks and I hope you can understand. Please really get on the case of fixing that 404 page, because I don't want others to think it's a scam site or anything. But then again, I don't think it should take 1/2 a year to fix that.

    Take care,

    Jade

  5. 5 Posted by team on 26 Jul, 2012 01:55 PM

    team's Avatar

    Hi Jade, Since this is the second post you have made to our support site, please note that I responded to your other post already as well as sending you a personal email letting you know what I need to fix the problem you are having. I look forward to your reply there.

    Thank you,

    Dmitri Vietze
    founder
    StoryAmp

  6. 6 Posted by Jade on 26 Jul, 2012 02:58 PM

    Jade's Avatar

    Thanks for the quick replies. I appreciate the fact that it was responded. Thanks!
    I did indeed receive your emails, and I also just replied to them. Thanks for helping me out on this.

  7. 7 Posted by Jerry Doby on 15 Nov, 2012 06:40 PM

    Jerry Doby's Avatar

    Hello this is not a complaint but a note from a journalist. In doing my due diligence about the StoryAmp service I of course checked the help&support link.

    I understand my response is untimely however hopefully it will be read in the future by subscribers wondering if this service is worth it.

    I am the executive editor of The Hype Magazine and a featured contributor for Yahoo! Voices as well as an A&E writer for several other global outlets. StoryAmp as I see it allows me to control the type of material I receive and this means that instead of your pitch email going into a spam or trash folder, it comes to a central location that I as the journalist have opted-in to.

    Benefit to me the journalist is that I can assign YOUR story to one of my writers after I have reviewed the pitch here on StoryAmp...since I am the editorial authority for my outlets, you are benefitting by NOT getting my assistant or some general email box that may or may not get cleaned out for weeks. Nor do you as the artist get dropped into a box that never gets checked at all...just emptied.

    So far, I am happy with the process set up by StoryAmp to provide me with COMPLETE information the first time, it eases my work flow process which means I am in a better mood when reviewing material...take that for what it's worth.

    JD

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by dmitri on 23 Dec, 2012 01:26 PM

    dmitri's Avatar

    Hi Jeff and Jade,

    I was reading through old support tickets and wanted to make sure you both knew that:

    A. We have lowered the fees for Dispatches significantly from when we first launched. It is now $30/month for unlimited tour Fancy Listings. ANd it is a flat fee of $250 per genre for album/release Fancy Listings. Also, you can use a free version of the service for one-line listings that go out to the press.

    B. The cancellation problems have been fixed.

    Thank you and enjoy the holidaze!

    Dmitri Vietze
    founder
    StoryAmp

  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by dmitri on 23 Dec, 2012 01:28 PM

    dmitri's Avatar

    Hi Jerry,

    I just wanted to thank you (belatedly) so much for taking the time to give us a vote of confidence as a journalist. We are nothing without the support of you and other journalists.

    Enjoy the holidaze and please stay in touch!

    Dmitri Vietze
    founder
    StoryAmp

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