What The #&@$ Do You Do, Tonia?!?

Tonia Samman
Interactive Marketing Manager
Joined the Orchard October 2006

So tell me, what the #&@$ do you do?!
I manage artist release campaigns, interactively. Ok, ok, so really what that means is that I handle a lot of the non-retail online marketing for our artists’ upcoming releases. Everything from implementing social media apps to landing track/video premieres and features, album streams, running Facebook and Google ads, direct to consumer sales campaigns, setting up in-studios in applicable markets, etc. And whatever other crazy ideas we or our labels come up with!

So basically you’re responsible for keeping up with the constant changes, updates, sometime headaches (Timeline anyone?!) that happen online and in the social media and making sure our artists are always in the spotlight, yeah? Can you take me from point A to point Z of a typical IM campaign?
Yes, we always have to be aware of the new trends/best practices/changes that happen with regards to social media and try to stay ahead of the curve. I start work on a project when a client manager has pitched an upcoming release to the IM director (Tierney Stout) with a marketing checklist, and Tierney assigns it to me. I then create a marketing plan with overarching ideas, social media strategy, apps and tools we want to use in the campaign, a timeline, budget needs (if any – we usually ask for an advertising budget), etc. The label/management then approves/rejects/edits the components of the campaign and we get started. Ideally we have at least 3 months lead time, but it’s often closer to 2. At the end of the campaign, which is generally within a month or two after release date, we deliver a wrap up report with key wins, stats, analytics etc.

And this isn’t your first foray into the world of music. (You’re not nicknamed “Tones” for nothing…) I hear you’ve played in bands. What’s the dish?
Yes indeed! I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13, so the nickname Tones came from a high school friend and has just stuck ever since. I was in a band called The Shapes from 2004-2008 and we self-released an EP and an LP during that time. We also toured a bit around the East Coast and Midwest, did a 10-day stint in the UK and played one West coast show in San Francisco because we won a contest from MP3.com and were flown out there and put up in a hotel to play the show. And we have an agent in LA who still gets us sync placements on those old songs from time to time, so all in all it was a pretty good run :)

That’s awesome! A true rock star in our midst. Are you working on anything we can look forward to?
My husband and I are working on writing some new songs so we can one day record again and play some shows. No more touring though, I’m over it!

Look out for an Orchard-ite entourage at your next show!

While we’re waiting… I hear you love food. What’s your recommendation for the “Best Restaurant In New York That’s Not on Your Radar”?
Hmm not sure I want to share it! But the truth is it was a recommendation from Ronit, so I know the secret’s already kind of out there. Miller’s Tavern in Williamsburg. Second choice, my own kitchen.

I think our readers would really enjoy a special recipe from the second best place to eat in New York! Can you give us a Tones specialty that’s not too confidential…?
I would love to, but the problem is that I rarely use recipes! I do occasionally find some keepers from Bon Appetit (which yes I subscribe to), so here’s a Mark Bittman one that I’ve adopted as my own over the last year:

Multi-Grain Pasta with Butternut Squash Ground Lamb and Kasseri

My tweaks (which make the recipe good for 4-6 servings depending on how hungry you are):

  • Use 1 whole fresh butternut squash
  • Use about 1 lb. ground lamb
  • More olive oil (extra virgin of course) and more garlic (always. Don’t measure these things, just throw in as much as you want!)

Thanks Tonia! My mouth is watering already… See you either on stage or in your kitchen! [Oh, and at work.]

Orchard-ite Award: Cutest, fastest and most fearless small dog, with the best music taste and the coolest name (Bowie)
favorite color: black
favorite TV shows: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Top Chef, Iron Chef America
random: Aside from the fact that I’m obviously a giant food nerd, another random fact – I probably have the worst eyesight of anyone in the office. Except maybe Mollie.

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