How Not To Shut Down A Street Team

A Letter from the JK Team

I got this via email yesterday and added the bold to make sure that you didn't miss the high points.

Dear Team Members,

We just wanted to let you know that as of April 1, 2010, we are no longer be running Josh's Street Team. We have had an absolute blast working with Josh, and all of you, these past several years! It is no exaggeration to say that Josh Kelley has some of the best fans around! We cannot thank you enough for all of the support you have given to both Josh and us. Each and every one of you made our job so much fun, and it was a pleasure getting to know all of you.

Recently, Josh signed with a record label. I'm sure most of you know from Josh's Youtube videos, Facebook, and Myspace posts, that he is moving into the Country music genre. We are excited for him, and know that this will be a great move in his career! Although we haven't been given specific information, we've been told that the new label has great things in store for Josh! We want to encourage you all to keep checking back on his official website, and his various social marketing sites, to find out what's going on with him.

As we've said before, each of us are big fans of Josh's. We are going to continue to support him, and we really hope you all do as well. Who knows, maybe we'll see some of you at upcoming shows! And because we can't say it enough, THANK YOU again!

Frankie, Robin, and Jayme
FanRising/Sunrise Promotions

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  1. Bullshit indeed. Music 2.0 is all about grassroots… What a way to repay all the hardwork to get him the deal!!

  2. Retarded move by Josh and his new “label”. Loosing the street team is bad. And for the social marketing site, his homepage really suck. It’s flash and takes foreeeeever to load. Shut it down before it even finished loading up.

  3. Pretty sad. Must be a crappy label to allow this garbage to be sent out. If I was on this street team I would prob felt left out now that Josh got “signed” blaa blaa.

  4. I can say I was honestly surprised to see this on Hypebot this morning.
    As one of the people who managed and ran this street team for the past five years, we sent out this email in order to let the fans know what was going on. We have grown to know most of the street team members on a personal level, and took this opportunity to explain to them why we were no longer running the street team. It was really as simple as that.
    There was no big shock that the label would be taking over and that we would probably not be working on the street team anymore, because that is generally the way things typically go. This is not the first time it’s happened, nor will it probably be the last.
    It’s sad, yes… but unfortunately true. Most label deals are 360 and most street teams are handled in-house. So someone will, hopefully, pick up where we left off and continue to promote Josh once his new album comes out.
    We meant everything we put into that email. We will still support Josh and his music and hope that the rest of his fanbase will do so, as well.

  5. Speaking only for myself, I thought the artist and their team should have worked harder with you to make this transition smooth for the street teamers.

  6. Bruce, thanks for that. I do agree that if they had worked with us on the transition, it wouldn’t have seemed so abrupt from the fans’ perspective. But in the end, we did what we could!

  7. Robin, don’t accept this mess. congrats on the growth which I -know- is hard to accomplish. This is just an uninformed attack from someone with a chip. Stay focused, and keep on keepin’ on -JL

  8. To All: As someone who works in fan management, and tries to look at things strictly from a fan standpoint, this is an outright alienation of core fans.
    Whether this be a managerial or label derived message to the fans who “got you there”… what it’s saying is WE DON’T NEED YOU. Not the message the “die hards” want to hear.

  9. I was also one of the team leads on Josh’s team, and would like to thank everyone for their support. It means a lot to us.
    I think we can all agree that the music business in general is changing. With the increasing popularity of downloading music for free, the industry as a whole (labels, artists, music stores, etc.) is hurting. Record labels are a business, and just like any business they need to make money. As the industry changes, they also need to make changes. One of the major ways to do that is to do as much as possible “in-house”. Does that work? If they have people who are passionate, creative, can think outside of the box, and are willing to work WITH the fans, YES it can. The problem? We’re not seeing as much of that as we need to from the labels. It’s up to US, the music fans, to continue to remind them what really works.
    Sometimes when an artist is making the move into a new genre, or “re-inventing themselves”, the powers that be feel it is best to make a fresh new start, and work with a team that they feel best represents those changes. I can understand that. We are sad to not be working with Josh anymore, but will continue to support him, and will be ready and willing if the opportunity ever comes up to work with him again. Josh is an incredible person and artist, and his fans are some of the best around! I wish all of them nothing but the best.
    As I said earlier, it’s up to the music fans to tell/show the labels and artists they represent what works best. A personal connection will ALWAYS work more than some words in an email from an unknown person.
    P.S – Robin, you gotta work on those editing skills, girl! ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. Sloane: The message was from us – the company who was employed by Josh to run his team for the past five years. We have nothing to do with the management or the label, except that we worked with Josh.

  11. As someone who ran over 30 street teams professionally for several years I can honestly say that the email is ridiculous. These people are in the street team for JOSH KELLEY- not because of who the leaders are. Their email was so self-focused. If any communication HAD to be sent to fan about the change it should have been a transition email- or perhaps a “we’re going on hiatus for a few weeks, but we’ll be back and better than ever.” Not this “woe is me, we lost our jobs” stuff. All this will do is cause fans to ask Josh Kelley personally about the change, which will be annoying to all involved. These things have to be thought about before you communicate to fans. I’m surprised at the lack of professionalism on the parts of Frankie, Robyn and Jayme. This is probably why they lost their jobs in the first place! They lost sight that it’s only about Josh Kelley and not themselves.

  12. SB And Taylor –
    I’m sorry you feel that having a personal connection to the fans you’re working with is a bad thing. I respectfully disagree. Thanking fans for promoting the artist and doing tasks that we’ve ask them to do is not “self focused”. As far as for as it being a “transition” email, we did the best we could with the info and time frame we were given. I’m not sure why you’d consider encouraging the fans to still support the artist in his new venture is unprofessional, but again, I respectfully disagree.

  13. I’ve been a member of the team since the early days. I have to say, I have become friends with several people from the team, Frankie and Robin included. The personal connection that Frankie, Robin, and Jayme formed with the team members is one of the things I really enjoyed. It was felt like a bunch of friends working together to promote great music. I’ve been a member of other “fan clubs” and street teams, and none of them have been as enjoyable as the Josh Kelley street team.
    I’m thankful for the e-mail because I would have been more upset if things changed over night with no explanation. I will continue to support Josh, because I love his music. But I will miss the old team.

  14. SB, can I ask how you would have handled the situation? I think the way they handled it was great. I didn’t detect a SMIDGE of negativity or cheap shots, but I did get the impression that they really want people to continue to support Josh which is great. I don’t see why thanking the people on the team is a bad thing. They built genuine relationships with Josh’s fans and it strongly benefited the street team and helped motivate the team. I don’t see any “woe is me” in this letter at all, if anything I see them expressing excitement for Josh and the next phase of his career. Why would they say they’re going on hiatus for a few weeks? They’re not going on hiatus, Josh isn’t using them anymore. Why would they make it seem like they’re coming back? That would just be incorrect information which would be horrible communication. And I mean, they can’t just not tell the street team members anything at all, they have to let them know that Sunrise is not who they will be reporting to anymore. They told them to keep checking Josh’s sites…I guess I’m just confused with the problem with this letter…It seems professional to me, informative, and very positive. And there is NOTHING wrong with thanking people who help them out. This company is their business and they absolutely have the right to thank the people who make it possible for them to be in business.

  15. Frankie, Robin, & Jayme… you guys did a wonderful job – I will miss the team for sure. Clearly, those who have nothing good to say did not have the opportunity to meet you and are probably not fans anyways! Thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚
    Take it easy and keep promoting those amazing musicians.
    Unfortunate to see JK move on…

  16. The three of us felt that it was important to keep fans in the know. The street team is doing more than just changing management, the entire team as the fans know it is being removed. We felt it was important to let the fans know, so they wouldn’t be surprised if they went looking for it and it was no longer there. It would have been unprofessional to not give the street teamers a heads up. And as previously stated, we did what we could given the time frame that we had.
    SB, while you’re not wrong that the people who joined the street team did it for the purpose of promoting Josh Kelley, I think it’s wrong to assume that none of them care who leads the team. We’re constantly interacting with the fans, and in the process we’ve developed some true friendships with some of them. I’ve been on a lot of street teams as a fan myself, and it’s one of the most frustrating things in the world when the leaders are inactive, or completely impersonal. While promoting Josh is of course the primary focus of the team, it’s also important to create an environment that will make team members want to stay, and we take pride in our ability to do that.
    The three of us are doing all that we can to make this transition as smooth as possible, and I hope that in spite of people’s frustrations with this news, they will continue to be as enthusiastic and supportive of the new street team management as they have been of us. Because like SB said, in the end, supporting Josh is what’s most important.

  17. @Tricky… Josh Kelly is the D-bag who just fired his street team. His career = fail.

  18. Did I say that it was negative or took cheap shots? No. I said it was self-focused. Big difference.

  19. yup. hes also the older brother of charles kelley, lead singer of lady antebellum. looks like somebody got jealous the little bro was getting so much attention in the country world. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. If there is any genre where street teams are fully embraced it is country music. It’s hard to find a country artist WITHOUT a street team these days (and I know, because I lead a lot of them) so I think it’s safe to assume Josh Kelley will have his street team activated again- it just won’t be under this particular company.
    The leaders of the team admit they know nothing of the plans the label has for the team, so sending out an email announcing it’s “end” is not only premature, it is irresponsible. It does damage to the core fan base that probably stuck with Josh through all the hard times.
    Someone asked me how I would have handled this situation…. I would have bowed out gracefully making sure fans never felt any disruption. I would have insisted that the label put me in touch with whomever would be running the team from that point and give them the background and suggestions for how to make the management transition as smooth and transparent for the fans as possible.
    And for the record, I agree that leader should be personable in order to make a team work but at the end of the day you have to always remember that it is not about you- it’s about the artist. So even though fans are telling you they love you and they are your friends and sending you gifts, you are still not the focal point. It’s all about the artist. From the context of that email this team clearly lost sight of that.

  21. I would like to see Hypebot elaborate more on what was seen as wrong with this email (aside from the grammatical error in the 1st highlighted point.) As Jayme, Frankie & Robin mentioned, they all formed friendships with the street team members over the years. I, too, have been involved with many street teams and have seen the confusion that comes with a sudden shutdown of an artist’s/label’s relationship with a street team.
    If anything, I think Josh’s label, not Sonrise, could have handled the transition differently. Street teams are all about grassroots development and relationship-building. If that is lost, fans will alienate an artist, regardless of how much they love the music.

  22. As I said in the comments above: “Speaking only for myself, I thought the artist and their team should have worked harder with you (the street team co) to make this transition smooth for the street teamers.” Very little if any blame sits with your friends – although I might have offered fewer details if I were in their shoes.

  23. I was very saddened to find out that frankie, robin and jayme would no longer be running the JK street team. They have done a great job over the past several years. They have demonstrated great leadership within the street team. Having lead several street teams of my own, I know that it is important to be friends with the other street teamers. That when its your job these are the people you interact with the most. And when your friends you get more involved. I thought that the e-mail was very well written and needed to get out to other street teamers. How else would true fans be notified of such changes? I am sure that frankie, jamye and robin dont know what is in store for josh, and who knows if the label knows either. I feel as though they are doing the best thing by letting fans know as much as they know. We all want Josh to do well and to have a great career. And the best way to do that is to stand behind him, and that is exactly what these three ladies are doing.
    Thank you Robin, Frankie, and Jayme for all you have done for Josh and his fans over the past 5 years. I look forward to seeing you at future shows!

  24. SB – the street team IS ending. the current street team got taken down. and right now, there isn’t a new one. when there is, people will have to sign up all over again, and it will be a new team. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions about what these ladies are and aren’t doing. You don’t really know what the conversation has been between them and the label. Nobody knows that but them. They mentioned a time frame, so maybe they were asked to take the team down before the new team was ready. Do you honestly believe that they would opt to make the transition this abrupt and nonexistent? No, chances are, they were told the team had to come down by a certain date, and they took it upon themselves to let the fans know. HOW is that irresponsible? You really don’t have the right to judge without knowing the specific details of what’s been said between them and the label. Also, you seem to be assuming that the quality of the street team leadership doesn’t matter. For someone who has run 30 teams, that’s a very naive stance to take. Fans DO have personal preferences about how teams are run, how easy the software is to use, what kinds of incentives are offered, etc. Yeah, promoting Josh is what it’s there for, but if the leadership sucks and the software is awful and isn’t user friendly, and the incentives don’t seem worth the fuss, guess what? They won’t bother with the street team, which is the most valuable resource for promoting the artist that the fans can access.. You’re clearly forgetting the second most important purpose of the street team – providing the FANS with the best tools and the best environment to do what they came to do. So if you think it was irresponsible of them or unprofessional of them to say farewell after working with these fans and establishing strong relationships with these fans and providing good leadership and good software for these fans for YEARS, then I would question YOUR professionalism.

  25. Aside from some spelling errors (which a spellcheck would have solved) I’m not sure where the criticism is coming from? These 3 women ran a street team, and are sending a message that they enjoyed running his team and to watch for what the new management comes up with. Are you trying to read meaning into something? Really?
    Get over yourself Bruce and haters. Really.

  26. I am curious as to why there would have been any need for anyone to bow out of anything, the artist is still there, the music is still there and the fans are as well, if there is going to be a new log in, new instructions, new anything then so be it, wait for it, this should have been an easy transition.
    When companies are hired to be behind the scenes, they should remain that way. I’d be furious.

  27. This is the worst e-mail you can possibly send out to fans – it’s like one of those bad break up letters to your girlfriend…..I’ll just tell you how I and most people will perceive this e-mail out of things that are bold.
    1) we are no longer be running Josh’s Street Team.
    Sorry – we don’t need you hardworking people anymore.
    2) Recently, Josh signed with a record label.
    Because he got famous and he is signed to a label. ha ha, now he’s big thanks to you.
    3) We encourage you to keep checking back on his official website!
    Well, so that’s the story – we don’t need you anymore but please keep checking back his official website! and hey, who knows? maybe we’ll see you at his shows!
    Can someone who’s involved in this ridiculous e-mail please tell me why these are written bold? Also, it’s mentioned on this e-mail that he is moving into the counry genre….seriously, why did you even write that on this e-mail? People don’t care what the artist is labeled as – and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a country artist or pop artist – fans are fans and that remains unchanged. This has nothing to do with anything.

  28. I checked out Josh Kelley.
    Sort of predictable, bland, unoriginal, unchallenging, cookie cutter, L.A., Allan Thickissh, directionless….. Perfect for Nashville – country?? I think he should keep in close touch with his former street team………

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