On the Job
Minnesotan Music Moguls in the Making
Heidi Campbell Pflaum ’91
Marketing Director, Innova Records
St. Paul, Minnesota
After Sarah Lawrence, I had a folk-rock band in Nashville. We toured all over the US, played Lilith Fair, that sort of life. It was fun, but we weren’t making money, so I started selling my songs to film and TV. Then I set up a licensing company for independent artists, and it grew to where I was actually representing a couple of labels. So I got an MBA to beef up my business skills. When I moved to Minnesota, I wanted to get involved in the music business up here, and that’s when I got wind of Innova. I started working as their marketing director about four years ago.
I tailor my work to every artist. My main guerilla warfare technique is to find niche opportunities. For example, we have one artist who happens to be a vegetarian. I wrote to Vegetarian Times, and she got a feature in the magazine. We don’t have a lot of money to throw at ads, and a feature sells a lot more than getting written up in Billboard. I try to find offbeat outlets and be innovative with marketing on a small budget.
Chris Campbell ’02
Operations Manager, Innova Records
St. Paul, Minnesota
In school, I was a full-time composer doing ‘new music,’ which is, you just sit in your room for seven hours staring at paper. I got tired of the isolation. When I came to Minnesota, I wanted to be in the marketplace getting this music out to people. I found Innova and I said, “Oh, a lot of my heroes are here. They have Harry Partch. They have Anthony Braxton.” I started interning because they didn’t have any money. Finally, they said, “It looks like we’re going to have to start paying you, because you’re not going away.” I listen to new submissions and I deal with artists. Right now we have about 370 artists on the roster so a lot of my day is spent helping them. Each artist is so unique, and it’s really gratifying helping them actualize their vision. I also handle distribution and work in tandem with Heidi, and am still composing and making video art at every turn.