July 9, 2014

Hurricane Productions: New Media Gurus

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How long have Vincent Velasquez and his Hurricane Productions partner Strato Doumanis been marketing their DJ services?

They’re original Facebookers—which in the parlance of social media is a very, very long time ago.

They’ve been focusing their marketing efforts on the web since they started their company in 2003, back when JerseyShore was a destination, not a breakout MTV hit, and when a tweet was a sound that emanated from a birdhouse. Yet the arc of their business’ story began with old media.

“I’ve always been a reader of the newspaper, and I was reading the paper one day in 2003 and there was a blurb that said if you have a unique story about a business that you started, write into the paper,” says Velasquez, who had started Hurricane Productions with Doumanis while still in high school. It was then an ad-hoc service working for tips.

“So I wrote a 200-word e-mail,” he recalls, “and the paper came out and took our picture and told our story. From that point, [the business] picked up, and we started taking some of the tip money we were making at high school dances and Sweet 16s to buy real, professional equipment.”

Once they recognized that they needed to be accessible to people outside their high school circle, the path to developing a website was inevitable.

“We didn’t have too much of a resume, no brochures or pamphlets, and people were asking us if we could send something to them in the mail, and I hate the mail,” says Velasquez. “So Strato, who was always the computer guy, said we need a website, and he built it on his own, and I took care of the sales and Internet marketing.”

And a business model based exclusively on new media was born.

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