When thinking about my life upon completing my undergraduate degree and deciding what path I want to take with my degree, I feel my heart has always been set on working in the music industry. The idea of working with artists and getting involved at a record label sounds like so much fun and that there would always be an exciting project to work on. Currently I don’t have much knowledge about what exactly PR professionals in the music industry do so I thought I’d take the time to learn and write this blog post about it.
Before conducting any research my understanding is that PR professionals in the music industry would heavily be involved in events for artists, promoting the image of the artists and have an involvement in publicity. As well as this, it seems as though they would be heavily involved in ensuring an artist’s image is not damaged if they do something that grabs media attention. For example, in the past couple of years Justin Bieber has received heavy attention in the spotlight for various public fights and comments and I feel PR professionals working for him or his record label would be responsible for ensuring his reputation is not damaged while ensuring his record label’s reputation does not receive the blame or reputation damage.
As we research we learn ‘an artist’s PR team can make or break them’ (Akbarian, 2010). This is clear in the world’s most famous stars; Kanye West, Madonna, Lady Gaga, the list could go on. They all have one thing in common. That being that they are always in the media. More often than not they are shown in a positive light but either way they are dominating the media. The team responsible for this is known as the publicity team. ‘The publicity team at a record label is the tight-knit teams of smart, savvy, creative individuals who help create, and build an image of an artist’ (Akbarian, 2010). While the image the publicity team creates of the artist will not always remain the same, it is clear that as the artist grows and become known throughout the world, their image becomes significantly influential to the fans that follow them.
While in the process of seeking internship opportunities and reading about internships in the music industry, it becomes apparent that ‘most music industry internships do not transition to paid employment’ (Frenette, 2013, p.365). Because of such statements questions constantly run through my mind on how in fact it is possible to land this dream job. Hearing success stories motivates me but also makes it that much more daunting. Debra Geddes suggests 7 ways to land a PR position for a record label. She says you have to ‘work hard to make contacts, LOVE music, be creative, communicate brilliantly, deal with the drama, be prepared to work long hours and lastly DO IT’ (Geddes, n.d.). While currently this seems easier said than done the challenge is still exciting!
- Geddes. (n.d.). How To: Get Into Music PR. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://www.thebigmusicproject.co.uk/get-into-music-pr/
- Frenette, A. (2013). Making the intern economy: Role and career challenges of the music industry intern. Work and Occupations, 40(4), 364-397.
- J. Akbarian. (2010, October 8). PR Is Essential in the Music Industry. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://blog.journalistics.com/2010/pr-essential-music-industry/