By Astrid Ortega
The special thing about public relations is that just about every industry needs PR to help brands build a relationship with their publics. Almost every company or business has a PR department/team or a marketing and communication department/team. And that includes the music industry. Think about it, artists need to build that same relationship with their publics just as other businesses do. Public relations expands into so many careers and fields and music is just one of them. PR students and graduates who are passionate about music probably haven’t heard much about music PR or how to jump into that particular area of PR. In this post, you’ll find out why PR in the music industry is important and how to immerse yourself into the music PR world.
What is Music PR, and Why Does It Matter?
Music PR is the strategic communication and promotion of a new release, tour, or other newsworthy music-related event to the public via the media. This can vary from doing PR for an artist/band, record label, recording studio, music venue, and even streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Strategic public relations in music involves grabbing the public’s attention by doing album reviews, profiles of the artists/band, reviews of live shows and more.
Music PR is an important option to note for a future career. It’s not just being a publicist for a famous artist/band.
How to Get into Music PR
1. Know your music
Now, I’m not saying you have to know every single artist or band out there, but you should know some. Every area will be different, if you’re doing PR for a specific artist/band then obviously you should listen to their music. If you’re working for a music-based magazine or a record label, you should probably know a lot about different genres and artists/bands.
This part can be a vital factor in the hiring process. Music is part of your personality; it shows who you are and tells so much about you without saying a word. There is also no shame in the genre of music you DO like.
In the music industry, people appreciate all kinds of music especially because a lot of artists/bands are starting to mesh together different genres for a new sound. It’s about appreciation, doing it in little ways will help you find what you like. Check out the obscure playlists on Spotify, new artists playlists on Apple Music or even checkout Bandcamp where you can find the tiniest of tiniest artists/bands all the way to the big ones. (Also, on Band Camp you can find smaller and newer record labels that can potentially be looking for some help.)
2. Have a social media presence
Yes, just like every other area in PR, social media is important. You want employers to know that you are active and that you alone can promote things on your social media. To make it more music-based, you should follow artists/bands you like and be active on their posts. Posting songs on your story promotes the artists/bands and it’s a simple way to get noticed.
Once you become active on social media, you’ll probably see smaller artists/bands following you, which is good because they can personally ask you to promote their work on your social media and you can find new artists/bands to love. Then, when you’re interviewing for a position or working somewhere music-based, you can suggest or mention these small artists/bands to show your music knowledge or even bring opportunities to those small artists/bands. You’ll basically be a “music influencer.”
3. Intern/work somewhere music based.
Valuable experience comes from everywhere. Even if you are just an assistant at a record label or local radio station, working at a record store or music venue or just simply being part of something creative, you’ll be gaining valuable experience. Check out local radio stations to see if they have any volunteer or internship opportunities. A big tip is if you’re into writing and want to work more closely with artists, find a local magazine to write for. There are a lot of magazines or zines that take in writers to expose them to their desired career. Even CSULB’s 22 West Media can give you the opportunity to get that experience by contributing to their magazine’s music section or working at 22 West Radio.
I started as a social media intern for a local magazine called Luna Collective. Then I was able to write for them and now I’m on their team writing weekly song reviews and features on artists/bands. A small magazine gave me the opportunity to dip into the music industry and now I have experience that makes my resume stand out.
You might have thought that music didn’t have any career opportunities for you beyond being a publicist, but there are many options. And the current rise in technology is bringing in even more opportunities to find new ways to promote all aspects of music. These are lots of roles open to you where you can be included in something that you love. Immerse yourself into music and find what you like. Share what you like on your social media and follow your favorite artists. Find ways to express your love for music whether it be by writing articles or interning/working somewhere that is pushing you into the music industry.
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