Alongside the SMILEfest 2014 ‘Magazine in a Day’ challenge, students on the BA (Hons) Music Promotion course were given a master class in Online PR by Leslie Gilotti, Digital Marketing Manager at Groovarium. Having worked with a number of high-profile artists and labels including Paloma Faith, Maximo Park, Mercury Prize and Warner, Leslie was on hand to offer her wealth of experience to the eager group of Music Promotion students. Here are some of her top tips for getting into Online Pr and the good practices once you have secured the job:
Getting into Online PR…
1. Show an interest in your local music scene by starting your own blog, website, or club night. Try to contact people who are a part of this scene and collaborate with them. Taking on projects like this shows your potential future employers that you are keen and already have some knowledge in online PR.
2. Do take on work experience and internships but don’t get stuck in the endless cycle of working as an intern for free! There needs to come a point where you know your own worth and start looking for the salary you deserve. Although unpaid internships are controversial at the moment, they are invaluable for providing you with much-needed experience and skills. The good news is that, with a government crackdown on unpaid work, more and more companies are starting to offer paid internships.
3. Start to source your own clients. Linking back to the idea of collaborating with people from the local scene, sourcing your own client’s gives you extra bargaining power at an interview! The company may take an interest in your client, helping you to secure your dream job.
And once you have the job…
4. Try to work with the bands and artists you enjoy. It is your job to sell and promote this band or artist and it is much more convincing if you believe the things you are saying yourself!
5. Do your research! You need to know the artist better than they know themselves. Research the artist’s audience and make an educated decision as to which websites and publications to target. For example, there is no point in pitching a metal band to a website that exclusively covers pop.
6. Get to know people. Try to get to know as many people in the industry as possible. Make sure to attend lots of gigs, work nights out and networking events. Make an effort to get to know journalists and take an in interest in what they are up to. If people know you on a personal level, they are more likely to listen to your pitch and give your artist much-needed exposure.
7. When pitching to a journalist or website, make sure you get to the point quickly. You are approaching busy people so they only need to know the important information. Don’t waffle!
8. Bands need to be ready for PR. Many bands will approach you before they have started to establish themselves in any way. They should at the very least have a bit of a ‘buzz’ around them and should already be updating their social media on a regular basis.
9. Learn how to manage your clients. Band members may have different ideas to you, in terms of who they should be pitched to. You need to learn to be diplomatic and to reason with them in manner that tells them your way is best! It is also important to manage their expectation. Sometimes they may have an unrealistic idea of how big they will be within a short time. Set smaller, more manageable goals and stages so that your clients don’t get disappointed.
10. Be creative!