The second annual Word Up! conference saw experts from the music journalism and public relations (PR) industries visit Southampton Solent University to offer their insights into working within the contemporary music industries.

The event was organised and managed by the Popular Music media team, with the assistance of students on the courses. Fiona Sturges, Associate Lecturer for BA Hons Popular Music Journalism and BA Hons Music Promotion, said:

“This year’s speakers are some of the best-known and most skilled music journalists working right now. If anyone can advise our would-be writers and editors on how to get their careers off the ground, they can.”

Guest speakers at the event included Sarah Hall, Senior Publicist at Sony Music; Alexis Petridis, the Head Music critic at The Guardian; Michael Cragg, Features Editor at Popjustice; Mike Diver, Online Editor at Clash; Lauren Down, Deputy Editor at Line of Best Fit; and Dom Lawson, Editor-at-Large at Metal Hammer.

Metal Hammer’s Dom Lawson invited students to pitch to the magazine and said of the event:

“To speak to people that are doing what you actually want to do is essential if you’re going to get a fully rounded view of what being a music journalist actually means. There’s going to be a lot of things you won’t have time to cover in the course, so to speak to people in the midst of it on a daily basis is really good for you.”

Word Up! is the first conference event of the year for the Popular Music media team and Solent Music. The next will be the Live & Kicking conference in January, which examines the live music industries, followed by our annual SMILEfest event in March.