I am a publicist in the music industry with seven years of experience. As a publicist, it is my job to oversee media relations for the recording label I work for. This includes working for the artists on the label, as well. In general, this involves writing press releases, calling newspapers or magazines, and helping to generate buzz about new album releases or concert dates.
On a scale of one to ten, I would have to rate my job satisfaction as a 7 or 8. The job is fast paced, interesting, and involves working with celebrities and music. The only downside is that sometimes the hours are on the high side or you have to work during odd times, like at a concert at night. Overall, however, the job is very satisfying.
I have always been interested in media and writing, so this job ultimately makes sense for me. I studied journalism in college and wrote for local radio stations and the campus newspaper. I specialized in music-related topics as I have always been quite the audiophile. From there, I met new bands, producers, and labels in need of publicists to generate buzz for shows and new albums. After working on a freelance basis for several months, I took on a full-time position at a medium-sized label. I now work on the behalf of any artists at the label, taking on different assignments depending on when different albums are being released or tour dates are being announced.
When I studied journalism, I learned much about writing and presenting the facts of a story tailored to various audiences. What school didn't prepare me for, however, was the social aspect of dealing with artists and newspapers and other groups. You have to learn some social and business sense in order to deal with the various components of being a publicist. School did not particularly prepare me for that, but a little common sense and a good mentor can take care of that.
Due to the nature of my job, I sometimes find myself in odd predicaments and scenarios. The artists that we work with at the label can range from studious, hardworking musicians to severe party-goers. Some of the most bizarre work I have done involved explaining a client's presence at particular night clubs and certain events that could reflect badly upon the band and the label. It worked out surprisingly well, if I may say so myself!
Fortunately, the odd events are very rare. I get up and go to work every day for the dynamic aspect of my job. I love seeing a new band or artist come in and become successful after several months of hard work. That first major show or record release is fulfilling for everyone that contributed to the success of the act.
Despite these wonderful moments, there are always stressful ones. As tour dates approach there is always a mad rush to have advertising and publishing in place. Each new city requires another round of advertisement, so every other day or so I find myself getting rushed to make sure these happen in a timely manner. It is particularly nice when bands are touring at the same time so that I get time off from that cycle. Even then, it is nothing I cannot manage. I am usually able to maintain a good balance between work and my personal life, with my employers understanding about personal days and time off.
In fact, my employers in general seem rewarding of strong work performance. The salary range for someone in my type of position can range between $50,000 and $80,000 depending on various factors. This is a very rewarding salary considering the other unique benefits I enjoy, like free concerts and the chance to meet celebrities. I also receive five weeks of paid vacation in addition to health insurance and other standard benefits.
Getting a job in this field can be somewhat challenging. Who you know is absolutely crucial, so during college you should pursue contacts and network as much as possible. Studying something like Journalism, Public Relations, or English will prepare you with the writing and communication skills you need for a position like this. Internships are also valuable to get contacts and experience in this field. While personally satisfied with my position right now, I would love to have moved up in the record label in five years or so. Working as an assistant producer or manager would be my dream job. Fortunately, I am incredibly happy with my current job and look forward to new challenges!
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