Work Stories: Eleanor, Warner Music

The best advice I can give is that you have to get out there and do something, because it’s not going to happen if you wait for it.

This Is It! speaks to Eleanor about what it’s like being a Radio Promotions Apprentice at Warner Music. This opportunity was found through DiVA as part of the Creative Employment Programme.
What were you doing before you started working here?

I came here straight from college. I had just completed all my a-levels and was looking for something within the radio sector of the music industry. This was because I had been doing voluntary radio at college, which was incredible. I was a Broadcast Assistant at a community station for a year and then became presenter every Saturday. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done, I was really happy there.

I applied for this role through an organisation called DiVA, who are Diversity in Visual Arts. They help young people find apprenticeships. I saw on their website that Warner was looking for an apprentice, so I applied through them.

It was nice that the team trusted me to build up that press release and get it sent out to radio.

Can you tell us a little bit about your role here at Warner Music?

I am a Radio Promotions Apprentice, so I assist the radio team who do regional and national radio. We get all the playlists from the big stations, like Radio One and Radio 2 as well as Global and Bauer stations, such as a Capital and Absolute Radio. It’s my role to then analyse them and monitor how well Warner’s artists are doing. That’s my main role – I also analyse Shazzam and ITunes, again to see how well our artist are doing.

The radio promotions team is quite small; there are four of us and our manager. So it’s only a very little team, but it’s really nice. We have one member of our team that works specifically for national radio and another member that works specifically for regional radio. It’s really interesting to see where their similarities and differences are and how they cater and promote differently. So the marketing’s kind of different depending on whether it’s regional or national.

I’m so passionate about music and coming here everybody else shares that same love.

What would you say your favourite aspect is about the role?

Making the press packs are quite fun! You have to write down who the artists are, the album name and a bit of information about them, then stick it on a CD and send it out to radios. For Duran Duran’s new album, I was kind of given the reins to make a little press release for them. So I would write down anything interesting about the album to promote it, like that Mark Ronson has produced it. It was nice that the team trusted me to build up that press release and get it sent out to radio.

 I think maybe the genre of music is changing a little bit, and people are listening to different things, which is interesting.

What would you say the best thing is about working for Warner Music?

I think because radio is my first love, I had such a good time doing community radio. I’m so passionate about music and coming here everybody else shares that same love. Everybody here is so lovely and it’s just a joy to work with people managing bands that I love. Some of the bands on our roster are bands I’ve been listening to for years, which is really cool. Being able to work alongside these playlists we get sent in is so interesting and exactly what I want to be doing.

Another big perk to the job is that you get to go to gigs. This morning I was out of the office with the radio team at Maida Vale because Muse were in the Live Lounge. So I basically got to sit and watch Muse this morning, it was amazing.

If you want to get in to the music industry, whether it’s with radio or even being in a band, you have to do something before off your own back

What would you say your view is on the future of music within radio?

A lot of the big bands that are starting to really get attention now and the smaller bands becoming well known, are all quite rocky and quite guitar based. I think there’s a band out there that has seriously lifted that, which is why so many of these rock bands are getting a lot more attention. So I think maybe the genre of music is changing a little bit, and people are listening to different things, which is interesting.

You’ve got to be business savvy and extremely passionate about your artists.

What advice would you give somebody who might be looking to work in radio promotions? 

The best advice I can give is that you have to get out there and do something, because it’s not going to happen if you wait for it. I did a really stupid thing at college and didn’t take media studies because I was told it wouldn’t get me where I wanted to go. When I started college I realised that I wasn’t doing anything with radio, and radio was what I wanted to do. So I thought ‘what can I do about that?’ and the answer was to join a community radio station. If I hadn’t of joined that station I wouldn’t be sat here because that experience is a big part of why Warner wanted me. So if you want to get in to the music industry, whether it’s with radio or even being in a band, you have to do something before off your own back.

 

Can you name four skills that every radio promoter should possess? 

You’ve got to be business savvy and extremely passionate about your artists. You need to be out going, you can’t sit there being quiet and shy or else you’re not going to sell your artist. I think you’ve also got to have a bit of radio background yourself. This helps you understand how a radio station works, how the kind of people that work there tick and what they’re looking for. You will then know exactly how you need to promote your bands and artists.

Eleanor’s apprenticeship is part of the Creative Employment Programme, an Arts Council scheme that provides paid placements for 16-24’s just starting out in the creative industries.

Work Stories: Holly, CODA

This Is It! speaks to Holly about working as an Apprentice for CODA Music Agency as part of the Creative Employment Programme.

Having not worked in the music industry before I wasn’t really sure what’s what, but now I’m here I think it’s amazing.

What were you doing before you started working at Coda?

I was working full time in an administration role. I had just finished my a-levels and didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I thought I should get some admin skills. It wasn’t the industry I wanted to be in, so after looking around a bit, I applied for this role.

 

What was it that interested you most about applying for this position?

It was mainly the company, I had looked around at other roles but as soon as I came across CODA I thought I want this job. I was looking at roles in the Music and TV industry and this one leapt out. They are such a highly regarded company, seeing the roster of acts they look after was really unbelievable. Music is such a keen interest of mine, I wanted to pursue it more and learn more about it.

That’s one of the great things about being an apprentice, as you start from the very beginning in this new industry, with everyone more than happy to help you.

 

Could you tell me a bit about your role here?

I’m the assistant to one of their agents, Kane; he’s a junior agent as he has only had his own acts for about 18 months. I came on as his first ever assistant, which gives him the opportunity to go out and focus on booking and potentially sign more acts!

It’s mainly administration duties at the moment, but now I’m starting to learn more about the bookings. Kane’s been teaching me a bit more about getting availabilities, discussing fees and what shows are right for what acts. Now I’ve got the basics behind it, I’m learning more about it and it’s really interesting. When I was doing the admin side I would see a show in the diary, but now I’m starting to understand why it is there and the reasoning behind it.

That’s one of the great things about being an apprentice, as you start from the very beginning in this new industry, with everyone more than happy to help you.

Last week I went to a show for one of our acts, which was their first live performance. After planning it all before,  it was really great to see them actually perform.

 

What skills have you learnt so far?

Organisation is one of the key things I’ve learnt. Having a task system and managing emails, making sure I reply to everything and chase people for things when I need it. I wasn’t bad at it before but now I’m so much better, you need those skills to be able to be good at this job.

 

What’s been your favourite moment since you’ve started working here?

Last week I went to a show for one of our acts, which was their first live performance. Most of our acts are DJs and now one of them is pursuing the live sector so the set is more technical and settlements are used to finalise fees.

After planning it all before, from making sure the presales and ticket links went out to sending the itinerary, it was really great to see them actually perform.

CODA is such an amazing company. I think having your foot in here can help you a lot as I’ve made a lot of contacts.

 

Have you faced any challenges during your time here?

I think one of the main challenges is if you have a day off it can be quite hard to catch up when you come back. Especially now it’s festival season, there is so much to do. I’ve got a lot of acts playing at the moment, a lot at the same festival, so you need to plan it all out and make sure you know what’s happening. It can get very busy so you just have to focus on the situation.

Where I last worked I was answering the phone and dealing with customers a lot, so I think that also helped me get the job as I could bring that to the role.

 

Has working here helped influence your future career?

Yeah definitely, CODA is such an amazing company. I think having your foot in here can help you a lot as I’ve made a lot of contacts. Having not worked in the music industry before I wasn’t really sure what’s what, but now I’m here I think it’s amazing. Having learned about the live side of it and the recording and publishing, it’s just so massive. Along with the bookings it’s nice to learn more about it and there is so much more to it than I could ever have imagined.

 

Could you give any advice to someone who could be starting a similar role or starting a placement?

I would say when you come across a job make sure you research the company. When I found this role I was researching on the website and noticed some of the acts have two agents. I made a note of this and asked about it when at my interview. I think they were pleased I had researched the company and had looked on their website. Also make a note of all the skills you have already, so any administration skills you might have. Where I last worked I was answering the phone and dealing with customers a lot, so I think that also helped me get the job as I could bring that to the role.

You can find out more about CODA here and more about the Creative Employment Programme here.

Why the Creative Industry is Important

Dominic tells This Is It! why he thinks the Creative Industry is so important and predicts what it’s future might be. If you want to write a piece for This Is It contact Izzy to get involved.

 

According to an article published this year, the Creative Industries are now worth ‘£8.8 million an hour’ to the UK economy. That’s a total of £76.9 billion a year. So the creative industries are hugely valuable right?

For me the largest impact the creative industries make on society is the ability to change the way we interact with one another.

The economic impact film, music, art and design have on society is obvious. However the numbers don’t tell the entire story, largely because, as most creative types will tell you ‘it’s not about the money!’

Films like Pulp Fiction and Fight Club first exposed me to dark humour and cinematic violence. While I was definitely too young to watch these films, they inspired me to want to watch more and more.

For me the largest impact the creative industries make on society is the ability to change the way we interact with one another. We can now contact anyone, anywhere, at anytime and all you need is a smartphone. A tool designed by a ‘creative’ that people will now spend hundreds of pounds to own. Apple and Steve Jobs managed to create an entire lifestyle around beautifully designed products, cinematic commercials and stores with patented staircases.

Personally it has been film that has had the largest impact on me. Films like Pulp Fiction and Fight Club first exposed me to dark humour and cinematic violence. While I was definitely too young to watch these films, they inspired me to want to watch more and more. The impact these works had on me is something I still feel today.

While this all sounds warm and fuzzy you can’t ignore the fact I’m still talking about an industry. An industry that for me, is about to face some interesting times.

Will the next batch of graduates look to pastures new? I hope so. I believe the Internet (as usual) is the answer.

Traditionally creative folk gravitate toward cities like London and New York due to the established arts scene and job prospects. However the cost of living in London has made it harder for young talent to establish itself.

Will the next batch of graduates look to pastures new? I hope so. I believe the Internet (as usual) is the answer. It’s a platform for creation, promotion and networking allowing you to base yourself nearly anywhere while still reaching a global audience. Soon we’ll be seeing new creative hubs springing up outside of London, New York and Paris with young people seeking a lower cost of living.


To read more of Dominic’s work have a look at his This Is Us page HERE.