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.