Tell us about your job:
I work for a boutique firm called ON THE MAP PR and we are music publicity specialists. We work with music artists and bands and help them get editorial coverage across the media, whether it be interview features/review or news pieces across the newspapers, magazines, streetpress, online websites or on the radio or TV. It's a super fun job getting to work with new music daily and it's pretty satisfying to help indie bands make a name for themselves too. It's also a massive thrill when you get to have fun with some of your fave bands and call it 'work'.
Growing up, what kind of job did you want to have?:
I always wanted to be a sports journalist when I was a kid. I did work experience at channel 10 with legendary sports journalist, Steve Quartermain and grew up going to the footy each week with my Dad and brothers. I also played basketball and tennis for local clubs, so the world of sport seemed like the obvious choice. I ended up studying journalism at RMIT in Melbourne and triple majored in print journalism, PR and radio and after getting more involved in the live music scene during my uni years (checking out live shows regularly and had a full-time muso for a boyfriend/now hubby) it seems my career has definitely led me down the right path.
How did you get started in this field?:
I was incredibly lucky to break in to the music industry, as it's a small and competitive little niche. It just so happened that my work friend from my first full time job (doing PR for the Australian Bridal Service) had a sister who worked for the record label, Sony Music. My friend would always be coming to work and talking about the latest artists to listen to and it just seemed soo cool that this was what some people got to do for work. So when her sister was looking for a new PR assistant, I applied and managed to talk my way in to the job and haven't looked back since. I worked for Sony for almost 7 years and 3 years ago left to take part in a quick tv stint with my sister (working with my other big love, food – we repped VIC on MKR in 2012) and I then started up ON THE MAP PR. It was the best decision I could have ever made and I love getting to hand pick the artists that we truly believe in and those who inspire us. We're also really lucky to be buddies with the major labels still and get to do a bit of work for major recording and touring artists as well as indie acts.
What do you LOVE about your job?:
I love most things about my job and there's not really anything that I can whine about – I get to listen to heaps of new music and work with such creative music artists on a daily basis. I also get to chat with media from around the country each day – it's such a social job, there's never a dull moment and with all my work buddies, there's always a couch to sleep on when I head interstate!! It's also soo satisfying to see our little acts grow and go on to do big things. We've worked with bands that have started out playing to 20 friends and family at little venues in Melbourne to now selling out national & international tours, including some pretty big venues such as The Forum. We feel like proud parents when our bands get recognition in the industry, and feel especially satisfied when they start achieving their own goals.
Who are some of the coolest artists you have worked with?:
As mentioned, before starting ON THE MAP PR, I did a decent stint at Sony Music, so I pretty much worked with and alongside all the big commercial Sony acts – everyone from P!nk to Beyonce to the Foo Fighters and then to some of my fave Aussie acts like Kate Miller-Heidke and Something For Kate. We're also incredibly fortunate to be able to work with some amazing Aussie and international acts now at ON THE MAP – last year we promoted major national tours for Boy & Bear, RÜFÜS, Ella Hooper, The Paper Kites, Ron Pope, Boom Crash Opera and more.
Tell us about some of the skills you picked up while at school, that help you do your job well today:
School was soo important for me, as it really helped build my self-confidence and also my ability to speak in a public realm. Having a fantastic English teacher was also vital to assist in being accepted in to Journalism and of course, I wouldn't have managed to get in to uni straight out of school if I hadn't finished year 12. 12 years on, my best friends are from school and I'm grateful for this and the many awesome experiences and skills picked up from my school days.
Advice for anyone interested in getting into this kind of career:
Public Relations and publicity are great fields for avid communicators and socialites. If you love talking non-stop and used to get in trouble for being a little too lively and talkative at school, this field is probably for you. It involves a lot of socialising and a lot of fun, but also a lot of work both in and out of the office. 10 hour days are often the norm, but it rarely feels like 'work'. And though the music industry is a tough one to crack, if you're passionate about music I urge you to persist from all angles. Apply for jobs, get experience by going to all the interviews you can and ensure you write unique cover letters for each application. Apply for cadetships and internships and set aside a period of time that you're willing to work for free, as the more experience you have in the industry, the more employable you are to companies. And if you love the idea of PR but music isn't for you – remember that most industries require PR as almost all fields need people to communicate their products/clients/story to the media and that is exactly what a publicist is - the go-between that liaises with the media on behalf of a company.