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Alternate Career Titles:
Regional Staff Promotion Person, Record Promoter, Promotional Representative
Career Overview: Represents and works to attain airplay for record labels and artists at radio stations.
Career Salary Range: $27,000 to $65,000+
Become a Promotion Staffer
Promotion Staffers have one main responsibility: to get airplay for the label’s albums and/or music videos. In an attempt to accomplish this, the Promotion Staffer visits and calls radio station Program and Music Directors.
The Promotion Staffer might be assigned a certain genre of music like pop, rap, gospel, or R & B. They are also assigned territories. It is essentially up to the Promotion department to decide on where they want their music to first be heard. Thus, the Promotion Staffer generally works in a number of different markets. In terms of who Promotion Staffers work with, they usually work closely with Program and Music Directors and Radio DJs in their markets.
To get airplay for their artists, the Promotion Staffer sets up appointments with the previously mentioned people to discuss the label’s newest music. After sitting down and listening to the music with the directors, the Staffer leaves copies of the albums with the radio station staff to listen to at their leisure.
Staffers visit as many stations as possible in each of their markets. It is also beneficial for Staffers to engage in a lot of socializing, building networks, and taking TV and radio personnel out for meals or drinks. Another useful tactic is for the Staffer to bring personnel to a club to listen to songs live, and to then gauge the audience response.
There is also a bit of research that goes along with being a successful Staffer. He or she may check in with Staffers in different markets in order to gauge how a specific track is doing. The Staffer might also be obliged to visit record stores to get an idea of album sales in a particular geographic area.
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Promotion Staffer salaries vary depending on the size of the record label and the level of experience and responsibilities of the individual. All things considered, salaries range from $27,000 to $65,000 per year.
With so much competition within each record label, employment prospects are fair. Individuals must build up a good reputation within their own company (grab a record label contacts list here) in order to facilitate promotion.
If Staffers are successful in getting their artist’s music on the radio or on TV, they will fare better when compared to others who may not have had such positive experiences. The next step forward from Staffer is to the position of Director of Promotion.
Education and Training
Educational requirements vary and very small independent labels may only require a high school diploma. However, college or music college degrees certainly help your chances of breaking into the industry and are often preferred.
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Experience, Skills, and Personality
Those within the area of promotion will definitely have an interest in music, records, artists, and radio. They may have previously been involved with product sales or a variety of other positions and have a reliable set of sales skills. Additionally, to get songs on air, Staffers must be pleasantly assertive and articulate.
Unions and Associations
Promotion Staffers may belong to the Gospel Music Association
(GMA), the Country Music Association (CMA), or other similar associations depending on the genre of music they promote. They may also belong to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) as associate members.
Suggestions for Getting Started
- Many record companies (record company contacts lists sold here) offer internships, and some might even create an internship if formally asked. This is a great way to gain experience and make connections, regardless of your pay or actual responsibilities.
- Some record companies offer minority training programs, and it is well worth it to see if you qualify or not.
- Be sure to regularly check the classifieds in Billboard magazine, because you might see an opening before anyone else does.