College Marketing Representative
Instead of waiting until you’ve walked the stage at graduation to start your career in the music business, why not get a head start on the competition? Resourceful and motivated college students are needed by record labels and publicity firms to be eyes and ears on the street—the inside person on campus.
College marketing representatives support the development of a record label’s emerging artists and assist in promoting established musicians to their campus community. There will be plastering of flyers and bumper stickers, but this is not just a fancy title for street team lackey. Students are carefully selected to engage their peers as the local representative of the brand. Responsibilities can vary from one company to the next, but the student may be tasked with organizing listening events, conceiving of cross-promotional opportunities with campus clubs or local businesses, and setting up merchandise booths in the student union or at school events. The reps receive direction from a marketing manager and are supplied with merchandise from the label. Companies rely on their student staff to identify local lifestyle account locations like coffee shops and clothing stores, as well as to make personal connections with campus and business leaders. Additional responsibilities may also include selling tickets for upcoming concerts, connecting with campus media outlets, and operating point-of-purchase booths at stores or clubs. Of course, blasting your Facebook friends and Twitter followers with invites and announcements is a necessary duty. The college marketing representative will be required to check in regularly with the manager to report progress.
Skills & Education
You must be a student enrolled at a college or university in the metro area required by the record label. A specific degree track is not required, but areas of study in music, marketing, advertising, entertainment business, or public relations are preferred if you plan to continue in the music business after graduation. Labels look for students who are heavily involved in campus activities, are plugged in to the local music scene, and who are the trendsetters and taste-makers of their community. You must be a social chameleon who is not afraid to strike up a conversation with a group of strangers at a bar. A college marketing representative should be passionate about music, well-organized, and a social media maven.
What to Expect
Positions are limited in quantity and based on geography. However, if you land the gig you will have the opportunity to work closely with record label managers and get your foot in the door toward a future career in the music business. College reps are expected to be outgoing and tenacious; you should employ an entrepreneurial attitude in conceiving of creative ways to spread awareness of the band. The job will require you to attend a significant amount of social events, so consider your academic schedule carefully. Can you still balance your coursework while making appearances at campus club meetings, late-night concerts, and afternoon in-store performances? This is not a full-time salaried job: Positions vary from unpaid internships to hourly roles; it depends on the company and type of work expected. Exceptional college marketing representatives may be offered regular employment with the record label or promotion firm upon graduation, or can use their experience to seek out work with other labels or PR companies.
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