Carving out a career in something you love can be hard so it was encouraging to hear from two PR guest lecturers in this week’s CIEMAS class who have done just that.
Nikki McNeil and Clare Dover run Global Publicity, a leading independent PR agency for music, festivals and events based London. Both self confessed music junkies, Nikki and Clare have been working together for around five years and handle PR for electronic music acts and some of the world’s best known international music festivals including Berlinfest in Germany, Snowbombing in Austria and Exit in Serbia.
As most of our CIEMAS class will agree, it was hard enough to get our heads around just one UK music festival, but Nikki and Clare are experts in global music industries, which is no mean feat. Their roles involve everything you’d expect in the PR mix – planning, strategy, writing, meeting deadlines –plus artist liaison, hanging out with clients, travelling and watching gigs. So far so glamorous, but they hastened to point out that the long hours, pressure to keep on top of their game and deal with crises at a moment’s notice are the tough parts of the job that are often overlooked.
How did they start out? Nikki originally had her sights set on a career in radio but she got a taste for the music industry after cutting her teeth on the Manchester and Liverpool club scenes. After graduating, Nikki took a job as a record company receptionist and worked her way up the ladder before setting up Global PR in 2007. Likewise, Clare interned for three months at various record companies after graduating before landing a full time role at a record company.
Their advice? Intern, intern, intern: It’s a great way to get experience and work out what you love doing, but beware of anyone who asks you to work for free for more than three months.
Best bits? Travelling all over the world. Meeting people. Doing something you love.
Worst bits? The music industry is very male dominated so females do have to work harder, shout louder and perform better than their male counterparts. Thankfully, things are improving, though.