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How my music internship turned into a career

Jenny Entwistle is head of press at Chuff Media, whose acts include Katy Pery, HAIM, Grace Carter and Lady Gaga.

I’ve always loved and have grown up with music, so to work in the industry was, for as long as I can remember, all I’ve wanted to do.

Prior to university I was a concert photographer and photographed gigs for an online music website and the local newspaper.

I helped launch a (now defunct) rock music festival in Hampshire called Butserfest and helped run street teams for a few major label artists. I tried as many methods as I could think of to get involved in the music industry.

Landing a music internship

Having had a taste of the industry at a young age, I decided to study music and entertainment industry at the University of Hertfordshire. This was incredibly beneficial in understanding the basics of how the industry worked. But it also gave me a base and flexibility to be able to intern in London.

Read more: Becoming a DJ: How my passion for music led me to my dream job

I interned at Chuff Media during my third year of university and was offered a junior position on graduation.

Rising through the ranks

During my time at the company, I have risen through the ranks to become head of press.

My job involves securing press for artists, be it for a current tour, single, or album release. On a day-to-day basis, I’ll be liaising with journalists discussing potential coverage and feature ideas, arranging interviews with our artists to promote their activity, and sorting press access to shows.

We’ll spend many an evening at gigs, seeing a variety of artists ranging from the new signing at a label in a tiny venue, to the biggest names at arenas.

Promoting artists

Regional and touring press, which on the whole is publications based and distributed outside of London, is vital in developing and maintaining a long and successful career for an artist.

It’s important when launching an artist to reach both the die-hard music consumers and build awareness among casual music consumers. This is, in part, how you create household names.

Regional press is location targeted, so we really come into our own when an act is touring. We’re the direct connection between the artist and the press in the towns that they visit.

Getting coverage

When an artist is playing a show in a regional city, we’ll create a strategy and plan to make sure that the local newspapers, magazines, students and online sites are all aware of the show.

We’ll aim for upfront coverage with previews, and provide review tickets for the show, creating a buzz leading up to the concert and coverage post-show.

There is a direct connection between having regional coverage for an artist and ticket sales, so we also work for concert promoters for individual tours and liaise with their marketing teams.

My advice

It’s always a pleasure when you work with an artist from day one and play a small part in the rise of their career. Knowing that you have helped along the way is incredibly rewarding.

In terms of advice for those looking to get into the industry, the most important thing I would say is to intern and to become involved in the industry in whatever way possible.

For example, if you’re at college or university, see if you can get involved with reviewing bands for your student newspaper. Speak to your local venue and see if you’re able to lend a hand at shows. Support the scene and be enthusiastic.

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.


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