The most successful record labels might have huge marketing departments and massive budgets, but when it comes to promoting music among the 18–to-25 crowd, a single college student deeply immersed in the local environment and culture can do what ten marketing professionals—working in an office a world away—can't. College marketing representatives are record labels' eyes, ears, and legs on campus. They help create and implement social media marketing campaigns; physical marketing campaigns (e.g., posters, listening events, and merchandising handouts); work with student clubs, radio stations, and local coffee shops and record stores to promote artists; and, of course, publicize on-campus shows.
College marketing representatives are passionate about consuming and sharing music, and are deeply connected to local music scenes and the listeners that drive them.
Working as part-timers or interns, college marketing representatives usually answer to a marketing manager, who assigns projects and tasks such as promoting a touring artist who's making a stop nearby, creating buzz for an album release party, or reaching out to a college radio station to find more airplay for a new single. The value of this specific demographic to record labels—and of a connected and hardworking college representative whose efforts fill rooms and turn ears—cannot be overstated.
At a Glance
For music-oriented college students with an interest in music marketing, concert promotion, radio promotion, or the record industry in general, there are few better ways to jump-start a career. Top college marketing representatives are frequently hired by labels right out of school as marketing reps. Those who aren't hired immediately can leverage their experience to find positions at local labels, radio stations, performance venues, or even concert promotion companies. Whatever direction one takes, college marketing internships are sure to provide a valuable leg up for motivated students.
Record labels strongly prefer candidates who show initiative about working in and around music promotion and marketing. Prior experience working with a major campus venue, a campus radio station, or a similar setting can set some candidates above the rest of the pack. These positions are often posted on record label websites and job posting websites, but aspirants shouldn't be afraid to contact record labels directly and make a case for why they should be given an internship—this demonstrates ambition and resourcefulness.
- Social media management
- Basic graphic design
- Critical thinking
- Active listening
College marketing representatives are passionate about consuming and sharing music, and are deeply connected to local music scenes and the listeners that drive them. This is a job in which connections make all the difference, so the ideal representative will be outgoing, communicative, and fearless, capable of making valuable connections at the bar after shows just as easily as at dedicated networking events. Representatives must also be independent workers who manage their time well, balancing job duties with schoolwork.
Most college marketing representatives live and attend university in a major city, which gives them access to a number of major music venues. While they may attend a monthly meeting at one of the record label's local offices, most assignments are given remotely over email. Marketing internships generally require 10 to 12 hours of work per week, but successful representatives might invest much more time and energy in pursuit of valuable industry connections.