Public Relations in the Music Industry

Everybody loves music, but what is it that gets the people of our country to develop a certain image of our favorite pop celebrity or rock star? The public relations team, that’s what. The PR teams of each and every music star or company can make or break their artist through various forms of media. This is seen very clearly through the newest genre of music, electronic music.

Electronic music has boomed since the beginning of the 1990’s with house music and trance capturing the audience. Popular DJ’s such as Deadmau5 and DJ Tiësto brought electronic music from the underground club scene into the mainstream media. In 1999 Ultra Records, one of the largest electronic labels in the music industry, created one of the highest grossing music festivals in the world, Ultra Music Festival. How does the PR team for Ultra hype up not only people in Miami and the surrounding area, but also people across the entire globe and attract hundreds of thousands of people?

There is no doubt that one of the largest reasons people come to the biggest nightlife event of the year, is because of the incredible reputations of these DJs. The easiest way to hype a crowd up is to give them some of the biggest names in the electronic genre. Ultra, from the moment they sign any artist, begins creating an image for that artist up, so that one day he can hit the same level as the DJ “juggernauts” that you hear all over the radio and in clubs across the country. Ultra Records publicizes these artists and gets them as much “play time” as possible whether it is through music websites with new releases, the radio, or in smaller venues and clubs.

Radio plays a very large role in the Publicizing someone in the music industry. Ultra Music Fest advertises on satellite radio (XM 80 and 81) which creates a good image of not only the artists but the festival as well.  Not only does Ultra Music Festival have its own radio show (Friday at 6:00 p.m. XM 80), but a majority of the artists playing on these stations are all signed to Ultra Records (including big names such as Tiësto, Paul Oakenfold, Sweedish House Mafia, etc.)

There are many other ways that Ultra Records attracts people, whether it is through the mass amount of flyers handed out in Miami or the power of word of mouth, the festival’s Public Relations team has handled the large task of promoting a festival very well. I feel like the PR team for one of the top grossing music festivals in the United States (this being the first sold out 3-day single genre music festival ever in history) could not have done a better job in attracting fans to Miami and if they keep it up, the Ultra Music Festival will be around for many years to come.



James Sarris, Sophmore, Public Relations

Internship Spotlight: Jazz at Lincoln Center

Name of Company/Organization: Jazz at Lincoln Center

Office Location: 60th Street, between Broadway and Columbus

Was it  in-house or agency? In-House

Type of PR: Entertainment/ Non-Profit/ Corporate

Size of PR Department: Small, 4 people

Semester and year you interned:  Summer 2007

How did you find out about this internship? Professor Berman

How many days a week did you work?  Are they flexible? I worked three days a week. They are very flexible!

Was it a paid internship? They give you $50 for 20+ hours.

What  were some of the things you were responsible for? I worked during the summer, which was the planning time for the upcoming season of events (which is Oct. – May), so I did a lot of organizing information, research and brainstorming ideas. I also did a lot of press clippings and got to write some press releases.

What did you learn from this internship? I knew I wanted to do entertainment, and this internship showed me a different way I could go about it, since it’s a venue that produces shows but also offered other aspects. I also learned how to really think like a PR person.

What did you like about this internship? I loved everything! I got to do PR for specific shows, as well as the organization itself. I also was the publicist’s assistant for Wynton, Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  Everyone is really nice. You can wear whatever you want and it’s located in a fantastic part of the city.

What, if anything, did you dislike about the internship? Since it was summertime and the season wasn’t in effect, I didn’t get as much hands on experience as I wished.

Would you recommend this internship to other PR students? Yes!

Additional Comments/Advice: There is so much to do here and everyone is very willing to help you out and teach you anything! Great, comfortable atmosphere!


PRestige All-Star: Mike Margolis

Mike Margolis

What makes Mike stand out from the crowd? Why is he not like just any other PR major? Read about his musical twist below!

Where are you from?

I hail from Allentown, Pennsylvania.


Public Relations with a Dual-Minor in Marketing and Music.

What made you interested in your major?

I just love working with all types of people: media, clients, and the public alike.  I also love the fast-paced work environment and the constant demand expected from me.

What are you involved in on/off campus?

Currently, I work for Campus Socialite Media, a marketing firm that’s on the up and up.  I’m working on a few projects right now, the main one being the Fall 2010 Blitz and Beatz tour.  I’ve been helping to organize, produce, sell, and do PR for concerts and events around the country.  It has allowed me to work with Fortune-500 companies,  large musical acts, and act as the spokesperson for Campus Socialite during some interviews. I highly recommend doing at least two internships in college: one bigger name and one smaller name.  With this latest internship, I’ve gained so much experience different than what I learned at Motown because they rely on me so much. What I’ve discovered and learned has been irreplaceable and I’ve been really lucky to be a part of the company. I highly, highly recommend working for a smaller company if you get the chance.

Can you tell us about your Motown internship this past summer?

I had a fantastic experience this summer at Motown, and I really owe a lot of it to Professor Frisina.  I helped work events, did some tour press, lots of press clippings, and put together hundreds of press kits.  What was cool was as a college student I got to meet stars such as Kelly Rowland (from Destiny’s Child), Birdman, Nelly, and Shontelle.  The longer I was there, the more  trust they had in me, and the more fun stuff I got to have because of it.  No matter what internship you do, there will always be press clippings and copies, but if you go at it with a positive attitude and do it right, you will be given more fun and exciting opportunities.

Where do you see yourself after Hofstra?

In a gutter?  No really, as a senior graduating in May, it’s a pretty humbling process even thinking about where you’re going to be next year.  I really, really love the music world and I see myself working in the industry next year.  The problem is it’s extremely tough to break into, but that won’t stop me from trying.  Right now, I’m looking into concert promotion and music management, which is what I would love to be doing, but we’ll see where this year takes me.

What advice do you have for anyone else who wants to be an all-star?

Work hard in your PR classes, take everything you learn seriously, talk to you advisers, and work hard at your internship(s).  Most of this world is about networking, and it’s a process that starts in class.  If you work hard in class, your professors notice, they then help you with internships, where you make crucial connections that hopefully lead to jobs.  Most of all, find what you love and run with it.  Like I said, I could be sitting in a ditch next year, but I know I won’t regret a thing because I’m pursuing a career in something that I love to do and am happy doing.

Do you have a Twitter page or blog? If so, what are their URLs?

I do have both.  I just got a Twitter a few weeks ago, and my name is @Margolisnation.  I’m a passionate Philadelphia sports fan and, if you couldn’t tell, love the music world. Both of which are reflected through my twitter.  Also, the marketing company I work for runs a pretty major college blog with 30,000+ hits a day,  Anyone who has questions or comments can feel free to email me at  Hope this is helpful to all of you younger PR students!