A plethora of scholars suggest that the music industry is becoming increasingly more fluid, the defined lines of each segment becoming rapidly more blurred, overlapping into each other to a point where inflexibility is not an option for the music industry professional, with the willingness to learn, adapt, and change a mandatory quality, with the quality of wearing many hats becoming a necessity rather than a speciality (Burgess, 2010; Brennan and Webster, 2011). As a freelance music journalist, popular music academic, radio presenter, and social media analyst, it is important to acknowledge the wealth of skills I have collated as a desire to progress in an ever-fluctuating industry and to constantly evaluate them against the specific areas of the industry I wish to integrate myself within. To simplify this particular audit, I will be evaluating my skills in relation to working as a press officer for a record label.
Thinking – Having started my own online music journalism website, as well as being a freelance journalist, I view myself has having an already-honed creatively thinking mind-set. However, through undertaking modules such as Enterprise during my Master’s degree, I have developed methods of cultivating creative thinking such as Walt Disney’s Imagineering, in which you think in three stages: The Dreamer, The Realist, and The Critic. The process takes you from the biggest, wildest ideas to their realistic versions to their finalised, fit-for-purpose ready-for-the-world editions (LeBoeuf, 1980). Through processes such as these, it allows me operate in a role as a press officer in a unique way, in that it allows me to express my ideas imaginatively and thoughtfully when creating press releases and campaigns for bands.
Skills – On the flip-side to thinking, in a press officer role, a variety of creative skills are needed and throughout an education that has always featured media, I have become well accomplished in using a variety of editing software, particularly the Adobe franchise, including Audition (Audio), Photoshop (Photo), Premier (Video), InDesign (Magazines/Flyers), and Acrobat. I am also trained to use audio and visual recording equipment, which in a press officer role is an invaluable skill to have, as the technical prowess opens up new avenues of creativity in an ever-moving role.
Networking – Building structural and organisational networks of relationships is important, particularly within a press officer’s role, in improving effectiveness and sourcing innovation (van Aalst, 2003). Therefore, I feel confident in the network I have created and organised so far as a freelance journalist and editor of my website Bloggers Gamut. I feel as if my ability in networking in large groups of people could be improved, as my confidence in selling myself and crafting relationships in a short amount of time is low.
Writing – With press releases and emails at the very core of a press officer’s role, it is important that my writing is to a high standard. Having spent five years as a freelance journalist honing my craft and learning to write for different audiences with different styles, as well as going through A-Levels, a bachelors, and a masters, I feel as if my writing is at an appropriate level and becoming more structured and suitable.
Emails – Similar to writing, conducting emails are perhaps key to this role and I feel my skill in this is high, having held many important conversations across emails regarding various opportunities to progress my career.
Burgess, R. (2010). STRUCTURAL CHANGE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: THE EVOLVING ROLE OF THE MUSICIAN. PhD. University of Glamorgan.
Brennan, M. and Webster, E. (2011) Why Concert Promoters Matter. Scottish Music Review. 2(1).
LeBoeuf, M. (1980). Imagineering: How to profit from your creative powers. New York: McGraw-Hill
van Aalst, H. (2003). Networking In Society, Organisations and Education. In: OECD, ed., Networks of Innovation: Towards New Models for Managing Schools and Systems, 1st ed. Paris: OECD Publications Service, pp.33-40.