My internship at Atlantic Records is, unfortunately, coming to an end. As I am wrapping up the final projects, I am really thinking about all that I have learned during my internship. I think so far (unless everything changes in the last few weeks) here is what I have learned.
Communication is KEY: Being an intern, it’s important to develop good business practices that I can carry with me through the rest of my career. So I try to communicate everything relevant to internship to my boss and her team. It comes into sending concise messages, that get to the root of what I am asking or saying and really making that happen in a timely fashion. Also in my copy of artist merch descriptions, it’s important to be descriptive but concise as well.
Be TIMELY: The music industry has everything to do with people. There are a lot of moving parts to satisfy a lot of personalities and get deals met. Pumping out results in a timely fashion allows, for a fast turn around time in case the people you are working with want something changed. Also, artists decide to drop and revise their content all the time. So it’s our job to make it work and meet their needs. Sometimes, things need to be reworked 6 and 7 times over, and might even have to be done when you’re in the office, but it’s important to just show a level of commitment to getting things done.
Do Good WORK!: This is probably the most valuable lesson. Produce work that you’re proud of and know you’re boss will appreciate. Find things that you care about with the work and implement a level of care into it. A lot of the artist I worked on, I don’t listen to but that never changed my method of writing basically to their fan. I just had to put myself in the head space that this is something I would love if I was a super fan of this person and go from there.
Here is a funny story that happened to me last week at my internship. A few days ago there was a snowy day in the city but didn’t appear to be anything too unbearable. Around 4, my boss asked me to make a run down the block to pick up a gift bag, tissue paper, and a card to gift to one of our artists. To show the artist their new selection, we gave them some of the new merch that they would hopefully wear and promote. My boss was going to be in a meeting for the last 2 hours of my work day, so I just had to text her with updates.
You would think only walking one avenue would be an easy feat. Normally, the walk would take only 5 minutes, but with the elements of wind, snow rain, and traffic, 5 minutes slowly turned into 20. Just to get to the store. After maneuvering through traffic, I ended up getting to the store and unfortunately, they didn’t have anything that my boss really wanted. I had to just use my best judgment and show her a good resolution. Because she was in a meeting, I had to wait for her response in the store and she ended up liking my suggestion. Getting back to the office was a lot like this:
But nevertheless, the job was done.
In the past few weeks, I have been working on my part of the marketing madness project with my team. I have taken the opportunity to work on designing the merch for our artist and come out with a plan for us to use it. It took a while for me to get with the final iteration, but it ultimately worked out and the rest of my team has worked out. We wanted to create something that was very indicative of the artist personal style. He is a very simple guy in terms of his style so I didn’t want to do anything that he wouldn’t actually wear. I also wanted to include his commonly used logo which is ‘XX’.
We are very very close to wrapping up our project and it’s very exciting to see how it is all coming together. Unfortunately, we haven’t been privy to our presentation date, but we are working well to get everything done.
Here are my final designs that we chose for our artist and will end up presenting.
Now that the holiday season is approaching, the E-Commerce department is coming up with new ways to get cool merch out to fans. A big thing we are working on developing social media strictly for artist merch. We are looking to all of the facets in terms of content, themes and how to develop engagement. This is exciting because this is the first project I’m working on in its infancy. At this point, no ideas are impossible which lets all of our creative juices run wild. Everything is still in the concept and idea stages. hopefully, something concrete will be happening soon. One fun project is we are doing weekly photo shoots for social media with models. We are thinking of sites that would be more interesting than just the regular studio shoot. I’m having fun helping out because portrait photography is a hobby of mine so it’s nice to bring that into work.
Every semester, Atlantic offers a project for all interns called Marketing Madness. This is separate and additional from the work we are already doing but is a chance for us to work with other interns we don’t know on a project for an artist signed to Atlantic or one of its sub-labels.
I wanted to take this on because it’s a chance to work with the interns in other departments. There is great value in networking across the playing field so we can teach and help each other. Not to mention its FUN. I am fortunate to say that my team is very invested in our marketing plan. We chose to create a plan for an indie singer who is very vocal about his political views. Working on a team isn’t always easy in terms of communication and even scheduling, but we always come back to the fact that we chose to take on Marketing Madness and contribute what we can.
A couple of us have met with someone who works with our artist and they said we are on a good track for coming up with a plan they would be interested in!
When we present, I will give an update!
A few weeks back, there was an intern mixer at Atlantic. There was pizza, music, games but most importantly a chance to meet other interns. Atlantic Records is a record label with 4 sub-labels with their own interns and projects going on. It was fun to meet other people and hear about their projects. One of my favorite parts was comparing stories and seeing how everyone ended up with this internship. What I found interesting was that a lot of people knew someone who worked at Atlantic and they helped them out. I didn’t have that connection which makes this intern position even more special to me.
After we got to know each other, we sat in on a panel of managers, designers, and, videographers who started off as interns. They shared stories about the departments they began in and where they ended up. They gave us advice on how to make the most out of this time as an intern. One of the most valuable was to be creative. The music industry isn’t as strict as others, so they advised us to take advantage!
Here’s a picture off of the Warner Music Group (Atlantic’s parent company) intern Instagram page.
As an advertising student, it’s important for me to gain experience in the field. There won’t always be chances to work at a design agency, but that doesn’t mean advertising stops. Working in E-Commerce Marketing has helped me with my copy. It has taught me to really think if I am being as accurate or descriptive as I can be with my words.
Now, I am getting the chance to sit in on meetings in regards to marketing plans for artists that I love and listen to. It’s not always a formal meeting. A lot of times the digital department all comes together and tries to come up with marketing ideas that could work based on what the artist is promoting or changing.
I feel like I’m getting a well-rounded experience of working in the music industry on projects that have a quick turn around. These skills can be a part of my next endeavor as a student and even future copywriter.
Here’s an example of copy that I have done.
Check It Out!
In the very rare case that I don’t have anything to do in E-Commerce, I work with the digital marketing department in whatever they need. Social engagement is very important for musicians to have and maintain a relationship with their fans. The digital marketing department does their best to make that relationship fruitful. Digital Marketing is VERY fast paced. Sometimes artists change their mind about what they want on social media or what event they will be available for. It’s all about trying to contribute something that not only the artist likes but the fans LOVE.
There was one project I was able to join in on for digital marketing that was really fun. A pop singer was holding a private all-day event for her fans. This artist, in particular, wants to create experiences for her fans that show them how special they are. I along with the digital marketing interns, had to develop trivia questions for the fans to answer for a chance to sing karaoke with the artist herself. We had to think of questions that only a super fan would know which was fun. We actually had the opportunity to watch the event live and see how the fans reacted to the questions. Overall, a good experience.
What I’m learning mainly about the music industry is this: nothing is consistent! Yes, there are things I do regularly but there are many things that just pop up due to the artist preference. On paper, my title is this:
In terms of day to day responsibilities, the intern will help us oversee artist webstores including creating store content (product images and descriptions), coordinating product sample photography, sales tracking and reporting, managing user-generated content through our UGC moderation platform, creating email blasts and social copy for label and artist social media, helping manage promo asset production, and brainstorming ideas for new products and promotional campaigns.
So far most of these things I have gotten a chance to learn and experience, but most things I believe will pop up when they are needed.
One of the most consistent things I do is write copy for artist webstores. One thing I learned quickly was that it is very important to be as descriptive as possible in regards to describing an article of clothing online for a few reasons. One reason is to ensure that a customer isn’t allergic to any material in the item. Another important reason is that the description can aid someone who is visually impaired. The descriptive copy can help them when online, their devices can read the descriptions out loud.
In addition to that, I also send out daily updates to the E-Commerce Marketing team to inform them of what’s new in E-Commerce. Mainly look for articles that incorporate artist merch, the connection between social media and e-commerce and fashion trends. Every now and then I see something and come up with ways it can apply to the artist we create merch for.
Often times when I share where I am currently interning, the main question I get is ‘how?’ So here’s that story.
At the beginning this years summer, I was determined to get an internship. I didn’t have a particular company in mind, as long as it was still in the creative realm, I was fine with it. I went online in hunt using the usual suspects: LinkedIn and Indeed but nothing was sticking. Eventually, I stumbled on this website called simplyhired.com. There, I had a lot of luck with finding non for profits and galleries across the city that were looking for an intern. As I was scrolling through the site, I saw an ad for a Digital Media position at Atlantic Records and just applied. Within a week, I had my phone interview with a recruiting manager. A month and a half went by and I didn’t hear anything. I assumed that they went with someone else so I didn’t think too much of it. On August 15th, I received an email from a team member of Atlantic Records asking for an interview.
A couple months later, I am now the E-Commerce Marketing Intern for the digital media department.