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Music Publicity 101 With Professor Stacy Long


By: Bridget Fornaro

October 9, 2016


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in the music industry, specifically music publicity?

Well, the last PRSSA meeting had CSUN’s very own Stacy Long as the guest speaker.

Long started her PR career very young, helping promote up-and-coming artists by writing press releases and getting them coverage. Little did she know that she would soon embark on a career in music by becoming a publicist.

When Long went to school, she was told that she could be a writer, but she wasn’t interested in that field. After she took one of Dr. Lori Baker-Shena’s journalism courses, she learned that what she was doing earlier in her career before was public relations. Long got her degree in journalism and went to work for a few record labels. She had a lot of information to share on how to be survive working in music business, such as:


The music and entertainment industries in general are very competitive, so be sure to network as much as you can.

  • Long’s first job came from her internship. If you work hard and put in a lot of effort at your internships, you never know who will be there to back you up.

  • So start interning and build your professional contacts while you’re still in school. Long’s favorite question to ask professionals is: “How did you get your job?”

There’s not a lot of money to be made when you first start out.

  • Your first job out of college be prepared to be living off of eggs and potatoes. Long did this in her years before graduating while working in retail and attending college.

  • You sacrifice so much to work for your job, but it comes with great perks.

Working in music publicity, you get all access.

  • When you work red carpet events or festivals you get backstage access and guide your clients to the news media

  • It’s not all glitz and glamour working events: you’re tired, you are telling people what to do at all times of the day or night, there’s no partying, and you’re there to work – not be seen. Also ladies, don’t wear heels on your first event, your feet might end up bleeding, which happened to Long during her first red carpet experience.

  • And be resourceful, be your own solution. If there’s an issue figure it out on your own. You have to be self reliant in this industry.

You won’t always like the music you’re representing.

  • In music, you will not always like the genres of music, a certain album, or even song, but it is important to find something you do like about that artist or their music.

  • You have to have passion for everything you do in this industry, if you don’t like the song you’re promoting, oh well! You have to search for something to help get press coverage. If you’re not into the artist, how can you get a journalist or a reporter into the music?

  • You have to love music and public relations; that’s it.

You have to be able to be multitask and handle 500 things at once.

  • If you can’t handle saying no to somebody, like an artist for example, you won’t make it.

  • You have to be able to babysit a lot of people and manage everything.

  • When Long worked the Coachella music festival one year, there was a moment where someone was upset, and Long stepped in to solve an issue with press bracelets.

  • Be organized! Take tons of notes, file things accordingly, and have a place for everything.

When talking to journalists, you need to stay in contact with them and grow relationships with them.

  • As big as the music industry is, it’s a small world. Everyone knows everyone. There are not a lot of music writers, so becoming friends with them is a smart move.

  • Know your contacts as well; you don’t want to pitch a heavy metal band to a country music reviewer. Be aware of who you’re contacting and take note of it in your contact media lists.

  • When you understand and honor other people’s work, they’ll honor you back.

  • Be respectful and treat others the way you want to be treated.

  • Also when call up journalists, make your phone call conversational. Ask them how they are, talk to them about their past pieces, know their work, and know yours.

Lastly, be current in all industries.

  • It is so important to know what is happening in the news and other industries. In public relations, you have to understand what’s going on in the world we live in.

If you want to connect with Prof. Stacy Long, she can be found on Twitter @StaKLoPR and she teaches the public relations practicum class, Agency 398.

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