Hannah Coulson (Communication, Media and Popular Music)
Hannah graduated in 2013. She is now an A&R and Marketing Assistant at Ministry of Sound.
What does your job involve?
Lots of multi-tasking (in both jobs!)
The overall aim is to produce good quality music content that is relevant to our audience on our platforms. The Talent & Music team works to book artists for our International shows and events and secure promotional opportunities with artists to use across the Viacom network. My job is to support the team in any way possible. Key duties are Artist Liaison in the run up and on the ground, communicating with labels and managers to negotiate details and relay specific promotional info and work with internal departments to get music videos and promotional assets to air - and online- as quickly as possible.
My job is to assist the Senior Product Manager in every facet of our label operations to ensure our Artist campaigns are as successful as possible. Through single releases, tours, promotional opportunities (tv / radio / online) and album releases we are constantly working with design teams, video commissioners, producers, managers, promoters and brands to bolster an artists career but help to position them within the market in a way they feel comfortable. Every artist is of course unique and has their own distinctive sound and style. If you can attract a strong audience and sell records but be making music you love, in a way you feel comfortable then we have done our job properly!
How did your course prepare you for your job?
My course taught me about the ever changing nature of popular music specifically genre conceptions and trajectories was extremely beneficial as I can now discuss the actual product- the music- with passion and knowledge. Learning about the structure of the music industry- specifically contracts and '360 deals'- was key for me too. In Communications, learning about the current media landscape and the dynamics of global corporations such as Viacom was invaluable as it ended up being a company I went on to work for. What's most interesting is the impact of politics on media- not just the output, but the restrictions imposed (or loosened) on media outlets in the UK depending what political party is in Government.I already had an understanding of communication strategies before I started the job (I think!)
What are your top tips for students wanting to work in your field?
Probably 2 tips.
1. Never write essays or answer exam questions that you think will be the easiest- go for the ones that interest you most as you will learn about a key area that you may need a greater understanding of later in your career. I wrote an essay on Spotify and other streaming services' relationship with record labels once and it taught me so much about this field and key facts that I still reference today.
2. Start gaining work experience early. You have long summer breaks from Uni so use them well! And if the work experience placements aren't coming to you, create your own. Set up a Blog/ Vlog or club night, start recording and releasing podcasts...whatever it is, start fleshing out your CV alongside your degree. It will only help you get a head start.
What was your best experience of studying at Liverpool?
Learning in a city where everything felt like it was connected was the best experience. You could go to a concert in town and then discuss it with a lecturer who would help you incorporate the Liverpool scene into your learning or writing. Everything in that city somehow impacts another part of your life there- and the place is small enough to feel like you can make your mark- no matter how little!