Case study

Marketing manager — Phoebe

Phoebe took every opportunity to gain relevant work experience which helped her break into a career in classical music marketing. Discover her top tips for success

How did you get your job?

I got my job at the Three Choirs Festival through work experience. I did two internships during my music degree - one in the marketing department of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and one in operations at the concert venue St George's Bristol.

I also filled up my summer holidays with paid and unpaid work at various festivals - I worked at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, West Cork Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival and Three Choirs Festival. A job came up at Three Choirs at the right time, just as I was graduating.

What's a typical working day like?

We work to a year-long cycle leading up to the festival in the summer and I'm a one-woman department, so I'm responsible for all facets of marketing. At any one time I'll be managing the website, e-bulletins and social media, liaising with the press, buying and selling advertising space, creating printed promotional materials and planning receptions and press events. During the festival all bets are off and I quite often pitch in with a bit of event management - it's a very varied role.

What do you enjoy most about being a marketing manager?

Ultimately, the success of marketing depends on the product - and our product is amazing. I like that my job is creative, and that I get to use knowledge I gained from my degree to talk about music all day long.

What are the challenges?

We're a very small team, and the thing about marketing is that however much you do there's always more you could be doing. That being said, I love being involved in all aspects of marketing and it's great experience.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

In five years' time I'd like to still be working in classical music marketing, maybe for a slightly bigger organisation.

What advice can you give to others wanting to get into marketing?

  • Work experience is key - I didn't even realise that this type of niche job existed until I started working at the Philharmonia, and actually doing something is the only way to find out whether or not you'll enjoy it as a career.
  • Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty - volunteer for anything and everything, and you never know where it could lead.
  • If you don't ask, you don't get - small organisations in particular are often in need of help but not able to advertise formal traineeships. If you reach out to them, the experience and contacts could be invaluable.

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