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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREA CALDERON
In this feature series, we ask professionals of the music industry what a day in their life looks like along with some insights on their job, the ups and downs, and more.
In this issue, we receive Andrea Calderon, associate director at Get In PR.
- your job description in your own words
I like to think of myself as a professional storyteller; someone who takes a piece of music, contextualizes it, and identifies all of the points that make it worth diving into. I work side-by-side with my clients - from artists to events, to festivals, and venues - to help craft and push the narrative behind their work, with the intention of helping them build an organic and engaged fanbase along the way.
From crafting press releases to brainstorming fresh, new ways to push a project forward to liaising media opportunities with a variety of different media platforms, I work behind the scenes to make sure my clients get their well-deserved share of the limelight.
- what a day in your life looks like (a brief daily journal)
It sounds clichéd but no day is the same in the life of a music publicist. Some days, I’ll spend the majority of my time writing and editing press releases, media blasts, and press kits. Others, I’ll be on back-to-back calls with my clients going over pitching progress and strategizing ways to knock a campaign out of the park. My favorite days, however, are the ones where I can focus on crafting pitches and honing in on sharing the stories behind the projects I’m working on with people I know are going to love them. There are few things more rewarding than getting an instant reply from a journalist/contact that says “I love this!”
The one constant in all of my days, however, is a lot (a lot!) of coffee.
- challenges and accomplishments
Unexpected challenges and last-minute hiccups are a part of our daily vernacular. During my first year of being an assistant publicist, I was sent to handle a festival in Singapore all by myself. I had never led a festival account, let alone traveled halfway across the world, alone but I figured it would make for a great experience. Singapore, famously, is monsoon central during the summer, so as my luck would have it, the festival was moved to a hotel expo center at the very last minute. I had to scramble to get all of my media to spread the news about the venue change, and mitigate any negative publicity that speculated on a possible cancelation. It all worked out in the end and it was an experience I’ll forever cherish.
I would say day-to-day challenges outweigh the accomplishments. Journalists can go radio silent on a piece of confirmed coverage, premieres don’t go live in time, a client doesn’t deliver an asset by a hard deadline…the list goes on and on. But I’d say the small victories make up for it all. The feeling that comes with seeing a piece that your team has worked on for months finally run, reading a positive album review, landing a cool lead, and scoping out an incredible new project that lands in my inbox makes all the other stuff worth it.
- highlights (pros of the job)
As a lifelong electronic music fan, it’s an honor and a privilege to be able to say that I turned my hobby into my career. I’ve worked with artists that I listened to and idolized growing up and festivals/venues that I frequented religiously before I got into this line of work.
I also love being able to work on my own schedule and from anywhere in the world. I knew from a very young age that the corporate world was not for me. There’s a mutual, unspoken understanding between music industry - especially dance music - professionals that we all started from the same place of simply loving music. This makes networking a lot more enjoyable than being forced to make small talk with someone you have nothing in common with at a corporate function.
I’m also not ashamed to say that it’s a really cool job! After 5 years of working in the field, my family still doesn’t quite understand what I do for a living, but they think that it’s cool and that’s a win in my book.
- lowlights (cons of the job)
The aforementioned flexibility can be difficult to navigate when experiencing burnout. As a small PR company, we’re constantly working on a significant number of clients between a team of only a few people. Some days this can get exhausting, and it can be hard to stay focused and push through.
PR, and in particular, music PR is a highly oversaturated field. It is more than common to face a string of back-to-back rejections, which can be quite defeating. Similarly, publicists are often misunderstood and, simply due to the sheer abundance of us, we’re often pinned as the disposable cog in the release campaign machine.
- words of wisdom for people considering a job in your fields
Start locally and network to help pave the path to where you want to be. I started as a music journalist in NYC that used my writing as a medium to connect with events and music I was passionate about. Through my journalism gig, I connected with the company that ended up offering me a full-time position as a publicist and, eventually, the associate director role. Most dance music professionals are night owls at heart so get to the club and make connections!
Make sure that you have a genuine passion for the music and projects you choose to work with. As glamorous as the travelling, concerts, etc. may seem, the novelty and excitement eventually die down. If you really love your craft and have a deep appreciation for the projects and artists you choose to take on, the flame will keep burning.