College junior Hope MacKenzie walks into Union Transfer armed with posters and an industrial-sized roll of tape. She looks around and finds a spot to place the MSMR poster on the wall. She takes a picture of the poster on the wall and explains that she is sending it back to Sony.
Half an hour later, Hope is taking a group of “influencers” — a mixture of social media posters, press and fans — backstage to the band’s dressing room. She explains her job to the duo, and groups of girls take pictures with them as they chat with their tour manager.
Hope MacKenzie is studying communication, and looking to find a credit-bearing internship for the spring semester, she became Sony Music and Entertainment’s marketing representative for the Philadelphia area.
MacKenzie isn’t your typical college-targeted campus representative, like those for Uber or Yik Yak. She is responsible for creating awareness and visibility in the Philadelphia region for Sony artists — marketing the Sony brand and all alternative rock bands under Sony labels in various locations in and around Philadelphia.
“All of my days are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in terms of school and work,” MacKenzie said. A member of Chi Omega sorority and Hype dance team, she is involved in a variety of on-campus activities. Any work involving her position at Sony replaces free time left over from schoolwork and extracurricular activities.
MacKenzie will spend her time leading up to the MSMR show promoting the band on social media, and putting up posters in the Philadelphia area. She tries to visit specific stores and locations, going to vintage shops and down to South Street in order to target a specific demographic.
“Although they seek out college kids, this position is not a college-specific position,” MacKenzie said. “They didn’t care if the representative went to Penn, Drexel, UArts, USciences. This is a part-time job, really.” The specific program is incredibly well-established — the oldest of its type in the industry, Sony’s program has been around for 53 years.
MacKenzie’s job encompasses many different tasks , from conference calls every other week to note-taking on audience reactions.
“They expect a lot,” MacKenzie said of Sony. She treats it as another job and is still getting used to the vigorous schedule. She explains that Sony tries to target people who can dedicate at least two years to this internship, and they want their ambassadors to get to know their market.
This job comes with many benefits: In about two weeks, MacKenzie will attend an all-expenses-paid business trip to the Sony headquarters to speak with executives. She will receive corporate training and meet the other 70 representatives .
Other benefits include free merchandise, guest-list concert tickets that often include a ”+1” and the first look at new and upcoming bands. However, this all comes with a large time commitment.
“Not only do I have to do all of my responsibilities, but I have to document them in immense detail and create a report at the end of every week showing what I did,” she said. “It’s not a position for someone that wants to fit this in whenever is convenient.”
At the end of every show she attends, MacKenzie will often pass out free merchandise — at a recent COIN show, she handed out lighters with the band’s name on them. She will then talk to as many people as she can about the show, then report back to Sony headquarters.
“To be honest, this position is really just being a music enthusiast — something that I was already without being paid,” MacKenzie said.Comments powered by Disqus
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