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BRITTNEY WILKERSON

"SORRY. I HAVE TO GET THAT FOR MY SNAPCHAT"


As we take our seats at

Brittney is currently at PLA

Edgehill Cafe and receive

Media working in publicity,

our orders, Brittney

marketing, social media, and

Wilkerson takes her phone

graphic design. She went to

out and takes a picture of

Troy University and majored

her Chai Tea Latte. "Sorry. I

in communications with an

had to get that for my

emphasis in entertainment

snapchat." She says. "It's

industry studies. While at

National Coffee Day. These

school, she worked in the

are the weird things you

marketing department for

know when you practice PR."

their school of music.

What is your job title? And, what


does your position entail?
My job title is publicist and
marketing account representative.
Basically, it is different everyday. I
work with artist in the country
genre, pop country, Texas country,
traditional, and Americana. So day
to day is just marketing plan. We
also have social media so
I'm usually working with our social
media guy in house. Right now I am
working with an artist who is about
to release his first EP, so we are
doing all the graphics for his album
art, putting together his bio cut by
cut, fact sheet, building contact,
and tying him in with marine based
charities because he was a marine
sniper.
Oh wow, That sounds really cool.
Where do you fit in the
organizational structure or whom
do you report to?
I am, besides the president of the
company, the second in command.
There is a senior publicist who is
over me who has been there for 8
years and then I have been there
for over 3 years now and then
everyone else is under us. I am
over all the interns.

I am the internship coordinator. I


don't know if that's something you
want to add to my job title. (laughs)
I'm over the the social media
coordinator, the other publicist, and
the graphic designer. We have a small
company. Anytime the interns are
there, I'm technically who they report
to. I still go to our senior publicist
and run things by him, but since it is
such a small company we have each
other's backs for everything.
How long have you been in your
current position and how did you get
there?
My senior year I was ready to take the
summer off and come to Nashville
and do an internship. I could have
probably done my interview over the
phone, but I drove the six hours and
found a hotel room and walked in
with my huge binder with all my stuff
in it. Now looking back on it I felt like
such a nerd. They ended up offering
me the internship on the spot. I kept
working and would go out every night
when I was in Nashville and network.
I just was really grinding for 6
months straight. So December came
along and I was driving back home to
graduate and I wasn't aware of it at
the time but the graphic designer had
quit his job. He was from Ireland and
was over here on a work visa and his
visa had run out. So literally the day
before I graduated, I received a phone
call asking if I wanted the job and I
have been here ever since.

I WAS SOUL SEARCHING AT 20 YEARS OLD WHAT


I WANTED TO DO WHEN I GREW UP
That's amazing how everything worked

There was a thing on the radio that said that the

out for you. What is your educational

only two industries that had not been affected or

background and how did it prepare you

had improved since the recession hit

for your current job?

were alcohol sales and music sales. So naturally I

So I started my career while I was still in

went the music route. At first, I said that I

college. I was originally going to school for

wanted to just go to Nashville and try it and oh

physical therapy and after three years I

gosh I was so stupid and naive. If I would have

decided I didn't want to do that. So I went

done that I would have been eaten up and spit

to a completely different school and

out and eaten again. So I found out that Troy had

decided that I was going to get into the

a music industry program. It was very new. It

music business. I was in school when the

was only in its 3rd year. So I went and majored in

recession hit and I was trying to think of

communications and minored in music industry.

something to do that wasn't affected. I was

After your first semester, Troy had an LLC

listening to the radio one day and I was

record Label were everyone involved in the

soul searching at 20 years old what I

music industry program has to be apart of. It

wanted to do when I grew up.

was a great way to get hands of experience, and


how everything works putting together and
selling a record. The University would have a
singing competition and whoever the winner
was that year was the record labels project for
that next semester. So you would have to record
them, produce a single, make the album art, and
market it and sell it. I actually worked a project
for a single release party as the director of
marketing.

"I GUESS HE SAW SOMETHING IN ME THAT I DIDN'T"


I wanted to go into A&R but my advisor told me he saw me in marketing.
I guess he saw something in me that I didnt. After that first CD release
show we had some pickups and everything came out really smooth and
they decided to offer me the position as the marketing director for the
school of music and I was able to get scholarships for it. So I started to
do that and really build the music industry program. So I went to the
dean of the school of music and said we should do a 6 city tour and take
the pop ensemble on the road with us and book it and route it to
where we played concerts, events, and fairs at night and during the day
we stopped at schools and did recruitment. The whole tour would cost
the school $20,000. I pitched it to them that if we did this tour we could
cover the cost of it by recruiting new students to come to Troy. We ended
up getting more than one student from each location and they are still
doing it to this day and we started 6 years ago. It ends in Nashville and
they let them record their next project in a Nashville recording studio. It
was pretty stressful but it was totally worth it.

Wow! That's pretty amazing! What


would you say your "typical" day looks
like?
Yesterday I made a music video. I had
an artist that wrote a song. I call her my
bucket list artist. Shes older. Shes the
one that recorded the duet with Dolly
Parton. She is friends with Kate Foster,
the gymnast that was at Saint Judes
that ended up losing her leg. She wrote

"THERE ARE
SOME DAYS THAT
I AM SITTING IN
FRONT OF A
COMPUTER FOR
10 HOURS AND I
WANT TO SHOOT
MYSELF"

this song for Kate. Its called Fate Can


so I pulled a bunch of videos and put

What are some of your favorite things

them together of Kate doing different

about work?

things from at the hospital to

My favorite part is events. Anything

competing. I love to video edit. I sent

or everything to do with event

out three press releases. One was

coordination. Thats something that I

about a client of mine who just got

think I want to do full time if I dont

chosen to be involved

stay in PR. Anything live that gets me

on Musicians On Call, one was about a

out of the office because there are some

client of mine playing at Seacrest

days that I am sitting in front of a

studios at Vanderbilt, and the other

computer for 10 hours and I want to

was about Silverado records and they

shoot myself.

signed a new artist. I also followed up


on some press releases I had sent on
Friday and booked three interviews for
a client. I think thats about it. Oh yea
and I wrote a bio.

What are your least favorite parts?


Following up with press releases. I hate
it. It's time consuming because you have
to follow up with everyone and it can
take hours.

"PUBLIC
RELATIONS
SIMPLE
IS

YOU

YOU

DOING

BECAUSE

ARE

PEOPLE

WHAT

ARE

KNOWS

ITS

DEFINITION

LETTING

KNOW

IN

NO

WHAT

DOING
TELL

ONE
YOU

UNLESS
THEM.

"

How do you define public


relations?
Public relations in its simple
definition is letting people know
what you are doing because no one
knows what you are doing unless
you tell them.
Do you consider yourself to be a
public relations professional?
Why or why not?
I dont know. When I see that I
think that I am not in that category
yet, but Im six years into it. I can
sit here and tell you about it and I
can sit here and tell someone who
knows nothing about it, however,
by the end of our chat they would
have a good idea of it. I would say
professional but not an expert. I
honestly dont think anyone can
become an expert in the public
relations field 'cause its always
changing. So, yeah I would
consider myself a professional. I
have been doing it for awhile now
and I havent gotten fired yet, so I
must not suck at it.

What are some of the most


significant issues/trends affecting
your work today? And, how are
you responding to them?
The most significant is social
media. Its a double edge sword.
Social media is very strategic.
Theres things you can do, and then
theres things that will completely
kill your brand. People think that
just cause they have a 1,000
followers on Instagram theyre a
social media professional, but
theyre not. Theres a craft that
goes into it and understanding it.

TAKE
ADVANTAGE

of everything that you have


at your fingertips
What is something you wish

What professional organizations

you had known before you

are you involved in?

became a communications

Member of CMA,

professional?

Americana Music Association,

I wish I would have known

and BMI.

how important the pitching

What is the best advice you

process is in this industry

could give someone wanting to

cause I would have interned

join the Public relations field?

at a media outlet to see what

Dont be entitled. Dont think

it is that catches their eyes. I

that just because you have a

want to know why they

fancy degree from a big known

answer some emails and why

school that you are entitled to a

they dont answer some

job. Take advantage of

others.

everything that you have at your

"JUST BE OUTSPOKEN."
Tell me about a project you worked

If you could go back and do anything

on that you are especially proud

differently to get where you are now,

of.

would you?

I have two. Working with Tina

No, I wouldnt change anything. I think

Turner was probably the coolest

I did everything right. I worked hard to

thing ever. We did the launch of her

get where I am at. I was really focused.

museum. The museum is her old

I am glad that I was older, and I knew

school house and its so cool cause

what I was doing and I had my mind set

the wood is all the leftover wood

on something.

from the schoolhouse. Then over

What is something that would make a

the summer I was able to work with

candidate stand out when interviewing

Fame studio and Sam Philips

for a PR position? Just being

recording service in Alabama.

outspoken. Someone who has an

Thats where I am from so that was

outgoing personality and someone that

really cool. This was the first time

will stand up to me. I want someone

they have ever done anything

that I can ask a question and they can

together and Sams daughter

answer it and if you cant you are going

produced it. The fact that this was

to find me that answer.

the first time they have worked


together in such a long time and I
was able to be a part of that was
huge. I didnt get as much PR from
it as I thought I was 'cause the
artist that did it was not a chart
topping artist. That kind of shows
you how this industry works.