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To read part one of this story, visit: How to get an internship at Fashion Rocks: Part One.

Welcome back, folks. Alright. So you’ve invested some time and energy into locating the names of music business companies affiliated with Fashion Rocks. Maybe your little list contains a few of these types of firms: record labels, band managers, booking agents, street team companies, brand ambassador firms, lighting companies, rigging companies, modeling agencies, Fortune 500 firms.

First of all, great job! Now let’s think of a few ways we might get a hold of the right person at one of these companies who can help you get in the door at the event, and perhaps lead you to your first music business internship experience!

What to do with all these names?

Your next steps

If you have individual contact names: If you’re fortunate to have found a direct contact, then quite simply, pick up the phone and give them a ring. Some folks you call will not want to speak with you, and others will be glad to hear from you. People in marketing/promotions tend to be a fairly talkative bunch by nature, so if you catch them at a good time, you’ll probably be in good shape. A couple of pointers are worth mentioning here:

  1. Have at least a resume ready before you start making your calls, this way, you can send something off after touching base with your contact. Doing so makes this process faster, and also demonstrates your professionalism to the person you’re contacting.
  2. Don’t sweat a cover letter too much, I find they’re fast-becoming useless for this sort of thing. If they ask for one, I would be surprised. . .if they do, however, put something short and sweet together in the body of your email to them to facilitate this request.
  3. If you’re calling record companies don’t call on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, these are typically the days the promotion folks are on deadline and/or in meeting and the times when they definitely don’t have time to chat. Shore up your calls for later in the week.
  4. Be honest, know the label’s artist roster and don’t sound like too much of a fan. Music industry folks love passionate music-heads, because that is what helps sell artists and records. What they are not looking for are fans that will be too busy hanging out in the green room with the drummer and not out on the street working. Keep that in mind and you’ll be in awesome shape!

If you have company names, but no individual contact names: This will be common, so don’t let it freak you out. Believe me, this is where all the fun begins! You’re going to need to pick up the phone for this to work as well. Please don’t waste your precious time writing cover letters and sending them off in vain to the black hole of HR at these firms. If you do, I’ll bet one of two things will happen.

Scenario number one: Your beautifully crafted resume will reach the HR department and after reading it Mr./Ms. anonymous HR professional will wonder. . . “hmm. . .what do I do with this?”, and promptly put it aside/throw it away and all that effort will be for naught!

Scenario number two: Your beautifully crafted resume will reach the HR department and because those in HR are so insanely overworked/underpaid your resume and cover letter are never even looked at to begin with. Either way, your dead, and again, your efforts are wasted!

So please, don’t send anything in until after you have picked up the phone and called to speak with someone. If that someone later suggests you send something in, then by all means rock that baby in there.

Okay, so you’ve got company names with no immediate contact. . .what do you do? Well, after looking up the companies phone number by either going to their corporate website, or using something like the Fortune 500 list on CNN, give ‘em a ring. When you get through to the receptionist tell her that you’re a student and you would like to speak with someone in marketing who might deal with interns. If they ask what this is regarding, just tell them the truth. Being a student you have an advantage over 99% of the people that call in asking to speak with someone. Typically the person answering the phone should put you through. These three things are pretty much what you should expect to hear after asking this question:

  1. “I’ll put you through to marketing”
  2. “I can’t put you through without a name”
  3. “You’ll have to call HR/I can put you through to HR”

If you hear number one, you’re gold. Make sure you have your spiel together when you get through and then run with it. By the way, I ALWAYS ask for the person’s name BEFORE they transfer me to “marketing”. This way, I know how to pronounce the person’s FULL name when they pick up AND if I happen to get their voice mail, I can call again in a few days to follow up without having to go through the whole introduction again with the receptionist. Getting their full name will also allow you to follow up with an email later in the week as well.

So, if you get number one, then you’re good to go. But what if you get numbers two and three?

Dealing with objections

If fate draws you the dreaded “no name, no game” response, thank the receptionist and do some quick homework. Unfortunately some companies restrict passing you off to someone unless you know your contact’s name. I find this ridiculous, but that’s the way it goes. So what can you do at this point? First step? LinkedIn. Do a search for the company along with the title of the person you’re looking for and viola! you’re in business!

If this doesn’t work, then it’s back to Google! Start playing around with combinations of words that will get you the contact’s name. Things like “marketing director” plus the company name would be one such example. Alternatively, you could type “Internship Coordinator” plus the company name you’re ringing up. You’re going to have to be creative, to pull this off, but I will say that marketing folks, more than anyone are likely to have their name on the Internet somewhere, you’ll just have to track them down. If all else fails, you could call the Public Relations department. . .their contact information is almost always plastered on the website for all to see. Music Industry Directories are also another good place to look!

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These techniques can be used of course before calling the first time, but I find that a lot of times, it’s too damn time consuming to do upfront. Once you’ve got a name, pick up the phone and call again! If ugly number three rears its head, then go ahead and be put through to HR. If someone picks up (unlikely) give them your spiel. If you get voice mail, leave a message. I ALWAYS leave a message at least once. If HR doesn’t call you back, don’t worry about following up with another call. You’ve probably reached a dead-end. But, if someone does call you back, you’ll be one step closer than you want to be. If nothing pans out on the HR front, I would visit my advice in response to number two. It will get you far when doing your internship search.

Trust me, this works

When I was trying to get an internship at record labels back in the day, I sent out (literally) over 100 resumes to record labels big and small. Only a few responded back to me. The majority of responses I got were thanks, but no thanks letters from HR departments. The phone calls I received were from the Promotion Directors at the labels responsible for interns. Out of the two or three calls I received, one landed me a gig with Virgin Records. 100+ resumes and 2-3 calls=1 internship. That’s a lot of work, and way too much time on paper. The technology you have at your disposal for networking and landing the music industry internship of your dreams is remarkable. Put it to use, pick up the phone and get started. That volunteer or internship experience at Fashion Rocks awaits!!

If you think I’ve given a few good tips here, you might want to check out the Music Industry Guidebook: A clear guide to getting a job in the music business. . .fast! In minutes you’ll have ideas that you can put in motion tomorrow to get started on your dream of a career in the entertainment industry. I love being a teacher, let me share my insight with you today. Get the book today!

Good luck, I’ll see you at the meet and greet! TM

Check out our new Music Industry Jobs and Internships board at MusicIndustryJobs.com It’s FREE!

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2 Comments

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It is my mission at musicbusinesspage.com to provide anyone interested in a career in this industry, the inspiration and resources needed to achieve your goals. It ain’t easy, and you’ll face a lot of closed doors along the way. Anyone who has achieved greatness or even a modicum of success in this world faces failure and rejection. . .meeting rejection is the only sure way of knowing you’re trying! Be willing to starve, be willing to work at it, and in the end it will pay off!

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