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Day In The Life: Emma Scott, Radio presenter, promoter, author & label co-owner

Blog by Louise Dodgson under Live, Media, Music Training & Careers, Record Labels

Next year is my 25th year in the music business, which disturbs me a little as I still feel like a kid. I started in radio at the age of 16, straight from school, on a Youth Training Scheme. The plan was to join the police force when I was old enough, but I never left radio!
 
I was offered a ‘proper job” at the radio station after my training had finished. I bit their hands off if the truth be known. I loved radio, I loved that station and I wanted to stay forever. It took me years of making up demos in the studio after my working day to finally get on air, but once I got on air, I certainly didn’t want to go back to my 9-5 job at the radio station.
 
Once I became a full time presenter, it was the start of all the moving around. I think I’ve had 19 houses in as many years. As well as radio, I started branching out. My husband, Jase Burns and I work together on our businesses and started up Emma Scott Presents in 2007, we started our Transmission Radio Skool in 2009, our Break Your Band business in 2010 and our record label in 2011.
 
I published my first book last year too, and am busy working on the follow-ups. There are 5 planned! We are based in Devon now, where I do 6 radio shows a week.  It’s all go, so let’s go through a typical day at ours:
 
7.30am: I get the family up, teas made, breakfasts made and get the girls to school (we have two daughters aged 8 and 12). During this time I’m checking my Blackberry for emails, looking at my Twitter and Facebook feeds and replying to anything urgent. 
 
9am-10am: Back from school run.  I sit down at my desk and log onto emails and try and make my way down the inbox.
 
We have 2 gigs to fill at the O2 Academy in Birmingham, so I’m busy looking at all the applicants for the gigs.  There are a couple of good ones, so I forward them to my assistant so he can get in touch with them.
 
We get a lot of gig applications every day. It surprises me how bad some of the applications are.  If you’re trying to get your band a high profile gig, you need to be writing more than“This is a link to our Facebook page, check us out and give us a gig.” I’ll leave it, thanks!  You gotta be a little more professional than that;-)

Applying for a gig or emailing a radio presenter for some airplay is a proper responsibility. It needs doing well. The first time. Make a good impression and dazzle them with your greatness.  
 
We spend a lot of time waiting for replies from bands, so this slows the whole process up. We’re pretty used to it now, so will often offer the same gig to 6 bands and it’s first come first served. I try to work for an hour on each of my projects for that day. Everyday is different, everyday  is busy.  
 
10-11am: Social media time! We will check our Facebook pages and profiles - messages, wall posts and comments, as well as uploading our own gig flyers, record company news, funny pictures and responding to people who’ve been in touch.
 
We will blog on our websites too and make sure everything’s up to date. We have Emma Scott Presents, Break Your Band and In At The Eye Records that we are concentrating on at the moment. Record releases and links to buy the music need updating, gig flyers need adding, gig slots need advertising, newsletters need sending out. 
 
We’ll be on our Twitter accounts too. Checking mentions and direct messages, sending some Tweets out, building a following. We employ the services of a social media whizz who works on our Twitter, Facebook accounts and websites. It’s a full time job in itself, really.
 
11-12pm: Jase is busy with his headphones on behind me in our home office. He’s listening to 3 tracks for this morning’s demo feedback session that a band has booked us for. This is Jases big thing - he loves it, and goes through each song second-by-second, listening to the lyrics, the songs structure, the mix, the musicianship - and so on. He is 100% honest in his feedback and the advice he gives blows me away. Things I don’t even notice. He’s been in the music industry as long as me, and used to be in many bands, as well as producing radio shows and managing bands too. 
 
Time for a quick tea break and then we send the feedback over to the band in question. They are chuffed with it.
 
As part of my book research, yesterday, I interviewed the Head of Music at BBC Radio Two and 6 Music. It was a really good conversation and it was worth waiting weeks to finally get to talk to such an influential person in the radio and music industry. I will write up my notes from the phone call, and carry on writing until I need to get on with something else.
 
I was very proud of my first book “Break Your Band - A Guide to Getting Radio Airplay” and it’s still available via Amazon and my own websites (gotta get the plug in!) The follow-up is a more detailed version of this book, and my third book is all about getting gigs. Books 4 and 5 will come after those!
 
Dealing with bands and musicians every day means I get to see the same mistakes being made every time I open my emails or check my Facebook page. If I can advise musicians on how to approach radio stations and venues, I think they will improve their chances of getting radio airplay and decent gigs which will in turn make them more viable and improve their chances of getting signed, getting a manager, a booking agent, a publisher and actually getting out there and taking on the music world.
 
I’m very passionate about this side of my work. This seems to be my calling. After nearly 25 years in the music business, it’s the obvious thing to do. Pass on the knowledge.
 
12-1pm: Next up, Jase and I are working on the label. In At The Eye Records is the newest addition to our family, and it is a busy time for us as we have 2 album releases on the go at this time, plus another before the end of the year.
 
I’ve been plugging one of our artists to radio stations all over the UK, as well as local press, fanzines, webzines, websites, reviewers, magazines and TV too. It’s time to chase up the people who’ve received the band’s album - and to find out if it’s something they’re interested in playing or featuring in any way. 
 
We’ve had a great response from this current album release, and we spend time each day looking for coverage we’ve received, and radio stations who’ve played the band in question.  We then blog about it on the band’s site and make sure everyone gets thanked for their help. We’ve had brilliant physical and digital distribution for this album, and it was great to see the fruit of our hard work at our local HMV store the other day. It had previously sold out so it’s nice to see the shelves have been restocked!
 
As you can see, our days are pretty full and it’s only lunchtime. Around this time, we’ll get something to eat and I’ll attend to the chickens (we have 12) and start thinking about my radio show.
 
2-8pm: It’s radio time! I do the Drivetime show at Heart Devon and afterwards, I am officially knackered!  If you think doing a radio show is easy, think again. It doesn’t get any easier! I finish at 7pm, do some admin stuff, think about what’s on tomorrow’s show and what I need to include, and then pack up for home about 7.30pm. It’s a 30 minute journey home and I eat dinner and sort the girls out with baths and homework and read my youngest a bed time story.
 
9pm onwards: I would absolutely LOVE to sit and watch some crappy soap on telly or watch something on DVD, but I take myself up to the office again and check through the day’s emails once again - looking at more urgent ones.  There are some replies from bands about the gigs I’m filling, so I pass these onto my assistant for him to check over. There are more applications for other gigs coming in. I file the non-urgent ones away until another day, and do some accounting (running 4 businesses can be hard to keep up with, but it has to be done!) 
 
I send a quick email to one of the bands’ on the label to tell them how things have been and tell them what they need to be doing this week on their social media pages. I also start writing my list of things to do for tomorrow and the rest of the week. I have a lot of things to do on a daily basis, but it keeps me occupied and there’s never a dull day.
 
I parcel up some CDs for radio stations, copies of my book and check on my in-tray to see if there’s anything urgent I’ve missed. The odd morning off would be nice, but that will come when (and if) things calm down.  Christmas time maybe?! 
 
10.30-11pm: Bed time! I usually send my last tweets out whilst in bed and think about what tomorrow brings.

Tags

emma scott presents, radio presenter, radio dj, kerrang radio, break your band, gig promoter

 

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