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MARKETING AND PUBLICITY - Director Or Fan Club President

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCareers in the Music BusinessMARKETING AND PUBLICITY - Publicity: Independent Publicist • Press Agent • Publicist • Public Relations, Director Or Fan Club President

DIRECTOR OR FAN CLUB PRESIDENT

JOB OVERVIEW

The director or president manages and oversees client's fan club activities and marketing efforts through the fan base.

SPECIAL SKILLS

“You have to have good grammar both in speaking and writing. You have to be a nice person with a good deal of patience so you can deal with the calls from fans. You are an extension of the artist you work for. You have to be willing to go the extra mile for people.”

CAREER TIPS

“If you make a promise, you have to keep it. If you make a mistake, and we all do, admit it and then work to resolve the problem as best you can. Own up to your mistakes and people will respect you for it.”

“Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated.” One minute you are dealing with an artist's manager or someone from their record label and the next you're taking a phone call from a fan with an outrageous request. You have to treat each of them with the same level of respect.

A DAY IN THE LIFE

“What keeps me interested in my job is that there is no typical day,” says Sharon Eaves. “I have a staff that sorts through the mail and they handle each request, whether it is to purchase merchandise, request an autograph, or they have a question. We answer them all. We send thank you notes for any gifts that are received. We handle all requests for ‘meet and greet’ passes the day they come in. I have ten different artists’ newsletters to get out two or four times a year, so I spend a lot of time writing all the content, editing, and working on the layout. I have meetings with management to plan events and how we can best use the fan base to market the artist's record. I oversee the design and planning of the fan club merchandise, and meet with the artist or management to get approvals.”

POINTERS FOR THE JOB SEARCH

Learn as much as you can about the music industry and how it works, then apply to work as an assistant or intern for a fan club company. Once you have some experience, and an understanding of how the business operates, then contact managers of artists you respect and find out if they have a fan club president.

SHARON EAVES, OWNER, FAN CLUB HOUSE

While attending college in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Sharon Eaves got involved with a community access television channel as a talk show host, interviewing people involved in the local music scene. Intrigued by her brush with the music business, she was soon booking talent for local shows and finding up-and-coming bands to manage. She moved to Nashville in 1983 to pursue her interest and landed a job as a receptionist at a recording studio, and worked her way up to manager.

When Paul Worley, a record producer Eaves had met at the studio, became a senior vice president at Sony Tree publishing, he brought her in as his assistant. By the late 1980s, she also began managing Wild Rose, the first all-female country band, which eventually became a full-time job. Able to run the group's fan club at a profit, she received offers from other artists to do the same for them. Initially reluctant—“I was focused on building my management business and didn't want to be labeled a fan club company”—she finally agreed to take on another club. As word of mouth spread, Eaves soon found herself running the fan clubs of four groups. Eventually putting aside her plan to be an artist manager, she opened her own business, Fan Club House, and today creates merchandise lines and operates fan clubs for artists like Bryan White and Wynonna. To understand the volume of business generated, Eaves confides that one of her clients grossed more than $500,000 in annual club sales in one year. Eaves has expanded the companies’ services to include publicity, merchandise, fulfillment, and fan marketing services for the entertainment industry. www.fan-clubhouse.com

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