Marketing Officer

Name: Emma

Job Title: Smoothie enthusiast. Feminist. Gryffindor. Working in theatre. Eating crisps. Many, many selfies.

What exactly is that?

I work in a live entertainment venue which recieves touring work – from stand-up, musicals, classical concerts to live music, tribute bands,and family shows. We also offer conferencing rooms and services as well as putting on our own events including discos, Christmas and New Year parties and other hospitality events. I look after the marketing campaign for each of these shows or events which involves promoting and increasing sales for each of them.

How did you get there?

I did A Levels in Media Studies, English Language and Drama and Theatre Studies at college and have a 2:1 in BA (HONS) Scriptwriting for Film and Television from Bournemouth University. This basically qualified me for nothing so I was unemployed for about 5 months after the end of university. I then did a 6 month, unpaid internship at the Finborough Theatre in West Brompton which was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s a really small, fringe venue so I got to act as the General Manager for the best part of my time there and did all kinds of things from press calls, duty management, hiring interns, finance, box office, casting, administration and working closely with the directors, producers and Artistic Director.

From there, I worked in FoH Management roles at Gate Theatre in Notting Hill and at New Wimbledon Theatre and then got my first full-time Marketing job as Marketing Assistant at The Anvil in Basingstoke. This paid next to nothing but I did this for 18 months and went on the most amazing arts marketing course in October 2015 and learnt a lot both from there and from working in such a busy and varied venue. From there, I got my job as Marketing Officer at G Live, which is my current role.

Describe a typical day in your life right now

I work in Guildford and live about a 25 minute drive away in Hampshire, but in the morning the traffic is an absolute nightmare and even though I start at 9am, I have to leave my house closer to 7.45am. I cannot stress this enough, I cannot do the mornings. I normally get up about 7.15am (having showered the night before) and spend as little time getting ready as humanely possible and then get in my car to drive to work.

When I get in, I normally open my emails, check the show report from the performance the previous night and the sales reports for tickets sold. After looking at these and desperately searching to check whatever activity we did the previous day has had any impact on sales, I normally have a bowl of cereal or a fruit and veg smoothies I’ve made the night before.

The rest of the office tend to get in around the same time, and we’ll either trade high fives on anything that sold particularly well yesterday or groan in unison at the fact that A Night of Dirty Dancing is still massively off target.

My day can be quite varied from then but I spend a lot of time working with promoters for shows we are receiving and working on their campaign plans. This means agreeing budget with them and seeing what activity they want to look at – this can be e-shots, direct mails, Facebook advertising, print ads, digital ads, interviews, outdoor advertising, writing blogs or rehearsal diaries or something more bespoke. All with copious cups of tea in the middle.

For lunch, I will normally have something fairly boring like a cous-cous salad, feel really smug for a bit and then wolf down 4 biscuits in the afternoon to put an end to that. On some days I’ll have Marketing Meetings with the rest of the team to catch up on where we’re at with certain campaigns or where we need to concentrate our efforts. I also might have confirmation of a show going on sale so will get the copy and images from the promoter, prepare the web page on our site, and sometimes prepare an email to inform our database.

At the moment we’re also working on creating the concept artwork for our Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties, so I’m currently emailing our designers almost constantly with proofs flying back and forth.

Towards the end of the day, I’ll get anything that needs to go out to our database that evening or on social scheduled and ready to go. I normally leave the office between 6 and half 6 and I’ll normally force myself to Pilates or on a run (unless it’s Thursday and I want to go home and eat a whole camembert and watch The Good Wife). Or if it’s a Friday I’ll normally head into central London for all the drinks and carbs and stay at my boyfriend’s in Crouch End.

What’s the best thing about what you do?

I get to be very creative and with some of our in-house events I get to see projects through from conception to completion, which is really exciting. I also get to do a lot of copywriting, which I love, work on social media, have a great team and work with some really exciting acts.

What one thing would you change if you could?

Sometimes things can happen very quickly – we’re always very busy but sometimes a promoter can get really stroppy and ask you to get their show on sale, there and then, email your database and get figures across to them. It can be quite time consuming to build shows, build e-shots and create good copy and images and sometimes people don’t understand this. I also tend to have a lot of promoters fighting for my attention at one time which is difficult and blaming me for their shows not selling.

What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?

When I was at school I wanted to be an Author (I don’t know why, this probably just seemed like a fun job where you could pretty much do whatever you want), then for a while I wanted to be a journalist (HAHAHA), then a scriptwriter.

Tell us about something you were insecure about when you were at school

I think all young girls at school get very self-conscious about their weight which is INSANE, because young girls are typically so slim. When I was about 14 I must have been something like a size 6 but was convinced, like we all are at that age, that I was fat and banned myself from eating cheese. Which was ridiculous, because cheese is amazing.

What advice would you have given yourself at 18 if you could?

You will meet people who think like you, you will laugh at how insignificant the things that are upsetting you now turn out to be, don’t let people treat you like crap, exercise more – not to lose weight but because it makes you feel happy and free.

What’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time?

Be in a pub garden or roof top bar with all my friends on a sunny day. Failing that – brunch, shopping, cheese (?).

What’s the title of the last book you read?

Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran.

Please share with us one beauty tip you have learned

Use heat protection spray on your hair always.

Share with us a money tip

Do not buy things when you are drunk (this is a very good money tip).

Please share with us one life lesson you have learned

Even if you’re little, you can do a lot (thanks Tim Minchin).

Tell us about your favourite recent purchase for £25 or under

Pretty much the only thing I have bought recently is food and alcohol… I went to Southbank Food Market recently and bought several Pimms, a waffle with strawberries and cream and chips with truffle mayonnaise. These are the good times.

Where can people find you online for more info?

You can find me on Twitter at @EmmaSharpay

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