Reaction Paper to an article about Public Relations

         Music educators tend to wear different “hats” in order to fulfill all the duties needed to run a music program. They play the role of teacher, counselor, manager, and accountant. Another position that music educators must play is the role of publicity agent. It is the music teacher’s responsibility to reach out and “sell” the music program to the community. For performing groups, this means it is the music educator’s responsibility to bridge the gap between ensemble and community, therefore gaining the public’s attendance and support.

         Public relations can be made while programming for a concert. Picking at least one lighter work will guarantee a crowd pleaser during the performance. You can also peak interest by having themed concerts, and not just holiday concerts, but ones with historical or cultural themes as well. You can also shake things up by performing the concert at a different venue. Have the jazz band perform at the local coffee shop or the concert band perform at the shopping mall. Also make sure that the concert does not drag on for too long. The audiences’ time is a valuable thing and you do not want to disrespect their support. Above all it is the music educator’s responsibility to make sure that through the learning process, the students arrive at a product that will wow parents and community members alike.

         One way to engage with the public is through the promotion of an upcoming concert or fundraiser—basically advertising for the event. All music educators are responsible for this administrative task. Press releases are a great way to promote a concert. A press release tells the public what the event is, when it is scheduled, and where it is to take place; it also needs to communicate why people would want to attend the event. If there admission is not free, the admission price needs to be included as well. In addition to promotions for up-coming concerts, the public should also be aware of the music program’s other information and news. The media can inform the public of festival participation and/or results. It can also congratulate student music scholarships and achievements. “In short, anything music students do can be brought to the attention of some segment of the media” (pp. 252-253).

Reaction

         I liked this article. Public relation is one area of music teaching that I know relatively nothing about. I attended a high school with a music program that was satisfied with just the parents showing up for concerts and fundraisers, so I really don’t know what goes into reaching out to the community for support. I think that now, more than ever, it is important for music programs to connect with the community at-large. We need to make our programs highly visible to the public in order to increase community awareness and, hopefully, bolster support. This chapter talks about everything from how to write a press release to how to engage an audience during a concert—very important aspects of relating to the public.