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Monday, March 5, 2012

New York Philharmonic Chaperone w/ PR Duties

"Job Title: Communications Assistant

Posted on: February 28, 2012

Posted by: New York Philharmonic

New York Philharmonic seeks a Communications Assistant to provide general support to Communications staff including specific responsibilities for the following:

-Coordinate photography and video for organization, including scheduling and working with house photographers and media photographers for concerts/events; obtain clearances for photography at concerts/events and other media requests; choose photo ‘selects’ for publicity and marketing uses and service photos as needed; schedule portrait sittings for new Orchestra members; maintain Orchestra Portrait Gallery; coordinate annual Orchestra Portrait.

-Review major papers and online news sources daily for reviews, feature articles, and other significant pieces pertaining to the New York Philharmonic, its musicians, and others involved with the Orchestra. Distribute pertinent clips via e-mail on a daily basis, and compile all press activity.

-Brainstorm and develop media pitches for Philharmonic subscription concerts, special events and other activities; help cultivate relationships with key journalists; arrange interviews. Specific responsibility for radio broadcasts, listings/photo placement, season previews and holiday guides.

-Coordinate interviews for weekly radio broadcasts and podcasts (e.g. arrange interviews with guest artists, key internal figures).

-Assist with logistics and implementation of major events (e.g. opening night press reception, season announcement press conference, galas, etc.).

-Writing assignments as needed, such as some press releases (radio broadcast releases), social media platforms (Tumblr, Twitter) and other press materials.

-Coordinate electronic distribution of press releases through Swiftpage using HTML template. Responsibility for maintenance and organization of media database and lists (ACT).

-Each member of PR staff to equitably share in the responsibilities of concert duty for concerts and events throughout the year, including ‘all hands on’ events (such as Parks, Opening Night, etc.).

-Miscellaneous duties as required.


College degree with minimum of one year office experience (preferably in PR/communications). Ability to work in deadline-oriented, multi-tasking environment. Good writing skills and organizational abilities. Professional manner and a sense of ‘appropriateness’ in representing the Philharmonic. Proficiency with Photoshop, knowledge of HTML, social media, video shooting/editing and general tech ‘savviness’ preferred. Knowledge of classical music preferred."

The successful applicant will possess an intimate understanding of the Philharmonic’s image and philosophy in order to have the necessary propriety when communicating on behalf of the organization. I believe that the minimum office or liaison experience should be specified as being acquired in a mid-size or large department to ensure the new hire will be someone who has maintained not only composure but also a cheerful demeanor in a high-volume communications environment.

This poise under pressure will be especially critical for when the communications assistant “equitably share(s) in the responsibilities of concert duty…and events through the year.” This “concert duty” involves logistic and chaperoning, not performing, although “knowledge of classical music” will help the evening more tolerable as the communications assistant counts heads for the twelfth time and herds everyone onto the tour bus. Mercifully for the successful applicant, the communications assistant will not be required to perform at these events, and hence he or she will not need to rehearse or otherwise sacrifice time best spent playing phone tag with press contacts and revising press releases.

The “miscellaneous duties” requirement could be a deal breaker considering the prima donnas who abound in the “fine arts.” Let’s hope the communications assistant won’t have to fill in for the makeup artist or hair stylist! It’s difficult enough to find qualified applicants who not only know video production, digital editing, and the various social media outlets but also exhibit enthusiasm for classical music. I’m sure whoever is hired as communications assistant will have his or her hands full managing pressure from Philharmonic performers who lobby to have their respective photos chosen for publicity.

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