Working in PR is a battle. The constant emails, managing expectations of clients who want the world from every campaign and sending pitches into the void of inboxes with the vague hope that they are received and responded to. Alex Jukes has helmed Jukebox PR since he founded it ten years ago in 2009. The company recently announced its move into management and will present the first projects on that side of the business this upcoming January with the first albums in March 2019. Offices are expanding from their UK headquarters to New York, Bangkok, Shanghai and Barcelona to grab footholds in each market.
The company has worked with the likes of Solomun, Matthias Tanzmann, Moon Harbour, Dennis Ferrer, DirtyBird, Printworks London, The BPM Portugal, Movement Festival, Kappa Futur Festival, Electric Zoo, Brazil Music Conference, Warung Beach Club Brazil, Privilege Ibiza and many other artists, events and brands.
We chat with Jukes about the growth of his business, the shift from just doing PR and how you attack campaigns in different markets.
How did you get into the business?
I started working in a club after my University football career was cut short by injury. I started going clubbing and fell in love with house music and really wanted to be in the scene. I started flyering for a club at uni and it built from there.
What made you expand into music management?
The music PR company has been going nearly ten years so it seemed a natural progression. We have clients and festivals all over the world. I have some amazing partners with state of the art studios so its looking really good for the future.
What will you offer?
Artists will be able to use our studios and technicians to add more value to the music, plus you can use our contacts to get you coverage, bookings at festivals, and also publishing and distribution deals. Its very different from normal management where they get an agent to get you gigs, someone to do publishing and have a PR company for press - we do it all, in one place.
What do you see people do that they shouldn’t?
I see a lot of managers try and use their artists, over book them, push them too hard. You have to get them to grow organically, and let artists do the gigs they want, let them make the music they want to do and not end up getting them pigeon holed.
How do you balance all the projects?
We have about 100 clients across our PR company and 14 people working across the different sectors so its about good comms, having clients on WhatsApp and speaking to them all the time. We will start with two artists on the management company so haven’t taken on too much. Its gone crazy from the first video we put out.
Who and what are you looking for with new artists?
New artists, people with passion, people who want to work hard, and not just expect us to give it to them on a plate, people who are fresh and exciting and willing to put the graft in.
Part of the company is to advise people on social media use. In an increasingly politicized world how will you do this?
I think it’s each to their own - as a DJ and artists you are kind of a public figure so you have to be careful with your opinions. I think the whole community should remain positive and you should be positive about what everyone else is doing. Leave your personal issues off Facebook.
With offices in London, Barcelona, Shanghai and elsewhere - how with Brexit affect you?
I have no idea and I don’t think anyone knows. It sounds scary but it probably won’t be as bad as everyone is making it out. It might even benefit some of us working internationally. We’ll just have to adapt and deal with it.
How do you approach press in different countries and continents?
Researching the right media is key. Different countries have different cultures so you really need to be aware of that. Each press release needs targeting properly.
What been the most challenging campaign for you to date?
I haven’t had anything really too challenging. We have some clients who are hard work but it’s our job to make them happy and go above and beyond to make that happen. Huge festivals can be hard as so many people with different opinions are involved. You have to sort of act like the UN!