ROLES XPOSED: Being A Radio Plugger

Find out about John's journey so far.

John Brogan

Music Potential caught up with John Brogan founder of John Brogan Plugging to find out all about what being a radio plugger involves!

What is a Radio Plugger?

A Radio Plugger is the person that liaises with radio stations; pushing and promoting the artist on behalf of record labels. 

What are your daily tasks and responsibilities? 

I guess the body of what I do on a day-to-day basis is going to meetings at radio stations. So I would meet up with the playlist teams or specialist DJs at Capital XTRA for example and plug my artists and their work. Other responsibilities include: bringing artists in for radio interviews and... replying to a vast amount of emails! I would say one half of my job is looking after the artists’ promo schedules and the other is getting their records played. 

What is your background and how have you got to where you are today?

Well, I went to university and studied Music Industry Management at Bucks University in High Wycombe; the first job I applied for after that was to be a Press Officer but whilst I was there, someone mentioned that I would be great at radio plugging! I had no idea what that was at the time but I pursued it and here I am. I wasn't specifically looking to get into Radio but I knew I always wanted to get into something music-related.

So this wasn't what you always wanted to do?

It wasn’t, no, not really! I had no idea what I wanted to do. Well, I had a vague idea. I knew I wanted to get into something music-related but I couldn't pinpoint where I wanted to end up exactly. You see, with most jobs in the industry you have no idea how they actually are until you experience them first-hand! So I think it's sometimes better when you don't know what you want to do because you may find that that dream job you've wanted since you were little may not be all it's cracked up to be! I think it's great to experiment and get work experience in a variety of areas so you can see what you enjoy the most first. 

What is your favourite part of the job?

Without a doubt hearing new music for the first time! It's fantastic when someone introduces you to their new single or album. Like when you hear something on the radio for the first time, it's always super exciting and that great feeling never gets old.  

What is the most difficult part of your job? 

Unfortunately the hours. This job is incredibly time-consuming! It is a lot of work and you do have to work extremely hard - evenings and weekends included. So it helps if you love what you do.  

What makes a good Radio Plugger?

I think being extremely efficient and organised are probably the two most important skills to have in this field. You've got to be open to being put in a meeting environment and you've got to be comfortable meeting a lot of new people too. But I think if you've got an easy-going personality and you're efficient and organised you'll do the job well.  

What would you say your career highlight has been (so far)?  

Oh it's got to be getting that first number one record! For me that was Sigma with Nobody To Love in 2014. As a kid you grow up watching the charts and seeing something you've worked so hard on make it is just an indescribable feeling. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I honestly have no idea! I've never really had a life plan you see. I mean, I've been plugging for 10+ years now so I'll probably still be plugging! But you never know what's around the corner in life. There are always new challenges and opportunities presented to you so who knows. 

What would your advice be to young people wanting to get into plugging or the music industry?

Do your research!!! That's such a major thing. If you can walk into a meeting and know more about a particular area than the person running the show, they will want you around. People that are knowledgeable about their field or about the music industry in general are impressive. So listen to the radio, read music magazines, learn who has produced what, what's in the charts at the moment, what's doing well and not so well, know stations' playlists etc. Knowledge is so important, it proves you have a good idea of how the industry works as a whole. If you know your field you'll go a long way!