ACM in Conversation with: Tom Burris – Alumnus and Head of Digital for ie:music

29 Jun 2020

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We catch up with ACM alumnus and ie:music’s Head of Digital, Tom Burris.

Since graduating from Music Production at ACM in 2006, Tom has worked his way up in the music industry and now holds the title of Head of Digital at ie:music. From working at Glastonbury’s Shangri-la to creating digital marketing campaigns for Robbie Williams, Tom has extensive experience in numerous areas of the music industry. We caught up with him to find out more about what he’s been up to since graduating from ACM…

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What have you been up to since graduating from ACM?

Since graduating, I was an I.T. contractor at a magazine company all the while spending my spare time working in studios as an engineer / producer, promoting shows / doing live sound and managing artists.

In 2013 I began spending my summers working with the creative teams at Shangri-la, an area at Glastonbury Festival and Boomtown – creating animations, artwork, light boxes, installing decor and all sorts of other creative stuff.

In 2015 I started working at ie:music, my first full-time job in the music industry.

Tell us about your career highlights so far?

Highlights include a closely fought chart battle with Passenger and Bruce Springsteen where Passenger came out on top. This wasn’t the first #1 album campaign I worked on but I played significant role in the success. The most recent highlight is the Robbie Williams Christmas album campaign, where we successfully ran the digital campaign within the management team.

What was the most important lesson ACM taught you?

ACM taught me I could be a creative and make a career from it.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when you started your studies at ACM, what would it be and why?

Be persistent, keep teaching yourself new skills and be prepared to do your best work for free – otherwise someone else will.

What was your highlight from your time at ACM?

The biggest highlight was the people; the tutors and meeting like-minded students – some of which are in the industry now too.

What advice would you give to our current students at ACM who are looking to get into digital marketing in the music industry?

If you want to be digital marketer teach yourself all you can by learning skills online or by practice. The tools are all out there to use right now. Listen to digital marketing podcasts to learn the latest techniques and strategies. Offer to help people you know to run campaigns and look out for industry events to attend.

Tell us about your role at ie:music?

Myself and the team look after the digital spectrum for the artists on our roster: Robbie Williams, Passenger, Cher Lloyd, Neck Deep and more. We coordinate digital campaigns across all areas of audience development, music releases and tours. We strive to be the best we can with CRM, direct-to-fan and digital strategy.

What is your favourite part about working in the music industry?

My favourite part of working in the industry is seeing the reaction to fans – either online or at shows, and feeling that my contribution was worth all the effort.

If you’d like to find out more about what Tom does, and his tips for starting a career in digital marketing, check out our Industry Insights IGTV with him here!

If you dream of achieving success in the creative industries, join us for our new Digital Open Day Experience. We can’t wait to see what our alumni do next – and we’d love to welcome you into the ACM community.

Digital Open Days