Differences between Band Manager, Music Agent and Press Office

6/5/2021 4 min read

More than ever there is a general tendency to confuse the manager with the press office or the booking agency. There are many figures that work for a band, The three that I will talk about are the Manager, the Press Office and the Booking Agency.
I've been in the music business for more than 10 years and it still amazes me to find people don't understand the different activities behind a band or a musician. It is not intended to be a guide to who does what, but simply an explanation.

Let us examine these three different activities in detail.

Also known as personal manager, band manager promotes the band's career by helping its members make business and creative decisions.

We assume that the manager is a reliable person and therefore knows that this role requires not only commitment but also a great deal of confidentiality and secrecy.
The music manager is the trusted figure who provides all-round help and support to artists, for example, if he is on tour with the band and one of the musicians forgets his jacket at the hotel, he will fetch it for him/her.
Is the person who takes deals with the bureaucratic aspects and leaves the musicians free from such commitments to concentrate exclusively on the artistic side.
You must be able to be both a confidant and a critic, ethical and above all, you must be trustworthy, because the band members you represent are entrusting their careers to this person. The job is intensive, there are many hours that you devote to a band facing both positive and negative responses, in order to get the proper publicity and financial compensation that the band deserves. Of course the manager is the person, in most cases, who find the best record label for the band.
You need to be creative, persuasive and have good communication and organisational skills.
You have to liaising with the band and maintain contact with a press office, if the manager does not do it him/herself. In case the manager also covers media communication, he/she has a double role, so he/she must be able to be efficient and fundamental in writing press releases concerning all the band's activities in order to increase visibility and reputation.
If you rely on a press office, you are still responsible for the music promotion and the image of the band.
As a manager, you may be responsible for getting band members to recording studios or concerts. It could also be your responsibility to make sure that the equipment is in perfect order and in time for a show, you may also find yourself in the situation of resolving disputes within the band.
If you rely on a press office, you are still responsible for the music promotion and the image of the band. In some cases, this may involve seeking financial backers to provide financial support.
Remember that the band manager is primarily responsible for all promotion, if you fail, the band's image will suffer. You could take care of the band's social pages or website, so timing and communication skills should not be lacking.
Some people say that the manager is the biggest fan of the band, that's true, but in the end it's not enough, you have to be always active, available and always have your phone handy. 
The band you are representing becomes your band.

The press office not only disseminates news and press releases, but also carries out all activities necessary to build and maintain relations between the manager or the band itself and all contacted media.

Press releases can be written by the band manager who forwards them to the press office he or she works with, or otherwise we rely on the creativity and professionalism of the person we have chosen.

The tasks go beyond sending out press releases, the press office generally has to create and diffuse press releases. First of all, there must be a calendar with releases and releases from the band. This is very important for the press office as it allows them to organise their work and be of concrete help to the band.
It is important to respond promptly to media enquiries with answers agreed with the manager.

Organization of interviews. The office must include the EPK the band along with interview requests, so that the media can have the material to write questions.
Once received the file with the questions must be forwarded to the manager who in turn will send them to the band, who, again through the manager, will send them to the media through the press office.
Organization of reviews. The procedure is the same but obviously nothing will be returned to the press office.
Whoever carries out this activity is the same one who also takes care of contacting the radios and finding the best channels to ensure that the music is played in the different shows and countries.
We can say that in most cases the press office relates to the manager who acts as a filter to resume the discourse of not burdening the band also with the promotion.
Also for this figure need the right contacts to send the promotion to, skills of creativity and great punctuality in writing and transmitting press releases in order not to damage the band.

There are many clubs that rely exclusively on the decisions of the booker who knowing which musical genre is most appreciated in an area, will decide which band to propose to the club. This figure becomes a sort of 'shows finder'.

For any musician, playing is the most incisive and direct form of promotion, and this is why this important figure comes into play that allows the manager to decide together what the best opportunities for the band can be. 
The booking agencies usually also deal with the transport of the band and the instruments and makes sure that the band has accommodation and the necessary comforts for the tavel and the stay. It is therefore necessary to have the support of a Tour Manager who takes care of the logistical and economic aspects of the tours.
There are more and more booking agencies that also offer the management service, so the booker, in addition to carrying out his activity as an event finder, must also necessarily deal with everything that belongs to the manager figure, without burdening the band.
The Music Agent himself can just propose the shows to the manager or the band but has no element to decide without the approval of the musicians or their manager.
Agencies that also offer management decide themselves which venue and event is best for the band.
So, these agencies, in addition to starting the lives, take care of the socials of the band (if requested), deal with all the contracts and support, the search for the best label, covering the role of manager in all aspects.

Therefore, why many mistake the Manager as the Music Agent figure is exclusively due to the fact that it is the Manager himself who deals with the booking agencies.

Valeria Campagnale