General Manager | ATLANTIC RECORDS

Katie started out working in advertising as a strategist, when digital was just getting big. With gaming clients like Activision (Call of Duty) and SONY PlayStation, Katie found herself thrown into the world of social media and content even before Facebook arrived. She stayed at the forefront of social for the next 10 years working for a broad line-up of clients from Toyota to Budweiser, helping them to establish themselves in the social space. In 2013 Katie found herself at silicone valley backed start-up theAudience running the Facebook pages of some of music’s and Hollywood’s most recognisable faces. Her next move was to VICE Media where she was the Managing Director of youth fashion magazine i-D, publishing print and  digital content to young audiences all over the world. Today, Katie is the General Manager of Atlantic Records in the UK, overseeing marketing, publicity, creative and audience development for some of the worlds biggest artists, including Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Cardi B, and lots more. 


What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now?

In my very first job I worked at a theme park and spent quite a lot of my time dressed as a giant owl, or taking pictures of kids on rollercoasters. I loved it and look back with fond memories. It was actually an amazing foundation for my career because it taught me how to influence people, and it really taught me the power of brands - kids loved that owl! 

Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.

I'm responsible for developing and delivering a current and relevant approach to marketing for artists signed to Atlantic Records in the UK. This means I oversee the Marketing, Publicity, Creative and Audience teams and make sure we have the right skills and resources in place to get our artists seen and heard in the right places by the right people. We have a really diverse roster of artists from Rita Ora to Burna Boy so I have to keep my taste profile and creative awareness as broad as possible. Everyday is very different. One day I can be developing high level commercial strategy for the label and the next day I can be visiting an artist on tour to convince them about our preferred music video treatment.

How did you discover that the creative world is right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Which train of events did bring you to where you are today?

When I was at school I wanted to be a vet and started on that path which was a really fast route to discovering I was crap at maths and science and I needed a world that was a little more ambiguous. Since then I sort of followed my nose through my career… I was always obsessed with advertising and loved the clever combination of words and pictures and so gave it a go in my early career through work experience and then into a graduate role. The creative world appealed from the start I would hate to work in a world where I couldn’t follow my instincts and change stuff up. From advertising I started to specialise in Social Media, and then moved into Publishing as the game became about Content and the two industries converged. Eventually I found myself in Music, which today is as much about visuals as about sounds, and demands a higher level of creativity than ever. 

In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?

I get all my inspiration from people - listening to people, talking to people and watching people’s behaviours, in real life and on socials. I am really lucky that I get to work with lots and lots of young creatives - musicians, film makers, photographers, writers, illustrators, influencers and more. Often my artists are the ones to introduce me and my team to new creatives and new ideas and keep things fresh and innovative. Being behind work that is relevant to people is really important to me - listening to culture and society at large is essential - I’d be gutted if our work was tone deaf or irrelevant.


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