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Head of Account Management, Publisher Development

Tony Barton

What is an average day in the office like for you?

Well firstly I spend my week between the Streatham office where my team are based, and the King’s Cross office where most of the high profile and earning member related meetings take place. So my average day often involves finding out where, physically, I need to be. I have learned to manage my calendar much better to cut down as much unnecessary travelling as possible and the new IT, particularly, Skype has really had a huge impact on my work life. The start of my day involves running reports to check out the outstanding queries open from the top earning 80 publisher and 2000 writers and ensuring my team are across anything extremely high profile. At least half of my day will then be spent in meetings with the business and members discussing big projects, working with the Comms department on Membership Communications such as the monthly newsletter. I deal with escalated queries from members, MCPS, the MPA and BASCA and from around the business as well as preparing for any of the four regular member groups I chair or co-chair every two months.

What do you like most about your job?

I have a fantastic team of people to work with who continually impress and surprise me with their skills and ability to keep pace with the changes in the industry, but in the role I have now, I really take pride in helping us maintain our status as by far and away the best society there is. For the publishers it is a continual two way education process which is very satisfying as the more everyone understands policies and processes, the less queries we receive. I have been involved in recruiting writers of some of the most popular music in history into the society, and a large part of my job is ensuring that when my colleagues bring other such writers to PRS that we make their experience of the society such a positive one that they go and advocate on our behalf to their contemporaries. Helping bring Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA into PRS is a recent career highlight but it’s about making sure we follow it up with top level service once admitted.

How did you come to join PRS for Music?

I studied at Brunel University at one of the very first Music Industry University courses that existed back in 1996. I was amazed to find that there even was a degree which seemed to prepare me precisely to work in the industry I had always dreamed of working in. The course itself was in its second year so was still very much finding its feet, but I enjoyed the mixture of industry experts and more traditional lecturers who we were taught by and I came out of the degree with a good grade and more determination to find a job in the industry. However, I had a year’s trip to Australia based around the Sydney 2000 Olympics to enjoy first so when I came back from that I contacted my college pals to see where everyone had ended up (this was long before Facebook!) and a whole bunch of them were at PRS. One of them hooked me up with an interview to the Copyright department in Streatham and I got that job.

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