• Feature

Women Behind the Music in Cincinnati: Rebecca Potzner

Rebecca Potzner is one busy woman. As an expert in PR, band manager, founder of a company, writer and more she is the go-to person in the Cincinnati Music Scene! I had the pleasure to meet Rebecca at Bunbury Music Festival in 2013. Shortly after she contacted me to be a contributing writer!

I had the honor to interview my friend, Rebecca about being a Woman Behind the Music in Cincinnati!

You have your hands full girl! With your day job at GameDay, managing local band Friday Giants, Founder of Banded PR, VIP Host at Bogart’s, Promotions Assistant at B105 and Contributing Writer at CincyMusic do you even have time to sleep? Tell us how you got your start in Public Relations and writing!
Honestly, I’m not sure how I find time to sleep! Some weeks are rough, but I make it work and get in the sleep I need when I can.

My love for writing started at a young age. English was by far my favorite subject in school. In middle school, my best friend and I even tried to make our own “zine” complete with fashion advice and our favorite songs at the moment. As I was looking into college, I did some research on different majors and found that PR brought my love for event planning and writing together. Since that moment, I’ve never looked back and just tried to take advantage of any opportunity to learn. I completed a lot of internships in college and continued to find opportunities to learn after I graduated. It’s been a pretty cool journey from promoting local concerts, assisting an artist management team and record label, running PR for artists in genres from EDM to Sludge Doom, working press at festivals, and writing for different outlets.

I remember landing my first placement. I was working with a J’ADORE, a DJ/producer based in Denver. She was one of ONLY two women playing a music festival. I had to get super creative with my pitch to get an outlet to cover it and to get the other artist, who was very well established, involved in the piece. After a lot of brainstorming and editing, I was able to get one of the most popular EDM sites to interview them both and highlight their spots on the lineup. I felt like I was on top of the world went it all panned out. My first “official” writing gig was an interview with 3LAU for DJ Mag and it really struck a chord with me. It gave me such a rush being able to connect with an artist on a more personable level and to share their story.

What is your favorite part of being behind the music scene in Cincinnati? What inspired you to become involved?
My favorite part is honestly bringing people together to enjoy the music. There is so much satisfaction in seeing people in their happy place whether it’s listening to music or making music. After starting the #CincyEDM Facebook group, I started to see a lot of people out together at shows because they connected in that group. I thought that was the coolest thing.

We all need those moments to refresh and connect.

I think what inspired me to become involved is that I was so passionate about music, but I couldn’t see myself actually making the music. So, what better way to be involved then to help elevate the voices of those who are actually making the music. Though I still think it would be cool to be in a band. I keep telling Friday Giants I can step in with a tambourine or triangle at any moment. ;)

I know you are an avid concert go-er. Do you have a favorite? Ok…I know that’s an impossible question, what are your top three?
I’m the worst at picking favorites! Every artist and show offers a unique experience so it makes it difficult to narrow it down but i’ll give it a try!

First one I have to go with is Van Halen at Riverbend. I can’t reminisce on my childhood without thinking about Van Halen. My parents would listen to them often and I loved it. At a young age within a few seconds I could tell you it was a Van Halen song and I could tell you if it was David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar singing. While It wasn’t like seeing them in their prime, it was still incredible to see Van Halen live and with my family.

Another favorite is 21 Pilots during their Tour De Columbus at Nationwide arena. I’ve never experienced a concert where the entire crowd goes completely silent to focus on the opening of the show. It was incredible. Tyler and Josh give so much energy and really make every show an experience.

Ok- number 3. Lady Gaga? After doing a project on her in college, I gained a lot of respect for Lady Gaga. She’s so talented, and raw and unapologetically herself. I finally got to see her on the Joanne World Tour and she did not disappoint. Her voice is incredible live, and she was the most engaged with an audience I’ve ever experience at a show like this. Of course, the choreo and many costume changes were impressive too!

Being a Public Relations expert, what do you feel is the most important thing bands, brands etc… need to know?
Set your goals, make a plan, and build up your story. It amazes me how many artists and organizations I’ve worked with that didn’t have a plan set and tried to do things last minute. Sometimes that works, but in the long run it’s better to plan. Back to your story - people want something to relate to, to connect to. If your audience is captivated by your story, they’ll be there watching your videos, streaming your music, interacting with you on social, and buying tickets to your shows. Your story is what makes your band or brand authentic and personable. That being said, make it an effort to connect and interact with those that support you.

As a woman supporting the Cincinnati music scene, do you feel that your gender has ever hindered your path? Do you feel that you have to work harder to get your voice heard?
Unfortunately, it has hindered my path in some ways. There have been companies that would continuously pass experiences onto my male counterparts over me even when I was more qualified or working just as hard. Finally, it got to the point where I realized no matter how much work and heart I put into it, they were always going to hand it over to their “guys”. Even people who I thought were my friends would make inappropriate and insensitive comments about my success. I’ve worked extremely hard to get to where I am today and at the end of the day, It has just pushed me even harder to not only succeed but to stand up for myself and to lift other women up in the industry.

What women in music (or behind the music) do you admire?
Can I start with you? Running CincyMusic, helping artists/events with PR, being a Realtor, and you’re a rockin’ mom who takes her daughter to festivals. You are goals, my friend!

I truly admire all the women I’ve worked with - Maggie Curtis, Ali Hall, Danielle Morris, Kristine of AM Media and her team, Kay Towbridge who has guided me through working in the industry, Kierra Miller, my music vlogger friends - SafetyTess and Paigebackstage, and Alexa Ace of Gold Hand Girls.

Musically, I could keep us here forever but just to name some: Stevie Nicks, Donna Summer, Heart, Pat Benatar, Nita Strauss, Alison Wonderland, Lady Gaga, Krewella, Lzzy Hale, TLC, Anna Lunoe, and HAIM.

What do you want people to take away with them when they think of you?
Positivity and the willingness to work together. I know it sounds like such a “World Peace” answer but I’m serious. Ask the #CincyEDM group and I’m always promoting a positive mindset and positive actions towards each other. At our core, we’re here for the music. We all work better if we work together whether we’re artists, behind the scenes, or just the people listening to music. Who knows what would happen if more people branched out of their genres and started going to shows they typically wouldn't go to or connecting with artists in other genres.