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Navigating through the PR landscape in 2024: is it time to embrace the influencer?

How is the world of PR changing in 2024, what does this mean for artists, labels, and PR agents? How do we move forward? Traditionally, the role of a PR meant pitching to the press, gathering reviews, and arranging interviews. A shift to digital took place with the rise of webzines, followed by social media and streaming platforms. Fast Forward to 2024, all these forms co-exist, and navigating through the current landscape can be tricky: is traditional PR still worth the while? Do reviews still count? Do you need a PR agent and what do they actually do? Is it time to embrace the influencers? In this round table discussion featuring four experienced PR agents with wide experience in the heavy music industry, we invite everyone to share their input, concerns, and questions.

Friday 29. March 14:00 - Room: Frognerparken


Laetitia Abbenes // Northstar Media / AISAmusic (NL)

Experience as a PR in several branches of the music industry, Laetitia Abbenes has a resume of working with renowned international (metal) festivals such as Dynamo Metal Fest, Eurosonic, Beyond the Gates and record labels, currently head of Marketing and PR at By Norse Music and formerly working at Season of Mist. Last year, she launched her own company; Northstar Media to be able to focus on the projects and artists that fuel her passions the most. Currently, she is working with By Norse Music and AISAmusic, assisting on management and communication for bands such as Enslaved, Kalandra, Wardruna and more, and the festivals Beyond the Gates and Inferno Metal Festival. 

Katy Irizarry // Suspiria PR (US)

Katy Irizarry is the owner and founder of Suspiria PR, a boutique Public Relations company that promotes extreme, enigmatic, and esoteric music and events in North America. With over a decade of publicity and marketing experience, Katy Irizarry got her start in the music business at the tender age of 17, where her first bylines were published in the nationally syndicated print magazine, Metal Edge. From there, she expanded her horizons into radio, working on various production roles at SiriusXM and PodcastOne, where she was notably Eddie Trunk’s producer from 2011-2021. During this period, she also continued to write, having bylines in Loudwire, Revolver Magazine, Metal Insider, Outburn Magazine, and many other notable outlets. Eventually, her passion for radio and journalism led her to her first marketing position as a radio promoter, which ultimately led to her discovering her true niche as a music publicist. Having worked for many PR companies and record labels since 2015, Katy eventually went her own way in 2022, solidifying her place among the premier extreme music publicists in North America with a diverse and impressive roster.


Leoni Dowidat // Nuclear Blast (DE)

Originally aiming for a career in finance and economy journalism, life had different plans for Leoni Dowidat: Starting in the music industry at the sweet age of 16 as a music journalist, she wore different hats throughout her career including merchandise seller, tour, and band manager and finally… publicist. Being around as a publicist since 2019, she worked together with different labels before joining Nuclear Blast Records four years ago, three years as Head Of PR. Her roster includes bands like NIGHTWISH, IN FLAMES, SABATON, and BEHEMOTH.

Jessica Otten // Future Cult / Hold Tight PR (NL)

Jessica Otten has spent the last fifteen years experiencing it inside out, both as a recording artist and as a PR. As a musician in Dictated, she got signed to Metal Blade and did several tours with them, including to far-out rarely visited countries like Nepal and India. Their last album was entirely self-produced, self-released, and self-distributed, an experience that made a lasting impression on her. So while still musically active (she’s currently involved with the band Haliphron) she’s also been moving up the ladder, working at Season Of Mist European office in the Netherlands as a promo agent, and later Head of PR, from 2016 to 2023. You could easily think then that she has her plate full, wouldn’t you? Wrong. Instead of resting on her laurels, Jessica has decided to use everything she’s learned to forge her own path and use this for the benefit of artists she firmly believes in. Hence her decision to start her very own PR company, Future Cult PR!

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