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Greg Neal

Music is her career.

The sounds of drums, bass guitar and keyboards reverberate across the stage and into the crowded dance floor beyond it. Chants and enthusiastic yells from the crowd can be heard far outside the venue as the lead singer grips the microphone and begins singing. The entire building has a magical, passionate aura as the atmosphere lasts well into the night.

This is something Rebecca Potzner (‘13) and her company, Banded PR, highlight on a regular basis. Banded PR, a boutique public relations agency and media outlet, primarily writes reviews of albums or interviews with musicians. During her tenure as head of the company, Potzner has featured bands such as Dirty Honey, Greta Van Fleet, The Aces and The Last Bandoleros.

While she was a student at Northern Kentucky University pursuing a major in public relations, Potzner wrote for entities such as DJ Mag and the Public Relations Society of America.

“I’ve always enjoyed writing, and that’s partially what led me to [public relations],” she says.

While working for these outlets, Potzner wanted to branch out to focus on the aspects of writing she most enjoyed. Initially, she started a blog to focus on her own interests and creating opportunities for herself.

“I’ve always been into music. If I can’t be an artist, I might as well use the talents that I do have to help those who do have those musical talents.”

“I get to choose and work with artists that I believe in and am truly passionate about their music."

One of those passion projects was "How BANDED Stole Christmas" in December 2020, which featured artist social media takeovers, performances and giveaways through Instagram.

“It was cool to highlight those artists and work with them one-on-one,” she says. “We all really came together as a team and pulled it together in honestly a week. So, it was pretty impressive. The artists really enjoyed it, and it built up our community.”

All over, the website is filled to the brim with band interviews, album reviews and even essays bringing attention to issues such as human trafficking and sexual abuse.

While cities such as Nashville, Los Angeles and Chicago are hailed as some of the best cities for music, Potzner says she rejected the notion that she could not write about music while living in Cincinnati.

“I didn’t take that for an answer,” she says. “I’m going to do it here.”

Potzner manages a team of approximately 15 volunteer writers and photographers, five of whom were recently onboarded, many just getting their start in music journalism. Surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for the outlet's growth.

“COVID, even though it sucked, really gave us time to grow,” she says.

Outside of her company, Potzner has worked with festivals and entities such as Bonnaroo, Exit 111 and Forecastle, as a social media coordinator. The festivals have featured musical acts such as Post Malone, The Killers, Guns N’ Roses and Def Leppard. Potzner herself is also a big fan of the Cincinnati music scene, especially rock bands. She covered Mammoth WVH in September when the rock band was playing at Bogart's in Cincinnati. Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang, founded the band.

“I’m a big Van Halen fan and love the music that Wolfgang just released on his own,” she says.

The band ended up sharing one of Potzner’s photos on social media. Potzner also worked with Michigan-based concert promoter MiEntertainment Group. Potzner assisted with social media and on-site PR for Upheaval Festival this past summer, which featured Korn and Rob Zombie on the lineup.

Through Banded PR, Potzner also offers public relations and social media services.

Potzner says she can’t imagine her life without music.

“I’ve always been into music,” she says. “If I can’t be an artist ,I might as well use the talents that I do have to help those who do have those musical talents.”