A publicist, also known as a public relations specialist, is someone who generates media coverage for their client in order to promote them to the public. Clients can be from anywhere, be it the film industry, the music industry or even be a company or private business that needs to improve its image in the public eye.
A publicist serves as a bridge between their client and the public, by the use of media outlets. The day-to-day duties depend on who the client is, and what his needs are but promotion is always the focal point. In other words, a publicist is typically the role people think of when they think of a PR professional.
Based either an agency or on an in-house team, publicists work directly with clients to help develop and execute their brand strategy. They are also responsible for coming up with publicity campaigns and identifying the best ways for clients to promote their brands to the press and to their customers. Many publicists also work with celebrities to promote their personal brands and professional projects.
So, do you think you have it all in you, what it takes to become a successful publicist and want to make it your career?
Start Publicists Business from Home
Then here are some tips and ideas for you for a starting a home business as a publicist:
- Contact PR firms, indie Publicists, and record companies and try to get an internship with them.
- Compile a strong portfolio of written press materials and a list of media contacts you personally know.
- Network by attending PR and music industry organization events, and by going to shows.
Most Publicists begin their careers as Interns or Publicity Assistants before landing a job as a full-fledged Publicist. From here advancement could mean getting hired by a more prestigious firm, working with more well-known clients, opening his or her own PR firm, or landing a gig as Publicity Director.
It is very important to possess an outgoing personality for a Publicist since a big component of a Publicist’s job is building and maintaining relationships with the media, Publicists often have to juggle deadlines, last minute interview requests or schedule changes, and a variety of personalities, so it’s also important to be flexible and able to keep a cool head in challenging situations.
Since Publicists are advocates for their clients, it also helps to be passionate about the music that is been promoting.
Here are some ideas about what type of publicist you might want to become and what role might suit you and your personality the best as a publicist so that you can find you niche in that area:
- Media Agents
– work with social networks, newspapers, TV and radio to build relationships with these providers in order to ensure that clients have access to all opportunities
- Special Publicity Consultants
– promote or create an intended public image for individuals, groups, or organizations. They work with companies of all sizes in various industries, and market a product or service.
- Unit Publicists
– organize media kits, send out press releases, and arrange media visits during the production phase of making a film or other work of art
- Press Representatives (or Press Agents)
– work in public relations (PR) and represents a client through a marketing campaign or publicity tour
- Public Relations Publicists
– maintain a positive image of the client by creating an advertising campaign for them. They will craft a story and make sure it gets a lot of publicity and good coverage.
Public relation is the art of influencing public perception by using strategic communication, and this is exactly what a publicist does. Basically, the main role of a publicist is to get good press coverage for their clients.
One of the ways to do this is by sending press releases to journalists. A press release is written like a news story, including a headline, and attention grabbing quotes. However, there are several other ways a publicist can do this:
- put together an EPK (an electronic press kit)
- pitch their client to the media
- schedule interviews
- oversee their client’s image (work with a fashion stylist if needed)
- scan the media for any mentions, both positive and negative
- manage any social media activity
- set up photo or video shoots
- help write speeches, media alerts, biographies, newsletters, blogs etc.,
- plan events
- plan press junkets
- make sure all branding is cohesive
- manage any crisis
- manage media training
A more effective way to get story ideas to a journalist is to cultivate a genuine, working relationship with reporters, editors and TV news producers. This means that as a publicist, you should spend a considerable amount of time networking with members of the media.
Much of a publicist’s day is spent on the phone or firing off e-mails. A publicist works long hours and is expected to be available for the client day or night. After office hours, most publicists attend parties and media get-togethers in the hope of getting face time with influential journalists.
More than ever, publicists network with online bloggers and read and respond to comments on popular social networks. In addition to a standard press tour, they might arrange for a live, online Q&A session with a popular fan site or interviews with podcasts.
A good publicist knows all of the editors, journalists and TV reporters that work her client’s beat. She knows how to pitch a story that writes its own headline. And she knows how to spin a possible publicity crisis into a golden opportunity. After all, “all publicity is good publicity.”
To land a job, an aspiring Publicist must possess a well-written portfolio of press materials he or she has created. An internship will give you valuable experience and job history; you can also reach out to a local record label or other music organization and volunteer to write press releases for them.
Additionally, some colleges and universities have student PR associations that provide valuable networking opportunities.