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What is a Publicist?

Also known as: Media Agent, Public Relations Consultant.

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 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, but promotion is always the focal point.

What does a Publicist do?

Public relations is the art of influencing public perception by using strategic communication, and this is exactly what a publicist does.

There are several ways a publicist can do this:

  • draft press releases
  • 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

There are several types of publicists:

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.

What is the workplace of a Publicist like?

Publicists work in almost any field, with clients ranging from actors and singers to hospitals and big corporations. Some publicists work a standard eight-hour workday, but most find that regular weekend and evening work is necessary. This is particularly true when working with celebrities, as a lot can happen after 5pm and on weekends that publicists need to stay abreast of.

How can I become a Publicist?

To become a publicist, a university degree is essential. A background in marketing, english, communications, journalism, or advertising, along with prior work experience within these fields is recommended. Getting an internship or part-time work at a public relations firm or other media outlet while in school is highly recommended for getting the necessary work experience.



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