“According to his publicist, Celebrity X was unavailable for comment about the rumor.” Who are these publicists that seem to have so much say in a celebrity’s life? They’re public relations professionals just like the in-house media relations agent at a large company or the event planner at a PR agency. They simply decided to specialize in the entertainment entry. Why?
There are a lot of perks to entertainment industry PR. PR pros in the entertainment biz get to meet and hobnob with the rich and famous, make useful contacts, and sometimes (but not always) get paid more than your average corporate PR desk jockey.
Think you have what it takes to help Lindsey Lohan craft her publicity message after yet another brush with the law? Or can you make the world fall in love with New York’s newest literary darling? Then you might want to choose one of these PR specialties:
Celebrity Publicist – As a celebrity publicist, your job is to get your famous client’s name and face in front of a waiting audience by booking events such as television appearances. Or, if your client is already mega-famous, you must manage what information about their lives becomes public and what stays private. As with most entertainment PR specialties, celebrity public relations is an extremely hard specialty to break into. Unless you are part of a firm or talent agency, you will have to find your own clients. And when finding your own clients, you will probably start out publicizing a slew of up-and-coming celebrities. And, fair or not, your star will likely rise and fall with theirs. Some celebrity publicists also serve as a one-stop-shop for their clients, performing the duties of an agent, too.
Fashion Industry Publicist – Whether you represent a just-off-the-sewing-machine clothing label or famous designer, fashion publicists have a unique skill set. Their job is to be familiar with the fashion world as well as social and economic factors affecting the people buying haute couture. Aside from performing standard PR duties, they might organize special trunk shows or sample sales for their fashion industry clients.
Book Publicist – As a book publicist, you may work for a publisher or, increasingly, work for yourself by finding your own clients. With the print industry fading in the wake of the internet, many book publicists have turned to social media – like Twitter, Facebook and book-related sites like GoodReads – as well as traditional book promotion tools like book signings and reading tours. These book publicists of the digital age often also utilize blogs, newsletters, mailing lists and other social marketing strategies to get their authors in front of a large audience of interested readers.
Sports Publicist – Whether you represent clients in the Big 3 U.S. Sports – baseball, basketball, or football – or clients that play a more unusual sport (water polo, anyone?) , a sports publicist is responsible for thrusting their sports star client into the limelight. A sports publicist will need familiarity with the world of sports as well as standard PR skills. Like celebrity publicists, some sports publicists may also serve as agents for their clients.
Political PR Pro – Wait, wait, wait, you say. Politics aren’t entertainment. They’re politics. Sure, “political PR pro” is included in this list with a wink, but interestingly enough, political PR has plenty in common with other entertainment PR specialties. Politicians often enjoy (or abhor) face and name recognition, they rely on a publicist to book them for events and media appearances, and they are – like entertainers – prone to scandal. While the theater is different, the PR chops needed to represent political figures and celebrities are eerily similar.