Definition of a publicist and everything you need to know about a career as a publicist

A publicist is a professional who manages and creates the public image of a company or individual. They act as a liaison between the client and the public, ensuring that the client’s image remains current, positive, and accurate. Publicists work in many fields including the entertainment industry and for corporations, non-profits, and other organizations.

How to become a publicist

To land publicist jobs, certain skills and qualifications are necessary. Communication skills are key, as publicists must communicate effectively with clients, media outlets, and the public. They must also be well-organized, able to multitask, and work well under pressure. Publicists need a strong understanding of the media landscape, including traditional and newer platforms. A degree in public relations, journalism, or communications is often preferred, as is prior experience in related fields like marketing or advertising. Internships and entry-level positions can provide valuable experience and industry contacts.

What does a publicist do

Publicists have a range of duties that vary depending on their clients and work. Common tasks include creating campaigns, managing social media and events, building relationships, and managing PR crises.

Developing and executing publicity campaigns

Publicists aim to generate media coverage for their clients through campaigns. This can involve press releases, event organization, and pitching stories to journalists.

Building relationships with media contacts

Publicists build relationships with journalists, editors, and media professionals to get coverage for clients. They keep a database of contacts and reach out to them regularly. They provide necessary information for writing a story.

Managing social media accounts

Publicists rely on social media to promote their clients, particularly those in the entertainment industry. They handle their clients’ social media accounts, produce content, and interact with followers.

Crisis management

Publicists are often called upon to manage negative or damaging situations for clients. They issue statements to the media, arrange interviews, and provide guidance on how to handle the situation.

Event planning

Publicists plan and execute events. These events range from product launches to red carpet premieres. They coordinate with vendors, manage guest lists, and ensure smooth operations on the day of the event.


Publicists can experience growth and advancement in their careers. Starting in entry-level positions, some publicists work their way up to senior roles or even start their own firms. The job can be demanding and fast-paced, requiring the ability to work long hours and handle stressful situations with ease. The media landscape is always evolving, so publicists must be comfortable working in an ever changing environment. Salaries for publicists vary based on experience and industry.

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