A lot of artist, authors, sports figures, business owners, etc. turn to the art of Public Relations to garner more awareness for their brand. However a lot of times, they are requesting their publicist to do things that are not in their job description, or they do not truly understand the role of their publicist. OR…they think a publicist is just supposed to get you blog placements. Nah. Hit the jump and let me talk my shit for a minute.
Below is the definition of a Publicist:
A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a rising talent, public figure, a business, or for a work such as a book, film or album. And yes, there’s a difference between a PR and a publicist.
Unlike agents or managers, publicists typically take a monthly fee for serving a client (whereas agents and managers tend to take a percentage of their client’s gross income). Publicists can be at local, regional or national level. They can also have special expertise in areas such as entertainment or literary publicity. I say that to say, please do your research before choosing one. Most of them think all they have to do is get you a few blog placements, but then charge you full service fees; not understanding the difference between PR services and publicist services. On top of that, most of them aren’t known outside of their city or state. If that’s all you need, then make sure that’s clear and therefore the proper fee is put in place.
One of the publicist’s main functions is to generate press coverage on behalf of clients and to serve as the bridge between clients, their public and media outlets. A publicist writes press releases, manages campaigns and performs other public relations functions. It usually takes many years to develop the media contacts, experience and relationships necessary to be an effective publicist.
Now, definition of a PR professional:
Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Public relations can also be defined as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics.
Publicity is simply just one arrow in the quiver that is public relations. Publicity is the effort to garner media coverage or exposure about a brand, product, event, etc. It’s focus is narrow. Public relations, on the other hand, is the higher level development of an over-arching strategy for furthering a marketing or communications goal of an organization. It is often associated with the term “reputation management.”
This definition gives you the basic break down, now there are some firms that go above and beyond to assist their client’s even help manager their career. A publicist will help with image consulting, image branding, and various other aspects of your career but for the most part they are there to expose you to the media in a positive light.
Now, THAT’S what a publicist does. I’d suggest you not only do your research, but request that the publicist provide examples of their work before you break bread with them.
Side note: for you “PRs” that just get blog placements, need to change your title to “blog placement professional” or something. Please, don’t fuck the game up.