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A publicist generate and manage publicity for an individual or organization.

A publicist generate and manage publicity for an individual or organization. Some publicists are hired long-term, while others are hired to work on a more specific and time-limit issue, e.g. the release of a new book, movie or music record.

It is common for publicists to be employed by a private practice and work for multiple clients simultaneously, although large organisation sometimes elect to employ their own dedicated in-house publicists instead.

The most successful publicists usually have years of experience and have spent a lot of time and effort carefully building and cultivating media contacts and other utilitarian relationships that can aid them in their work.


The tasks and responsibilities of the publicist will vary depending on the nature of the contract between the client and the publicist, and it is important to clarify expectations before hiring a publicist. A blurry work specification can easily lead to disappointment and misunderstandings down the line. If the publicist is to work together with other staff, such as agents, promoters and online marketers, clarifying the responsibility of each staff member is also recommended.

Here are a few examples of undertakings that can fall within the scope of the publicists:

  • Generate beneficial press coverage on behalf of the client
  • Be a bridge between the client and media outlets
  • Managing publicity campaigns
  • Planning and carrying out a public relations strategy, both long-term for the client and short-term for the various time-limited projects embarked on by the client
  • Cultivate opportunities for cross-promotions

Local vs. non-local

A publicist can work on a local, regional or national level, although these distinctions have become somewhat blurred due to the growth of social media and other online channels. Still, there is a difference between the local publicist who generate and manage local publicity and the nationwide or even international publicist who targets a much larger audience. A rock band or comedian primarily having gigs within a limited region might do well with a local publicist, while a touring entertainer tend to need someone capable of handling a larger scope.

Publicists for ordinary members of the public

Traditionally, individuals hiring publicists have been celebrities or aspiring celebrities, such as movie stars, musicians and writers. During recent years, a sub-set of publicists have emerged that specializes in servicing ordinary members of the public who wish to procure the maximum possible fee for a story they are willing to sell to media outlets. This type of client will usually only hire a publicist for a one-time deal, unless it is possible to milk the story further or turn the fifteen minutes of fame into something more long-lasting.

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