Etiquette 101: How Not to Treat a Publicist If You’re Getting PR For Free

Etiquette 101: How Not to Treat a Publicist If You’re Getting PR For Free

Publicists who offer free promotional opportunities truly believe in your cause.  They understand your passion, they empathize with your goals and aspirations, and they truly want to see you succeed.  This is particularly true in the entertainment industry because of how challenging it is to rise above your competition; thus, if you are offered free publicity, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Stay humble.  You are not entitled to anything.  If you are not paying a publicist to be published on their website or in print through their connections, do not communicate as if you are owed anything or as if you are above him or her.

2. Clarify expectations.  There is a difference between what a publicist can give you for free, and what you should pay for.  If you expect a publicist to provide some type of service or to provide coverage at a specific event, clarify, confirm, and reconfirm again.  Always keep the publicist informed.  Do not assume he or she will make an appearance.  There is plenty of other work to be done, including work for paying clients.

3. Communicate professionally.  A message delivered via Facebook messaging or Twitter DM is not official.  You have the publicist’s direct telephone number and you have their e-mail address — respect your business and communicate everything in a professional manner.

4. Always express some kind of gratitude.  Publicists do not provide free services for their health.  If a service is being offered for free, express some kind of gratitude; otherwise, the publicist will lose interest very quickly for lack of appreciation.

5. Do not burn bridges.  Regardless of how a business relationship is severed, make a respectful exit.  You never know when you will cross paths again, or when a publicist might be able to pull another favor for you.

In essence, that’s all free publicity is–a favor.  Respect your business enough to conduct yourself in a professional manner; reputable names are not made from tantrums.  When it comes to services, you get what you pay for.  A publicist will do everything in his or her power to help you for free, but there are plenty of other businesses who are willing to pay for PR expertise.  Respect the time and services you are able to obtain from a publicist, and remember to appreciate that person for their efforts in the first place.



  1. My Goodness!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!

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