Behind the Glitz and Glam: A Day in the Life of a Publicist

Behind the Glitz and Glam: A Day in the Life of a Publicist

 

By: Andi Rouse

Red carpet events, back stage at concerts, meeting celebrities, tv & radio appearances along with photos shoots: these are the ideas people have of being a publicist not realizing all the work it took to get your client into those media outlets or on that red carpet. PR is a passion for me so I want to take some time and truly clear up what it is we do. As a LEGIT publicist we are brought on board to obtain press coverage and brand understanding for our client. We are most often the middleman between the high-profile personality and members of the media. I know from experience when I tell people what I do as a career, it often triggers that “oh wow” or “look of awe” expression usually followed by a “You’re a publicist? How exciting! Is your job a party all day long?” My responses: yes and no….the cloudy skies rain on our sunshine some days as well.

Being a publicist has been incorrectly glamorized in recent years. A perfect example is one of my all favorite shows and movies: Sex and the City where star Samantha Jones, a PR exec whose workday activities include lunching with Lucy Liu, sleeping with clients, trips to Dubai, exclusive invites to club-openings and champagne toasts at the unveilings of several prominently-placed billboards. You see Samatha partaking in all of these activities but none of the actual work. One of the hardest and most vitally import tasks for a publicist to perform is: damage control, attempting to counteract any damaging or potentially damaging press coverage the client receives. I like to call this the “Michael Clayton” part of the job. A good publicist can turn any scandal into brand expanding opportunity and create valuable name-recognition for their clients.

A HUGE misconception is that we only work for the famous. Sometimes they work for a little-known person or industry and create reasons for them to receive press coverage. A perfect example is a small architecture firm who may seem insignificant, but are creating these masterpieces.  A publicist coming in and spotlighting some of their creations, something as small as a few media spotlights could double this client’s current potential client base. Sure, being a book publicist is exciting work. It’s a creative industry, and we get the chance to rub elbows with top members of the media, athletes, entertainers, dignitaries and more. But just like any other job, it’s a lot of hard work and dedication.
A major portion of the publicist’s day is spent writing press releases and creating press packets (most often referred to as EPK’s), which have photos and information about the publicized person or company, or answering thousands of calls/emails. We put in extremely long hours, and most receive little financial reward in return, while operating under crazy deadlines and pressure. We are charged to ensure that the appropriate information is sent to the media. It is our goal to control our client’s brand. But at the end of the day, they go to the hottest parties in town, the ones for their clients that we created and made the hottest parties in town. RANDOM FACT: if you can’t network then you will not be successful in any business, but especially this one.

Andi Rouse- Life Made Easy PR President & CEO Andi.Rouse- Www.LMEPR.org

@LifeMadeEasyPR @AndiRo5

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Comments

  1. Great Op-Ed! As challenging as being a publicist is, this is the main reason why I want to pursue this career. It seems to keep you on your toes and in return you get to see the successes of others. It’s one of the most self-less jobs that I know. Publicists definitely need to receive more credit especially at award shows!

  2. Not only is Andi a great writer but she’s an amazing publicist that does incredible work on behalf of her client. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with her knows exactly what I’m talking about.
    Bravo!!

  3. I loved the behind the scene look at PR it is an area that has always fascinated me and the article didn’t disappoint : )

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