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How Do I Become a Publicist?

A publicist is a professional whose responsibilities are to manage publicity for a pubic figure, business, organization, or even a brand. In addition, a publicist might work on particular projects, including a motion picture or book. In basic terms, a publicist is a public relations specialist that represents the image of an individual or entity.

Publicists essentially brand their clients by obtaining positive coverage of them in the media and elsewhere. In addition, publicists are also tasked with addressing negative publicity relating to a client. The typical top-level publicist works in private practice, either on his or her own or as part of a firm.

Education for Become a Publicist

Education is an important element of becoming a publicist. A publicist in this day and age typically has a bachelor’s degree in one of several different areas of study;

  • communications,
  • journalism,
  • marketing, or
  • public relations.

A person interested in pursuing a career as a publicist need not pursue an advanced decree. As part of the education process, a person with the goal of becoming a publicist needs to consider seriously undertaking an internship. The reality is that while classroom learning is useful in preparing for a career as a publicist, hands-on experience is vital to really lay the groundwork for success in this type of profession.

The crucial importance of an internship cannot be underestimated. In addition to providing hands-on experience that will prove beneficial on a job search, an internship might lead to a full time position after graduation. Many firms, businesses, and other entities hire internships that do solid jobs as full time employees when the need for a new employee exists.

Early Career Moves

Once a person obtains a suitable bachelor’s degree and completes an internship, the time arrives for seeking an initial position that will lead to a career as a publicist. In this regard, odds of bounding out of college and obtaining a position as a publicist is unlikely. Rather, the immediate objective should be to find a position in public relations more generally.

There is a relatively broad array of entry level career opportunities in public relations. There are positions typically available with public relations firms, larger businesses and corporations, and different types of organizations, according to Forbes. If a person’s ultimate goal is to be a publicist in a particular industry, finding an entry-level position in that industry is advisable.

Private Firm or Private Practice

Once a person has worked in the PR field for several years and begun to make connections and garner experience, the time may arrive at which an individual can become specifically engaged in work as a publicist. Depending on a person’s specific background and portfolio of experiences, he or she may be able to join a firm or even establish his or her own private practice as a publicist.

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There are approximately 270,000 public relations specialists, including publicists, in the United States today, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the course of the coming decade, the number of positions is expected to increase. The growth rate is anticipated to be about 6%, which is an increase comparable to the overall labor force in the country.