5 Characteristics of a Successful Publicist

successful publicist

  • Persistence
  • Confident in Public Speaking
  • Strong Writing Ability
  • Creativity
  • Organization

A great publicist can take a brand from unknown to superstar-status — but first, that person needs to posess the characteristics of a successful publicist. These traits remain the same, no matter what the industry and product. When you take the time to strengthen each area, it’s easier to establish a strong, long-lasting career in the publicity and promotions field.


Publicists spend hours each day getting their clients’ products and services out to customers and the media. Rejection is a natural part of the job — that means that persistence is crucial. An effective publicist keeps going, even when they hear “no” over and over again. After all, it just takes a few positive responses to get the media attention that clients need. This might mean tweaking the message for different audiences, building a bigger media list, or finding new channels to reach customers. Sometimes, it simply requires developing a thick skin so failures don’t feel so painful.

Confident in Public Speaking

Communication is a big part of a publicist’s job. On any given day, they may phone journalists, give interviews, hold press conferences, and network with potential contacts at industry events. That means that public speaking is one of the most crucial traits of a successful publicist. To get ahead, it’s important to communicate clearly and effectively, often in a very short amount of time. By mastering this skill, it’s possible to wow everyone from potential investors to TV anchors. Many publicists hone their speaking abilities through acting classes, programs like Toastmasters, and frequent practice.

Strong Writing Ability

In addition to speaking in person, publicists send out a high volume of written communication. According to Mediabistro, you can expect to write press releases, speeches for clients, biographies, and more. Don’t forget social media content — a publicist who can write attention-grabbing, on-brand tweets, Instagram captions, and Facebook posts is a valuable commodity. Each piece must match the client’s style guidelines and professional standards. The trick to effective writing for publicists is to understand the audience for each piece of text. That way, it’s easier to choose the words that motivate action.


It’s no secret that customers are flooded with marketing and informational content every day. This crowded landscape presents a challenge for publicists, who must break through the noise to reach the right people. That’s why creativity is one of the most important publicist characteristics. Great publicists know how to think outside of the box; they find new ways to use popular channels, and they leverage unexpected platforms to promote their clients. Often, this means staying updated on new platforms, reading news articles, and following other brands to get inspiration.


Organization is among the most crucial publicist characteristics, and for good reason — many professionals juggle many different clients and tasks at the same time. To succeed, you must be able to keep track of details like email addresses, journalist relationships, product specs, and campaign milestones. Most publicists need to be able to use tools for scheduling, communication, and collaboration at an expert level.


A career in publicity can be fun and thrilling; it provides the opportunity to work directly with up-and-coming people and brands. By developing successful publicist characteristics, it’s possible to build a reputation that keeps the work flowing for years to come.

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