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How do I Become a Publicist?

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  • Written By: Elle Jay
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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Publicists work for public relations firms or clients to promote a particular person or product. These types of professionals are common in the entertainment industry and are hired to support the public image of a client. If you want to become a publicist, there are certain steps that may boost your chances of getting the job you want. Keep in mind that the public relations field is highly competitive. While it may seem glamorous, the road to the top usually requires hard work and persistence.

The first step to becoming a publicist is to have the right personality. It is the publicist’s job to manage a public image, and the ability to communicate tops the list of job requirements. A publicist should be highly social and able to convey a message clearly and easily. Some publicists must solve public problems and gloss over negative publicity, so staying calm under pressure can be one of your best assets. Being meticulously organized and a self-starter are also needed to become a publicist.

Working as a publicist requires more than social skills and the ability to keep your cool, however. Public relations firms typically expect a bachelor’s degree, even for entry-level employees. Your degree can be in public relations, but other acceptable majors include communications and journalism. Focus your studies on classes that will enhance your communication skills regardless of your major. Writing and similar courses are wise choices when studying to become a publicist.

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Public relations is a competitive industry, so firms rarely offer jobs to those without previous experience. Interning offers one of the best ways to gain experience in public relations. Internships provide valuable on-the-job training along with an inside view of what a publicist’s world looks like. Part-time jobs can also help get your foot in the door. Working within the public relations industry may help you begin to make contacts and start networking as well.

High-profile clients demand high-profile publicists, and in order to reach the upper levels of the public relations industry, you need impressive connections. Start getting to know public relations mentors and media figures when you begin your path to become a publicist. Develop and nurture contacts with anyone who may be able to help you establish and maintain a public relations career. A dynamic contact list can be extremely useful and is essential if you aspire to a high-profile entertainment-based publicist career.

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