It’s 8:00 a.m. on a Monday morning. You have the day off (lucky you). With your coffee in hand you turn on ABC to watch your favorite early morning talk show.
There, on the screen, is a famous celebrity talking about their latest film, charity work or product line. What you may not realize is that behind the scenes of that appearance, there is a publicist who worked laboriously, and strategically, to get their client daytime exposure.
Now, you may be wondering what a publicist does exactly. In order to tell you what they do, we have to first define the word publicist.
Publicists Deal with Public Persona
A publicist is a person who is experienced in the world of public relations.
They represent their clients by managing media relations, scheduling interviews, organizing and managing social media as well as other digital assets and advising on conflict resolution (usually when their client gets caught on camera doing something stupid).
Their main focus is to strategically manage the public persona of their clients.
What Makes Publicists Different
What I feel differentiates a general PR person from a publicist isn’t the skill set. Both professionals share the same foundation of roles and talents.
What makes a publicist a publicist is their specific clientele. Publicists specialize in handling ultra high-profile people such as celebrities, athletes, musicians, actors, politicians and anyone else who is constantly in the public eye.
Some of these publicists are even high-profiled individuals themselves.
Two Notable Publicists and Who They Represent
John Wentworth, the Executive Vice President at CBS Television Distribution, is one of the most notable publicists in the United States. He has launched long-standing televisions shows and continues to represent Jeopardy!, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy and Entertainment Tonight—just to name a few.
Joy Fehily, Partner at Prime Public Relations and Communications, has not only succeeded in running a successful PR firm, but she also represents clients such as Olivia Wilde and Seth McFarlane.
With her success, she will only continue to be one of the leading ladies in managing the entertainment industry.
What does the term publicist mean to you?