From tour announcements to album releases, Publicists are responsible for promoting their artists’ work through media campaigns.
Music Publicists work diligently to promote their clients’ work with the ultimate goal of calling attention to upcoming projects in the short term, such as new album releases, while simultaneously elevating the artists’ career in the long term.
Also commonly referred to as Press Agents, Publicists work closely with media outlets to create exposure for their clients by writing press releases, creating press kits, and scheduling interviews and television appearances. The most important skill a successful publicist must have is the ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and textually. While this skill is crucial to have in order to create an effective media campaign, it is also necessary for damage control, should an artist receive negative press.
While most Publicists work for either a PR Firm or for a record label, some operate independently as freelance publicists. No matter where they are employed though, all press agents act with the same goal of promoting their clients, growing their audiences, and getting their music out for the world to hear.
You pay for publicity by the hour, as you would a lawyer or accountant. The lawyer does not guarantee they can win your case, and the accountant does not guarantee the largest return ever - but you pay them to do a service to represent you in the best way possible.
Founder, CEO, and Director of Publicity at Whoa, That’s Fresh! Marketing and Publicity
A publicist’s primary responsibility is to run publicity campaigns on behalf of each of their clients. PR Agents secure press for artists wherever possible, including reviews, interviews, posting to social media, fielding press inquiries, and writing press releases and artists’ biographies. In order for a campaign to be successful, publicists need to stay organized and be attentive to their client’s needs. While there is a basic outline when it comes to running a publicity campaign, there is no cookie-cutter way that will work for every client – campaigns need to be personalized based on the artist and their goals in order to find the most success.
Although publicists are key members of an artist’s team, they spend most of their time communicating with media contacts. A publicist needs to have a sufficient understanding of their clients’ music, goals, and overall brand, but they do not necessarily need to interact with the artist to achieve that awareness.
Publicists can be replaceable, and some artists even handle their publicity matters in the early stages of their careers. While an artist may work with a press agent frequently throughout their career, publicists are needed most before the release of a project. Therefore, if an artist is between projects, having a publicist is not essential to their work.
- creative vision
- project management
- design software
- quick thinking
Publicists attempt to dedicate equal amounts of time to each of their clients, although some publicity campaigns ultimately require more time than others depending on how long or detailed they are. Even if a PR Agent is scheduled from 9-5, they need to be prepared to work nights, weekends, and even holidays in order to meet deadlines.
Is a degree required?
Some common degrees are Public Relations, Communications, Marketing, Advertising, English, and Journalism.
A college education is highly recommended for those interested in pursuing a career in publicity, but there is not a specific major that provides a gateway into PR. Many publicists do major in Public Relations, but English and Communications are popular majors as well. An undergraduate degree is sufficient most of the time; however, there are opportunities for aspiring publicists to further their education by pursuing a graduate degree in PR, Marketing, Business Administration, or another related field.
Securing an internship related to publicity is also highly recommended and, in fact, is often the most pivotal step for someone ultimately looking to land a job in PR. Many PR firms offer internships that allow aspiring publicists to gain experience as they prepare to enter the field. After completing the internship, some interns may be welcomed to the staff full time, but others may pursue work at record labels or other PR firms.
Pre-pack of promotional material that provides information about the artist (introduction, releases, articles, etc.). An EPK (Electronic Press Kit) is the best example. It usually acts as the resume for the artist, designed to provide information about the artist to labels, agents, talent buyers, and many more.
A written statement that offers media outlets a summary of news about an artist, such as an upcoming album release.
Abbreviation for Public Relations. It is related to keeping a certain image for the company or the artist. PR usually acts as a third party to help with the artist's image or reputation maintenance.
Written by Julia
Created by Stef and Fran
Published October 25th 2021
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