By: Anissa Gabbara
All types of public relations are important and each comes with its own challenges. What you must decide is what area of PR best suits you and your interests. For me, that would be celebrity PR. Being a celebrity publicist may sound intimidating to some, but since I’ve always had interest in all things entertainment, I find celebrity PR to be the most intriguing. Many people may think that representing a celebrity is fun and glamorous, but that’s not always the case. You’re representing the most famous faces in the world, and their careers are pretty much in your hands. That’s not something to take lightly! Here are a few things to keep in mind when representing a celebrity client:
- Their schedule becomes your schedule.
Ever heard someone say that PR is a 24/7 job? Well, it’s true, especially when you’re a celebrity publicist. You must be willing to dedicate countless hours, days, and weeks to your celebrity client. That means if they have an early morning flight going half way across the world to participate in a press conference and promote an upcoming project, pack your bags because you’re going, too. Or if your client gets themselves caught in an overnight crisis, it suddenly becomes your crisis. It will be your job to work around the clock preparing statements to the public, and what to say when the press is drilling you for comments. That leads me to my next point.
- Think like a journalist.
When preparing yourself for journalists’ questions, which they will have plenty of, always try to be one step ahead of them. Even if your celebrity client is willing to speak for themselves, a few media training sessions here and there won’t hurt. Remember, no question is off limits, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have control over the information you release to the public. Think before you speak, and focus on the most important points you want to communicate, which is the same approach a journalist takes while writing a story. This is where good communication skills come into play.
- Be an effective communicator.
Effective communication is key in all areas of PR. As a celebrity publicist, having strong communication skills, both written and verbal, go a long way. For instance, a well-written press release or pitch will likely guarantee media exposure for your client. In some cases, if you’re representing a political figure, speech writing is a significant part of the job, so don’t underestimate the importance of good writing. Verbal communication is equally as important and will not only make you an excellent public speaker, but it will make the communications between you and your client more clear and effective, producing better results. Long story short: You’re the liaison between your client and the public, so it’s crucial that you master the art of effective communication.
Being a celebrity publicist poses enough challenges, and it’s certainly not for everybody. Celebrity publicists face very unique challenges in comparison to other PR practitioners, simply because their clients are in the public eye. Do you think you could handle it?
Anissa Gabbara is a senior at Eastern Michigan University studying public relations with a double minor in communications and marketing. She currently serves as the vice president of public relations in EMU’s PRSSA Chapter. She has an interest in celebrity PR and hopes to one day work with some of the biggest names and corporations in the entertainment world. She plans to hone her craft while becoming a valuable source of information to others. You can follow her on Twitter @AnissaGabbara.