Celebrity Publicist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a celebrity publicist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and required experience to find out if this is the career for you.

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A celebrity publicist is a public relations specialist who helps celebrity clients with the media and their public image. A celebrity publicist typically has a bachelor's degree in public relations, and some relevant work experience to build up skills and a client base. Read more about this career and how to get started if you're an aspiring celebrity publicist.

Essential Information

Celebrity publicists generate positive press and media exposure for their famous clients and make sure that their public reputations remain untarnished. A celebrity publicist typically must know how to write press releases, network and deal with the media, as well as have strong communication skills. Most publicists and PR specialists have a bachelor's degree in public relations or a related field.

Required Education Bachelor's degree is typical
Other Requirements Prior experience at a PR firm
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for public relations specialists)*
Median Salary (2015) $56,770 (for public relations specialists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description of a Celebrity Publicist

A celebrity publicist oversees the public image and manages all media relations of a celebrity client, which can include famous actors, singers, authors and sports stars. They also typically coordinate publicity events and make sure the client knows where to go and what to do. Other responsibilities may include writing press releases, releasing statements, escorting clients on red carpets and attending press junkets. They field questions and act as a liaison between the celebrity, journalists and the general public. Celebrity publicists may also generate their own publicity by pitching story ideas to magazines, radio shows and newspapers about their clients. If the client does something that can be perceived negatively, it is up to the publicist to conduct damage control.

Duties of a Celebrity Publicist

A celebrity publicist is on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They oftentimes have to work long and late hours, as well as be willing to travel with their client as needed. It is their job to make sure the client is happy and everyone's needs are met. The main duties of a celebrity publicist also include fielding questions from the media, securing interviews for their client and maintaining a positive relationship with the press.

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Requirements to Become a Celebrity Publicist

Individuals interested in becoming a celebrity publicist typically attend a 4-year university and major in public relations (PR), communications, journalism or a related field. Coursework often includes writing and editing for mass media, public relations fundamentals, PR ethics and professionalism, media organization and communications in the information age.

Publicists often have to start their career by working in a PR firm or for a working celebrity publicist to build a client base. Gaining hands-on experience is also a must for aspiring celebrity publicists. By interning at a PR firm, individuals gain valuable experience and learn how to handle different responsibilities, such as juggling multiple clients on a red carpet, dealing with special requests and learning how to write a press release that will garner attention and generate press. Successful celebrity publicists have strong communication skills and are assertive.

Job Outlook and Salary Information for Celebrity Publicists

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that public relations specialists, like those who might work for celebrities, will experience 6% growth in employment opportunities between 2014 and 2024. According to the BLS, public relations specialists earned a median salary of $56,770 as of May 2015.

After earning a bachelor's degree in PR from a 4-year university, an internship for a PR firm or an entry level position would help an aspiring celebrity publicist gain relevant experience. Celebrity publicists help famous clients with maintaining their image and reputation through releasing press statements, attending events, coordinating interviews and statements, and many other responsibilities. The work schedule for celebrity publicists could include travel or long hours.

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