Celebrity Publicist: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a celebrity publicist. Learn about key skills, job outlook, salary and education requirements to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does A Celebrity Publicist Do?

Celebrity publicists generate and maintain publicity for high-profile public figures. This generally involves being in charge of all the individual's public communications, including writing press releases, organizing interviews and conducting press conferences. Much of the job will require handling the media on behalf of your client and managing the client's social media presence. It is advisable for aspiring celebrity publicists to have a strong command of social media platforms in order to build their client's brand effectively. See the table below for more information in this career path:

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Public relations, journalism, communication, marketing
Key Skills Interpersonal communication, writing, problem-solving, organization
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for all public relations specialists)*
Median Salary (2015) $56,770 (for all public relations specialists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training and Skills Do I Need to Become a Celebrity Publicist?

In order to become a successful celebrity publicist, you must be able to communicate clearly and directly through both oral and written outlets. You must also exhibit sound judgment, possess efficient problem-solving skills and understand how to motivate and influence others. Typical qualifications include a bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism, communications or marketing. Earning one of these degrees can provide you with tools to enhance your communication abilities and your understanding of psychology, sociology, business, advertising and promotion.

You may also want to consider an internship with a public relations firm while in school or after earning your degree. Becoming a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) can prepare you for future employment by providing valuable work experience and connecting you with a wide range of contacts. Gaining notoriety among businesses and peers will help to support you as you venture toward connecting with celebrity clients.

Entry into prominent work as a celebrity publicist can be challenging. Established celebrities are some of the best at (or the best known for) what they do, and they likewise typically desire to hire the best publicists available who have a history of building and maintaining a celebrity's image. Up-and-coming celebrities desire publicists who can elevate their image to the upper echelon of celebrity status, having worked with established clients. Networking is extremely important, and in addition to being able to successfully market others, you must be able to market your own skills effectively.

What Will The Work Environment Be Like?

As a celebrity publicist, you'll most likely have a full-time schedule working in a fast-paced office environment. While you may conduct some business with clients in person, much of the work is done via phone and e-mail. You may be required to attend public or promotional functions, such as red carpet events or photo shoots. Your ability to work under pressure is crucial, since you'll be required to consistently meet deadlines and generate profitable opportunities for clients.

Your regular workload will consist of researching viable ventures for clients, planning advertising strategies and constructing press releases for various media outlets including radio stations, television stations, news services and magazines. Your goal will be to work with media contacts to seek mutually beneficial opportunities that enhance both product and celebrity image. In addition, you must be prepared to appropriately handle any crisis situations for clients where legal or criminal issues, bad press or privacy concerns come into play.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual income for public relations specialists was $56,770 as of May 2015. However, in the realm of celebrity publicity, wages can be significantly higher based upon the celebrity status of your clientele. Public relations employment in general is highly competitive and even more so among candidates in celebrity representation. In order to have the best chance for success, you should continually hone your communication skills and learn to utilize the networking connections that you make to market your skills to potential clients.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are many different career paths available to those with an educational background suitable for becoming a celebrity publicist. One such career is to work as an advertising and promotions manager, overseeing campaigns to promote services and products to the public. These professionals also need to have strong communication skills and an effective command of social media platforms in order to successfully promote their product. A similar set of skills is required of those who wish to become fundraising managers, helping raise awareness of issues and oversee fundraising events in order to bring in money for a particular cause. It's important to note that managerial positions typically require prior experience.

If the communications aspect of working as a celebrity publicist is appealing, you may also want to become a professional writer. Writers submit articles to a wide range of commercial and non-commercial publications, sometimes writing to promote a product on behalf of a client. A bachelor's degree in communications, public relations, journalism or a related field is sufficient for all of these alternative career paths.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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