Publicist Career and Salary Facts

Publicists strive to make their clients' lives and careers become attention-worthy items. Read on to learn more about the role of a publicist, degree programs that can prepare you for this occupation and salary information. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Publicist?

A publicist is someone who helps an entity create and keep a favorable public profile. These professionals look over advertising and make sure their client's efforts are made known. They also issue press releases, set up interviews and respond to any requests from the media. Below, you can learn some key details about this career in the table:

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Required Public Relations, Journalism
Key Responsibilities Manage a client's public image, help develop plans to handle crises, organize events on behalf of clients, create promotional materials
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 Does a Publicist Do?

Publicists or public relations specialists create attention for their clients, contacting news stations and media outlets to share information about the client's achievements, activities and plans. Publicists work in a variety of industries, from film and theater to business and government.

As a publicist your duties may vary, depending on the industry that you choose to work in. Celebrities often hire publicists, but they're not the only clients that a publicist may have.

In business, a publicist might be employed to help executives navigate their firm out of a crisis, working to restore or maintain a company's public image. As a publicist, you could be responsible for organizing events sponsored by your clients, whether for charitable causes or contests.

In the film industry, the publicist is the individual responsible for spreading the news about an event or promoting a new film. A publicist on a film project may be called the 'unit publicist,' according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and would be responsible for writing about the actors, crafting press releases and acting as a liaison with the media (

A public relations specialist may also be responsible for the creation of programs to show a client in the best possible light, work with advertising teams to develop promotional materials or even create publications to disseminate information. Upon entry into the field, you may work as a junior-level public relations specialist, working your way up to account executive or account manager, according to the BLS.

What Education Do I Need?

The BLS notes that publicists and public relations specialists frequently have a degree in public relations, journalism or a related field. When you pursue a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, you can expect to study interpersonal communications, writing for the media and techniques to create and manage informational campaigns.

You may also be required to complete courses in ethics and law, as they relate to the media. You'll have opportunities to learn from professional publicists in required internships that your school may assist you in securing.

How Much Could I Earn?

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that in 2015, there were 218,910 individuals working as public relations specialists in the United States. These workers earned a median salary of $56,770 at that time. Advertising agencies, business and professional organizations and educational institutions employed the most public relations specialists, according to the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related careers include public relations managers, event planners and editors. Public relations managers have many of the same duties as specialists but oversee the direction of those tasks. Event planners organize logistical elements like venues and transportation to host an event. Editors ensure the quality of publication content. All of these careers require a bachelor's degree.

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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