A publicist is in charge of promoting and protecting the reputation of a company, brand, association, organization or even an individual. The publicist role would be to organizing and leading relationship with external influential sources (may it be media, Influencers, Key Opinion Leaders) in its specific sector and field.
A publicist typical day would look like this :
- First monitoring. As a publicist you should be aware of what's happening in the media, in the society, you should know about the hot topics and how they are related to you sector and the body you represent.
- Thanks to the information gathered through monitoring, the publicist should be able to know about the large public current interest and craft stories angles that are relevant both to its sector , its objective but also fuels a larger debate and inform its targeted public.
- Once the publicist came with story angles, she/he should work on defining targets to contact according to their potential interest to the story. This is where monitoring and research come into action again. Through its knowledge, the publicist should know about the different channels (media, social media) and journalists, Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) or Influencers. The things you want to know is how they would cover your story regarding to their own audience that you ultimately want to reach.
- Once the publicist sets its target list, she/he should plan how and when pitch its story to the media, KOL, or Influencers. The pitch is essential to convince them to push your story to their audience.
- Aside of a pitch, Publicist work on a diverse set or materials (press releases for an announcement, media alerts for some hot news, Op-Ed when there is a strong opinion to share in order to fuel a public debate).
- The publicist is also in charge of planning, organizing and staffing interviews or meetings with medias, KOL or influencers. They prepare their spokesperson in crafting the right messages and the way they'll deliver it. Communication is about what you say but also how you say it and has to be adapted to the audience. According to your audience, the used language may vary from simple to technical/jargon.
- The publicist job is also to monitor about the media hits regarding its client and how its reputation evolves with time. Is the right public is reached ? What are the targeted public opinion, is it favorable to its client? Are they willing to engage with its client? The publicist should always monitor and analyze metrics and sentiment regarding to its client to know if its objective has been reached. If not how is the strategy and tactic may evolve to reach the objectives?
- The publicist is in charge of managing aspects such as awareness, "brand" preference, reputation, crisis prevention.
We live in an era where people are more than ever informed and where there'a a battle for the public attention, the publicist should keep in mind that its client and stories should bring value to the people it is targeting.
I would advise to a person who want to be a publicist to listen and observe, to be curious, empathetic and have a lot of experience to know what they fancy or not. An agency is a good way to start a carrer as its really formative and give the ability to cover a diversity of client and topics.
Its a demanding job but really important and rewarding when you see the results you can have. Airbnb mission is for anyone to belong anywhere, how could this happen if no-one is aware of all the possibilities and benefits this can bring?
Wishing the best luck to all the future publicist out there!