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How to Become a Publicist

Rahul Pandita
Becoming a publicist may not be one of the conventional career options, but according to numerous surveys, it is one of the fastest growing professions in the world today. In this article, we will share some information on becoming a publicist.
A career as a publicist is fast-paced, glamorous, challenging and above all exciting. You get to work for the biggest corporate houses and celebrities, and most importantly, get quite a lot of media attention! Publicists act as representatives for their clients and are responsible for ensuring that their clients are in the news for all the good reasons. While the opportunities for rewards and recognitions are immense, there is cut-throat competition in this field.

Educational Requirements

There are no set educational standards to start working as a publicist, but excellent written and oral communication skills enhance the prospects of getting hired. During your college days, it is important that you choose those subjects which involve courses on communications, journalism, digital media and marketing. There are numerous schools which offer diplomas in public relations (PR).
Most of the employers are hesitant in hiring a candidate with no prior experience, but getting an internship helps in providing the right kind of exposure. There are numerous institutions which provide internships to students. Let us take a look at some of the best places to study public relations in US.
  1. University of Florida
  2. The University of Texas, Austin
  3. Michigan State University
  4. University of Houston
  5. Temple University
  6. University of North Texas
  7. University of Georgia
  8. San Jose State University
  9. Wayne State University
  10. The University of Tennessee
These were some of the top institutions which offer public relation courses to students. Although completing a program from these reputed institutions adds weight to one's resume, it doesn't necessarily guarantee that you will be immediately hired as a PR executive.
In this field of work, it is the networking and social skills that determine one's success. Doing some freelance work in your college days can help you in understanding the technicalities involved in being a publicist.
While becoming a publicist takes considerable time and experience, you can start your career as an entry-level assistant, where your main job would be to answer phone calls and making arrangements for interviews. It is important that you stay patient and focused in your initial days and don't give up easily. Most of the successful publicists of today have had to start from the bottom and work their way up the ladder.
To enhance your prospects of getting hired, you need to keep yourself updated about the latest happenings in the PR industry. To get work experience, you should be ready to work for very little initially as it helps in getting some credit on the resume.
Another attribute which is very important for becoming a publicist and being good at it is building relationships with people working in this industry.
There are numerous employment opportunities which are available on recommendation basis and this is where your networking skills play an important part. Once a reputed client hires you, your credentials as a publicist improves and people get to know you. From there on, how well you represent your clients plays a major role in your career.

Job Prospects and Salary

As more and more companies are becoming aware about the important role publicists play in brand-building and building strong relationships with clients, new avenues of employment have opened for aspiring publicists.
The average salary of publicists is in the range of $60,000 to $112,000. Los Angeles, New York and Chicago are the best cities to work for publicists as a lot of media companies are headquartered in these cities.
PR executives working with high-profile celebrities and politicians earn salaries in excess of $100,000, but it takes a lot of experience to reach that stage. In the end, we would like to tell you that a career as a PR offers you the opportunity to go places and quite literally so!