Finding and Choosing a Publicist for Hire: A Simple Guide

Publicist for hire

Are you struggling to find the best publicist for hire? With 54,581 PR firms in the US as of 2022, choosing a publicist is not always easy, as everyone you approach promises to take your brand to the top. A good publicist will effectively communicate your brand to the right audience, allowing you to concentrate on other aspects of your business.

To find the perfect publicist for your brand, you need to research and look at reviews left by clients. Referrals by other brands can also provide good results. However, every personality and brand is different, and the teams you work with should have the right attitude, skill set, and experience in the industry.

This post will help you understand the whole idea of publicity and guide you in choosing the right publicity specialist for your brand.

Publicist For Hire

What can a publicist do for you?

The significant role of a publicist is to communicate your brand to the target audience. Publicity involves public relations, which is often confused with marketing and advertising.

The difference between PR and advertising is that advertising is paid for, and it focuses on selling goods and services. Unlike advertising, public relations is earned, and it entails creating and maintaining good relationships with the public.

The role of publicity firms is to promote a brand through different media, news, and other platforms. Through the help of a publicist, a company or personality can constantly enjoy a positive public image. These relationships are essential for the business in selling its products and services.

A poor public image can result from specific intentional or unintended actions by people associated with the brand or business. Negative messages spread through different media can kill a brand. PR experts can help counter negative publicity through damage control strategies to save the brand’s public perception.

Roles of publicists include:

  • Communication of a brand’s messages to targeted audiences to impact and influence their opinions
    • They work with clients in creating these messages, determining the message content, their mode of delivery, and how to drive conversations around their agendas.
  • Preparation of press releases, speeches, media alerts, social media content, and bios.
  • Scheduling, planning, and organizing events.
  • Pitching their clients to influencers and journalists
  • Creating  media lists and keeping track of coverage
  • Arranging press conferences and interviews.
  • Managing crises

If you are just starting to build your brand, developing publicity strategies may be challenging. In most cases, with limited finances, you may prefer to conduct publicity activities on your own. However, if you want to grow your brand and compete with the giants in the industry, you’ll have to hire a publicist.

How do you go about hiring a publicist?

If you are looking for a publicist, you need to factor in return on investment. Publicists are a significant investment for brands, and they have a direct impact on the life of the business. For this reason, if you are looking to hire a publicist, there is hardly room for trial and error. In this section, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to go about hiring the right publicist.

Planning

I suppose your brand is growing, and you can no longer handle the pressure of posting on social media, managing events, and media relations. If you have been doing all these on your own, you already know the PR needs of your business. The planning phase entails identifying why you feel you need a publicist and putting down your needs.

Research

At this point, you are looking for a publicist who can effectively handle your publicity needs. With your needs laid out, you can now indulge in research. As you do your research, consider the firm’s experience, the services they offer, the cost, and the industries they serve. Remember, public relations is organic, and quality doesn’t always match pricing.

Sources of research you can use include:

  • Referrals from your connections – The surest way of getting a good publicity firm is through referrals by brands that have worked with them.
  • Internet research – You can also find good PR firms through Google search. Reviews left by clients can also inform you about the level of services to expect. Some online sources include:

PR agency – the first option you should consider when hiring a publicist is a PR firm. These businesses are made of an experienced team of experts in different areas, essential for your brand. Unlike the other options listed below, which might offer cheaper rates, PR agencies offer accountability for results.

Upwork– Upwork has some of the best freelancers in the world. However, you should always get a guarantee from the publicist you hire as they don’t always deliver the results you expect.

Fiverr – You can also hire a freelance publicist from Fiverr, one of the world’s leading freelance sites. And just as stated above, you can never trust their abilities, and you may want to verify their skills by checking out their reviews.

Craigslist – You can also look for Craigslist public relations experts to help you with publicity. Since you cannot trust anyone you meet online, you may want to schedule a meeting with them. Alternatively, you can pay on delivery or sign a formal work agreement.

You may have to contact or visit several agencies before you settle on a publicity firm. Your publicist should work closely with your company to understand your brand and define your PR needs. The next step is to negotiate the rates and the expectations based on measurable results.

Publicist For Hire

Factors to consider when choosing a publicist

Experience – If you are an artist, you might want to work with publicity professionals who are experienced in that field. You can always look for evidence of their work and that of the team assigned to work with your brand. Meeting them in person during the pitching process can provide you with a first-hand feel of their abilities.

Sector and conflict of interest- most PR firms specialize in specific industries. The publicity experts you hire should understand your business and be updated with current trends in the industry. In other cases, having other competing clients could result in a conflict of interest. It is essential to have all your concerns addressed before you hire the agency or publicists.

Location – it is best to choose a publicity firm based within your region.  Always think of your target audience and how the firm relates with the public and press. It is convenient to hire a publicist within your region where you can easily meet up to address issues.

Testimonials – you should never ignore negative reviews or complaints by clients. When you choose a publicist, you should listen to current and former customers’ opinions. If they have achieved good results for them, they can do the same for your brand.

Cost – you should always seek value for money. It is always best to work out a publicity budget without opting for cheap PR services. As you negotiate the rates, pay more attention to the services they offer and the experience of the team assigned to your account.

Personalities – When choosing a publicist, you need to consider their attitude and reliability. A good publicist will commit all their resources to see you succeed. They shouldn’t be limited to the normal working hours or projects you are working on.

Meeting the team allocated to your account can help you find out firsthand if you can work together. If you own a smaller brand, you need an agency that will not discriminate against you and prioritize the more prominent clients.

Capacity – the publicist you hire should be able to take the workload. If the firm has too many clients, they may pay limited attention to your projects.

Don’t shy away from hiring smaller PR firms. These firms are often hungry for clients, and they will take an interest in your brand and go the extra mile to give results.

Best indie film publicists

Are you looking to promote your independent film? If you are running on a low budget, you may consider cheap alternatives or DIY strategies. My guess is that you already invested a significant amount of resources in the production and are looking for ROI.

For you to achieve your goals, you need to hire the best indie film publicist to get your film out within the shortest time possible. The publicist you hire should guarantee results, which can only be through engaging the most experienced film publicists.

Film publicists work with cinemas, studios, film festival representatives, film critics, the press, and other stakeholders in the film promotion industry to create and focus attention on your film.

Tips for getting the best indie film publicists:

  • The publicist you hire should show an in-depth understanding of the media and the needs of journalists across the different platforms, including online, print, television, and radio. They should also have excellent press and film connections.
  • Writing skills are also necessary for public relations. They should showcase the ability to create promotional stories for films, press packs, and releases.
  • Knowledge of SEO is also essential for publicists. It is rather challenging to publicize a film that is not ranking on search engines. For this reason, SEO and content marketing go hand in hand when promoting the film. And once you get organic traffic on your trailer video, you are already selling.
  • Film publicists should also have sufficient knowledge and experience in the film industry. They should be able to identify the film’s target audience and how to reach and excite them. Knowledge of film trends, viewing and box office figures is also critical when promoting a film.
  • A good publicist should be able to persuade key influencers in the industry, including critics, programmers, and the press, and drive opinions of the film.

Hip-hop publicists

Hip Hop publicity and music publicity, in general, is very different from traditional publicity. Your hip-hop publicist for hire should have a background in music and connections to radio DJs, mixtape producers, etc.

As you start your music career, you may not need a publicist. But as your music and fan base grow, you need to hire someone to shine the spotlight on you. As an artist, a publicist will get you on print and online press and secure interviews and features.

You also need a hip-hop publicist to secure video and audio premiers and album reviews, pitch journalists on promotional story ideas, and get you included in trending features. These professionals also provide career guidance on the potential image tarnishing actions and compelling narratives.

The music PR requires professionals with experience in the music and media industries to help artists put their best foot forward. You need the right publicist who cares enough and prioritizes your career goals, and is willing to grow with you and propel your career in the right direction.

Before you hire a publicist, you should do your research and find the right person for your career. Referrals are always the first option in finding a publicist for your music. The people you choose to work with should also show interest and commitment to your success. 

You may want to refer to the pointers above on how to choose a publicist.

Digital PR and SEO

PR strategies have evolved from traditional reputation management to combine modernized content visibility techniques. With 63% of the world’s population having access to the internet, brands are competing for the limited space on SERPs more than ever.

Publicists are now strategically focusing a significant effort on SEO to have their clients visible to their audiences. These professionals use online platforms to communicate branding and promotional messages to targeted audiences, build opinions and create agendas and conversations around personalities and brands.

With so much content competing on the internet, getting views and clicks is not always easy. SEO PR works towards building reputations by increasing traffic to your web pages and websites. Internet experts in this field can ascertain that nothing is more rewarding than organic traffic.

Digital PR shouldn’t be confused with online marketing. Even though they employ the same strategies, their goals differ as digital marketing aims at selling products and services, while PR is all about positive publicity.

Are you having challenges finding the perfect publicist for hire?

Consult publicity experts to help you build and publicize your brand over the internet, increase traffic to your website, and beat the competition.  Don’t overlook the commitment the publicist shows towards your brand.

Whether you are just starting out or already established, your publicist should indiscriminately show interest in your brand. Finally, smaller and thirsty PR firms are often a perfect choice for your brand.

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