Is it harder to be a publicist nowadays?

Between celebrity magazines and Web sites, like Perez Hilton, and numerous social networking sites, like Twitter, there is an ever-increasing need for information to fill these publications. The latest gossip can be found almost anywhere and becomes a big story just seconds after the information is released. People and journalists can become desperate to fill their publications and pursue rumors or even create them. This makes a publicist’s job harder and more complicated.

Most people have video capabilities on their phones, allowing for spectacles to be documented and then posted to various social networking sites. This only feeds gossip more and publicists can have a hard time keeping their clients’ name and image away from such distortion. It doesn’t help that many celebrities have jumped on Twitter themselves. Now their every move and thought can be followed by millions; allowing for easy miscommunication to occur and words to be scrutinized.

Before the days of Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, blogs and chat servers, celebrities were not nearly as accessible to us and gossiped about. Social media has changed our relationship with them and continues to expose them more and more. It has also changed the job of a publicist.

Publicists now need not only strong written and oral communications skills, but expertise in social media. They must develop their crisis management skills to include possible mishaps on these sites and constantly be monitoring their clients’ activity on them.

Although the situation has become challenging, it is also what keeps the PR field interesting and exciting. Social media can be used in a positive light to help garner a respectable image for celebrities. It can also be used to reconnect or apologize, as we saw recently with John Mayer, who apologized on his Twitter for making an inappropriate remark in an interview.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Trish Wyatt.

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