What do you love about your publicist job?
I get to do what I love and make a living at "making friends." Many journalists become my friends and clients too, so the "work" almost becomes transparent. I also like being a helpful human; all-day long I'm helping clients "get to their next level" (as I like to call it). I am the liaison between them and the media, and I love that. I also love working with creative people.
What did you do before you became a Hollywood publicist?
I was running a small record pool for house and techno music (this is a form of promotion for record labels that are putting out vinyl 12" records and want to get their releases to club DJs). That was the start of my promoting in '93. Then in '94 I started promoting, and soon-after, producing live events at clubs and art spaces.
How did you become a publicist?
In ' 96 artists and record labels wanted to hire me to promote their new records. They were basically hiring a music publicist. Even though I hadn't done publicity specifically before, that's what they wanted me to do. So with the help of two already-established publicists who were nice enough to share a portion of their databases with me, I was on my way, helping clients. Promoting does come naturally to me, so I was able to step into that profession.
Do you have any advice for someone trying to find jobs for publicists?
Someone could start at a PR firm or in a PR department at a top record label or a film studio; in perhaps a junior publicist role, it might not be a high hourly wage, but it’s good experience in writing a media relations publicity strategy.
What is the hourly wage for a junior publicist?
I think to start out as a junior publicist in a PR firm or at a top record label, the hourly wage is about $10 per hour, depending on the state/city/company. A PR firm might charge around $2,000 per month or much, much more.
Besides being a junior publicist, what are some other publicist career descriptions?
One could start assisting an artist in their pursuit of media coverage. For instance, find a musician or a visual artist or a filmmaker who you really believe in and be their publicist. That might be for free or working for an hourly wage. With the internet you could actually do a lot of research and start to build your own database of media outlets and contacts. Start with just one town, not a whole national campaign.
Do you ever meet stars?
When I’m helping clients, yes, occasionally I do, but the majority of my clients and campaigns are up-and-coming artists and record labels so I'm not usually functioning in the celeb world.
As a Hollywood publicist, what is the funniest thing that has happened to you on the job?
This isn't too terribly funny, but this past summer I was greeting guests at my client's fundraising dinner at a private estate in the one of the canyons, and The Edge from U2 walked through the door and I tried to be normal but all I could say was, "I know you, you're famous." It was the lamest.
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