Public exposure is the bread and butter of someone engaged in the field of public relations. Companies acquire the services of public relations firms to enhance their reputation with the public. Thus, publicists are the ones who are in-charge of showing a company's best to the world. They protect the reputation of the company to the best of their abilities.
A career in public relations is often visualized as glamorous. A publicist is often seen in parties and media events and can casually engage in socialization with celebrities and other important people. The truth is, this is all part of the job, and publicists never fully get to enjoy these parties. Publicists need to be constantly on their toes working long hours just so they can guarantee good public exposure for their clients.
The title "publicist" may be considered as a general term for public relations workers. Public relations workers, in truth, may have certain specializations such as the following:
- Media Relations. A media relations officer's or media relations specialist's basic responsibility is building and ensuring a harmonious relationship with people in print, advertising, radio, and television companies. They are the ones who prepare the company's publications and communicate them to the different media.
- Marketing Communications. A publicist specializing in Marketing Communications gears his skills towards improving the company's reputation and making it marketable. He is engaged in the tedious task of image building as well as in maintaining a strong media network for the company.
- Crisis Management. The publicist that specializes in Crisis Management is one that has the ability to make a huge turn around for a company, the reputation of which is undergoing a major public challenge, through crisis communications. An example of a crisis may be an ongoing investigation staged by a government agency about the company's legal standing. Reputation protection is the ultimate priority, and it may be done by crafting press releases or statements that strongly refute the attacks made on the company.
- Corporate Communications. Corporate communications officers ensure that a company's corporate image is well maintained. They are the ones who effectively disseminate communication to the company's or organization's employees and shareholders, the different bodies of media, the government, and other organizations in the same industry. These may be done by organizing the corporate newsletter, staging of special events, and advertising.
Aside from the perks of partying and socialization, public relations people enjoy a salary ranging from $25,000 a year to $100,000 a year depending on the public relations firm employing them and the years of experience.
A career in public relations may also open doors to other career opportunities in the media. Many public relations people get employed as journalists. On the other hand, journalists may also eventually work well as publicists, considering their existent network in media and advertising.
It is a tough world for companies nowadays to keep themselves on top. Public relations people give them the edge to stand out. Without publicists, they will not look interesting to the media and the general public, which are actually their sellers and buyers respectively.