You know you're a bad publicist when...


A publicist is defined as a person who publicizes something, esp a press or publicity agent. Despite Webster's interpretation, it seems majority of the people who hold the title lack a clear understanding of their role. As a working media outlet, we've worked with countless publicists over the years. Some were exceptional at their roles while others need to find new professions or take a class for improvement. You know you're a bad publicist when...

10) You DO NOT take care of media

Media helps you do your job, thus get your check. Anyone who can help us get some money is a friend of ours. Treat your media well. Will it hurt to accommodate them while they wait with food, drinks, a pedicure? lol. Really, when things go array, be sure to keep media happy. Let us know you care. If we all walk off, your client will be toe tapping at you not us. We recently worked with Briahna Gatlin of Swank Publishing  and she was a breeze to work with even in the midst of instances beyond her control. She encouraged our patience, and even presented gift certificates and pizza while we all waited. It's simple. Provide a comfortable environment for media since they are there to maximize YOUR event.

9) You OVER-promise and UNDER-deliver
Your meeting with your client went really well as you laid out your deliverables, promising everything but the moon and stars. You've got big ideas and dreams because you see the big dollar signs. You'll say anything to get the check forgetting that actions speak louder than words. Promise anyone a steak dinner, bring them a burger instead and see how they feel
about it. It's simple. Do what you said you'll do...and you'll continue to see big checks, happy clients, and happy media.

8) You get TOO emotional when media isn't interested in your client or events.
So you've got a new client or event that you've been paid to publicize. However, you're upset when media doesn't bite on your perfectly typed press release and flyer. What time are you going to get over it? There's really no need for an over-dramatic temper tantrum...but again, maybe there is if your promised your client something you can't deliver. Be smart. Develop
plans and back-up plans. Get creative for your clients with new products to offer. Learn to create new angles for media to work with, or your clients will never get noticed...well, not until they hire another publicist.

7) You don't COMMUNICATE
You've got media waiting around for your client or event to get started and we have no clues about what's going on. Sometimes you act like you've got it all figured out and other times you look as puzzled as we do. Understanding that things happen beyond your control, we believe that communication is key. Your client may be moody, running late, missing a flight,
sleeping in the hotel, or whatever. Bottom line. Don't make people wait for detailed info. David Nobel of DLN Marketing Communications & Consulting DLN MCC is an awesome communicator. Every single time, he gives you the real deal on what's going on.  This helps media assess what their next move will be. Everybody's time is valuable. Not just yours. It's simple. Tell what you know and find out what you don't.

6) You forget that it's NOT about YOU!!

It seems you've forgotten. You are the publicist, not the client. You come in with the ego and and air about yourself like you're God's gift to the world. You're selective in who talks to you and your client. The unapproachable wall you put up is very uninviting to most people. And the rest just don't care about you. How can you possibly convince people to believe in your client if they can't get around your attitude and ego? Does the publicist really need an assistant, a green room, and an entourage?

5) You are NOT organized

Being a publicist takes strong organizational skills...especially to be a good one with a positive rapport with media outlets. You have no concept of time, no structure in your events and interview schedule, and no idea of what's going on. You just wing it, relying heavily on a hoping that it all works. And if it doesn't...well, you only hold somebody's career in your
hands...that's something to think about.


You serve as a liaison between media and your client, right? But you've got a cell or office line you never answer, calls you never return, and emails you completely disregard. Any client that hires you apparently doesn't want a successful career. Some of these clients have no clue that their publicist is not answering requests to give THEM exposure.  So why take the job? Maybe you need a role that requires less responsibility and freedom.

3) You refuse to PARTNER with anyone

Publicists and Media should be the best of friends....and true friends. We're not talking about the kind of fake friends who misuse each other for personal gain. Establish real business relationships where we help each other out continually. Be mindful that people always look out for those closest to them. Partnering with media will lead to a reliable resource for your clients by providing outstanding and favorable promotional material. In return, be sure to benefit your media partner in some way. It's the ethical thing to do, right?

2)  You THINK you're smarter than everybody

It doesn't take a Masters degree in rocket science to be a publicist, so cut the act like you're so smart. However, it does require a completely different set of skills to maximize your performance. Bad publicists always try to pull the wool over media's eyes like we believe every single thing we hear. It been a growing trend among publicists recently to think they are outsmarting us. You lie like persian rugs,expect us to buy it, and then wonder why media and clients decide not to work with you. It's simple. Bad business practices get you nowhere. Just because we don't call you out on it, doesn't mean we don't know what's really going on.

1) You forget YOU too can be replaced
There's no job security in being a publicist. Just like hearts, contracts can be broken too. There's no pension plan or insurance benefit involved. Once you're on board, you're under your client's watch, waiting for positive results. Whether you've been in the business for 3 months or 12 years, there's always somebody who can do the job better and faster than you. It's up to you to produce the results that prevent you're client from seeking those Super Publicists out.

[Cue the Full House music]
All in all...we welcome relationships with the good publicists of the world. And to all of you who do an outstanding job, we salute you for your hard work and integrity. We need more like you in the industry.


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  • LOL this is hilarious. As a journalist I often hate or love the publicist. If I feel that I am not respected in a way that might come across in my write up. I am NOT ashamed to tell an artist when their publicist is slipping.

  • In reply to JessicaLaShawn:

    Hello Jessica,

    Thank you for reading! We are glad you can relate that it's hard out here for media :)

    We just needed to let some Publicist know how it feels to be on the other side of the fence.... LOL!

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