4 reasons ‘publicist’ is a dirty word in PR

Does the title of ‘publicist’ really reflect all the work and expertise you bring to the table? Here are some reasons to rebrand yourself.

The job title “publicist” once really meant something. Today, the PR industry is better off without it.

It’s outdated, outmoded and it undervalues the work of contemporary PR professionals.

Generating positive media coverage (publicity) is definitely a core function of public relations professionals. However, it is just one of many core functions and the title “publicist” says nothing of the research, strategy, messaging and many other activities that go into a successful public relations program.

In 2017, PRSA’s then-Chair Jane Dvorak described PR professionals as leaders, strategists and analysts—or, at least, she urged PRSA members to view themselves as such if they want to succeed in today’s complex communications landscape.

“Publicist” is a label that indicates none of those things and fails to encapsulate the work of professional communicators. Here’s why:

1. Publicists produce transactions. PR pros build relationships.

So many marketing and communications outcomes are boiled down to clicks, likes, links and conversions, but on the other side of those transactions are real human beings.

This includes journalists.

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