What To Avoid When Hiring a Publicist

There are a multitude of reasons to hire a publicist. Self promotion is important, but eventually you will find the need to hire a professional. Especially if you want to see your work featured in digital or print articles or be featured on TV. High visibility promotion can be a crucial way to connect with new fans and grow your audience. Big press opportunities are often procured by the behind-the-scenes efforts of dedicated publicists.


Hiring a professional of any kind involves taking a custom curated approach that will fit your unique needs. Press needs vary significantly from person to person, and change as goals, careers, and exposure progress. There’s a lot of work and details that go into finding press opportunities and having someone who understands the industry is like a secret ingredient to your success. 


Publicists are definitely an investment, but an investment that can seriously pay off. Before you shell out any money, here’s some things to keep in mind when hiring a publicist: 


Is it too good to be true?


Hiring a publicist involves a lot of money and a lot of trust. If it’s seeming like it’s a deal too good to be true then it is. If it was easy to get you on Good Morning America or in Entrepreneur Magazine, then every PR firm would have bragging rights. You’re not going to get national media coverage every week. That’s not the way it works. We wish it did just as much as you do. 


What you want is for someone to honestly set your expectations. When someone at a PR firm opens with “I can get you covered in this magazine or guarantee an appearance on this show,” make them put it in writing because chances are they are selling you hopes and dreams that may or may not come true.


In the world of PR, we cannot control writers, producers, bookers, etc. We cannot guarantee coverage in anything just like a doctor can’t guarantee to cure your sickness. Like a doctor, however we will use our time, experience, and expertise to give you the best chance possible. If any PR firm starts making promises like this, get it in writing… or move on to the next candidate.


Don’t be star struck.


Past media placements for other clients can definitely speak to a firm’s talents and connections, but you can’t use other’s success stories to solely base your decisions on. Do your research before you hire. Talk to other people within your niche or colleagues who may have or have had a publicist in order to get personal referrals that are relevant. Understand what the firms have done to get their clients big placements rather than focusing on the placement alone. Ask questions and make sure you are satisfied with the answers. Find out where a publicist has strong press contacts, and where they may be lacking. Make sure the firm you pick has experience in your industry. 


Do their goals align with yours?


As a media specialist, that is what I base my work on – what are my client’s goals? Why does my client want publicity? Where do they want it? If your publicist doesn’t ask these types of questions, how can you be sure they understand your desires? If they do ask, keep in mind that the more specific you are, the better they can assess whether they are the right fit. Make sure you have realistic expectations, talk with a firm and have them help set reasonable milestones to achieve your own objectives. 




Like any business, you want to vet who you hire. There’s a lot of firms and a lot of options. At the end of the day, you want to be working with a publicist who will be able to tell your unique story. This involves making yourself vulnerable and being a little bit picky. Find someone you feel comfortable with and someone who will keep the lines of communication open. Accepting or rejecting a firm isn’t personal, it’s business. 


Having a publicist in your corner is key to seeing the results you want. Avoid the overwhelm and self doubt, the unanswered pitches, or whatever other roadblocks seem to always get in your way. Book a free call with me today and learn what a publicist can do for you.