Choosing the right publicist to take your career to the next level

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When starting your career as an artist, you will find that most of your promotion has to be self-published. This is everything from social media posts to email newsletters, and with so many outlets to cover; it can be tiring and stressful to manage all of the content yourself. There will come a time in your career when you need to enlist help with managing your publicity, this is where hiring a publicist comes in.

A publicist’s main focus is getting you online and arranging magazine coverage across appropriate media outlets. This could be in the form of interviews, features, premieres or reviews. Publicists can also be involved in securing brand partnerships and planning campaigns around tracks or music videos. Some artists prefer to enlist a large PR firm to handle their publicity, while others prefer to hire a publicist on a freelance basis around key release dates. Every artist’s needs are different, and hiring a publicist is not a decision that should be taken lightly. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts to be aware of when selecting a publicist.


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It is important to be aware that publicists are by no means miracle workers. If your music is not up to scratch, it will take more than a good publicist to get the masses to invest in your brand. Many artists are falsely under the impression that by hiring an expensive PR firm they will be able to take over the world overnight regardless of their talent. This is certainly not the case, a publicist is simply the vehicle that distributes your content to the press and attempts to secure coverage. If the press don’t like what they hear, your publicist will struggle to secure any features.

Make sure that you only hire a publicist when it is absolutely necessary. Hiring someone prematurely will leave them with little work and will leave you with big unnecessary costs. It is important to select the right moment to hire someone to assist you. You may be struggling to keep track of press requests and may lack the time to write effective press releases. This is a good time to hire a publicist to help you. When first hiring a publicist, it may be beneficial to first enlist a freelancer while you make sure that you are ready to take your career to the next level. Be careful not to be trapped into a year-long PR firm deal that you cannot afford.

One of the most important aspects of selecting a publicist is research. This does not necessarily mean browsing each publicist’s website and choosing the one that looks the best. Although this is part of the process, your decision should not be based on this alone. One of the best ways to find an effective publicist is to ask fellow artists for recommendations. This will give you a much better insight into who the best publicists are. Often, a fancy website can mislead you into making the wrong decision. Don’t be drawn in by an aesthetically designed site, let the publicist’s talent dictate your decision.

As part of your research, select a publicist who has experience with similar artists. If a publicist is used to working for heavy metal bands, they are less likely to understand the electronic music industry and therefore less likely to be an effective publicist for you specifically. Although this is not always the case, it is a lot safer to select someone who already has prior experience with similar artists and has a proven track record.


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Make sure to hire a publicist that understands your artistic vision. If they are nearby, meet with them before locking yourself into a contract. If your location does not allow you to meet with them, have a video call on Skype to make sure that you are compatible. Hiring a publicist is a big commitment, and working together will be made a lot easier if you choose somebody that you can get along with. Often, creative differences can cause tension in working relationships, be careful not to enlist a publicist that you feel you may fall out with down the line.

When choosing a publicist, it is important to understand their role. Ultimately, a publicist cannot promise you anything at all. If somebody does make big promises, it is unlikely that they will actually be able to deliver. A professional publicist will manage your expectations and explain that while they can offer to publicise your track to the best of their ability, they cannot ever guarantee coverage by media outlets. There are no guarantees in publicity, make sure to not be drawn in by false promises.


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Selecting a publicist is a big step in your career as an artist, and should not be taken lightly. As with hiring any team member, the decision should take time and require lots of prior research. The cost of selecting the wrong publicist is high, make sure not to fall into the trap of selecting too quickly and making the wrong choice. A good publicist will be happy to answer your questions and provide testimonials, as they will have nothing to hide. Selecting the right publicist will be a huge step in the right direction for your brand, make sure to take all the time you need to make sure you choose the right person for the job.