For the past three decades, I’ve been fortunate enough to work directly with some of the best PR firms and the top publicists in the entertainment industry: Here’s what I know to be true:

There’s a BIG difference between hiring a publicist and a PR Firm:

— A publicist is an expert in “media relations” and has established connections and relationships with writers, reporters, bloggers and content publishers.

— A PR firm is an expert in “public relations” which includes media relations, community relations, fan and customer relations, and complete internet and social media relations.

— The time to hire a publicist is when you have one or two BIG “spectacular” projects to promote, or, so many projects already in the queue, that you no longer can handle the job of promoting them all by yourself.

— The time to hire a PR firm is when you are ready for a long-term, strategic marketing partner, to help build your brand and keep your art and commerce in the public eye indefinitely.

— The time NOT to hire a PR expert is when you’re frustrated that your career or project is not moving forward and you just want to hand the problem off to someone else, along with a hand full of cash, and say “here…you fix it.”

— A publicist is only as good as the material she has to pitch. That said, it is critical to give her as much tangible data and information to use as possible. You need to keep her busy with stories, angles and ideas to work with throughout her time managing your campaign.

— You’ll get the most from your PR $$$ if you know exactly what you want before you hire someone to help you get it.

Important because there are definitely a few self-proclaimed publicists or managers out there today, who thrive on folks with money and love to see their face/story in print. They convince you that for X amount of dollars they can get you on all the social media sites and promise you thousands of likes and views. If not scrutinized properly, these so-called media experts can alter the course of your marketing objectives and drain the bank account very quickly.

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