I thrive on live music and being around the entertainment industry. That is why I have chosen to double major in music business and public relations. I have hopes that it will help me work in that industry without being one of the musicians or entertainers. The role of PR in entertainment/music business is typically called a “publicist.” A post on ereleases.com says that ” As a celebrity publicist, your job is to get your famous client’s name and face in front of a waiting audience by booking events such as television appearances. Or, if your client is already mega-famous, you must manage what information about their lives becomes public and what stays private. As with most entertainment PR specialties, celebrity public relations is an extremely hard specialty to break into.” (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/5-entertainment-public-relations-specialties/)
The Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics textbook says that Hollywood publicists are creative at generating publicity for their clients. They also deal with crisis communications and reputation management on behalf of their client or “star.” They issue press releases.
Industry Public Relations is a company out of LA and they describe themselves:
“Industry Public Relations is a public relations, integrated marketing and brand management firm in Los Angeles specializing in the entertainment, lifestyle and consumer brand industries.
Founded in 2008, IPR is committed to not only working hard – but working smart. We are a team of creative thinkers, who pride ourselves in combining strategic ideas with an aggressive hands on approach, resulting in campaigns that will help lead our clients into the future.” (http://industrypr.com/agency)
The future of entertainment PR leans heavily on social media. Publicists used to spend much of their time covering up the stunts or bad habits that the clientele was involved in. But social media makes news and rumors immediate. As soon as a musician or actress does something, anything….it is posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. So, a publicist or PR professional in entertainment now has to watch what happens on social media. He or she must make the call on how or if to handle a situation that started online. They can provide advice to the client about what not to and what to post on personal accounts. Someone like Harry Styles needs to be careful about what he tweets on his personal account
Speaking of Harry Styles, it seems relevant to mention what recently happened with One Direction. Zayn Malik announced that he was leaving the band at the end of March. There were rumors that he quit to be a normal 22 year old. But there were also rumors that his management/label fired him for drug use. There were also rumors that he cheated on his fiancee. Issues like these affect him personally, but also the face and reputation of the band. Their publicist(s) were on the case immediately, probably helping coach him what to say. The post made on Facebook was more than likely scripted out by their publicist, almost like a press release. It was written too formally to be from the boys themselves.
That also brings up another interesting point. Publicists issue press releases on behalf of who they work with. Those can now me integrated into social media.
So, where do I stand on all of this? I see the value in publicists in the entertainment industry. They sound like they are like the celebrity’s manager in that they help babysit the client. They help clean up messes when needed but also show us when the celebrity does something good and worth reporting. But I also think more effort should be spent in the music industry issues releases and news about the MUSIC. When a new album is released, a publicist probably does help get news releases out to appropriate sources but more time is still spent on the band or artist’s personality, mess ups and love life.