Guest Post by Sean Sorita
Hollywood is a place where dreams come true for many new actors, and actresses who are willing to put their fresh image and presence on the big movie and TV screens to screaming and adoring fans. It is also a place that is known as the “boulevard of broken dreams” where careers have been shattered as well. That is part of having a “thick skin” in the business.
Entertainment Public Relations is an incredible and fun topic for me to discuss in detail. To understand it, we must first look at it in a historical perspective. In the past, the main responsibilities of an entertainment publicist are to trump up press coverage for their clients. The publicist was seen as the link between the general public, the media outlets and their clients. Hollywood publicists in the “Golden Era” of Hollywood in the 1920’s and 1930’s would write astounding press releases, release positive statements about their clients along with “pitching” their story ideas to radio, magazines, and newspapers about their clients. Those three main outlets were critical sources of information that would make or break an actor or actress’s careers. News and information typically traveled slow. Lastly, a publicist’s role was to “oversee” the public image of the clients to make sure that it was clean and free of scandals or controversies.
Our world of entertainment public relations in 2016 has dramatically changed since the golden age of Hollywood. The role of the entertainment publicist in Hollywood for the 21st century is to generate “free” publicity, which is exposure for their celebrity clients in music, movie and television. Their celebrity client makes a prominent personal appearance at movie premieres, press conferences with the media, or gives television interviews for their new movie or television show. The cool part of being an entertainment publicist is that they can accompany their celebrity clients to the coolest and exclusive movie premieres, award shows and after parties. But, the glitz and the glamour is only part of the job for a publicist. Publicist must keep their clients to be prominent in the media. With the rise of entertainment news outlets such as TMZ, and Perez Hilton, it is extremely difficult to keep negative news such as scandals out of the news along with the rise of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Despite all of these changes, a publicist takes a monthly fee for serving a client.
The relationship between a publicist and their celebrity clients can greatly affect the “star power” of the celebrity. A good working relationship will typically generate positive publicity and news delivered to the public and the media. Tinseltown has always been a town where a hot scandal or murder has run amuck for years.
A publicist, whether he or she is a novice or experienced, should be persistent, optimistic, and have the innate ability to navigate the shark infested waters of Hollywood. Their image, along with their celebrity clients are on the line. The #1 priority is to protect the celebrity client at all cost. Your clients will be grateful for protecting them. Shine that bright, positive light to inspire other publicists to follow your shining example.
Sean Sorita was born in Santa Monica, California. He is a third generation Japanese American male that currently lives in Culver City, CA. He has one younger brother and one younger sister along with his dad. He graduated from Venice High School, where they filmed the legendary movie “Grease” with John Travolta and Olivia Newton. His major was History at that time. He also have a Bachelor of Arts degree in California State University of Dominguez Hills in History. His crowning achievement was obtaining a Certificate of Entertainment Publicity from UCLA Extension in March 2016. Even though he has not found an entry level PR assistant position yet, he has attended several PR events for PRSA and met some great people working in the PR field. He is a current PRSA member, which has inspired him to be a great PR publicist to young and upcoming PR students once he achieves his goal. Connect with Sean on Twitter.