What an entertainment publicist does in a workday

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Welcome to The Work Day, a series that charts a single day in various women’s working lives — from gallery owners to stay-at-home parents to chief executives. In this installment, we hear from Sierra Wilson, an entertainment publicist who recorded a workday in April.

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Job title: Entertainment publicist

Previous jobs: I’ve always worked in public relations and have had PR as a main career focus since high school. However, I have other hobbies and interests on the side that also help make me more well rounded in my career: I’m an event planner’s assistant, and I help a few brands with their social media.

What led me to my current role: I took an aptitude test in my AP English class in high school, and it said I’d be a good fit for public relations, as a campaign manager or as a news anchor. Public relations was ranked highest, so I Googled what PR was and that was that. Then “Scandal” premiered, and Olivia Pope was everything to me — I wanted to be kind of like her, “The Fixer.”

I got both my bachelor’s degree (2018) and master’s degree (2019) in communications with a focus in PR. (I went to American University in D.C. for grad school; again, think Olivia Pope.) I moved to New York a month after graduating from grad school and had a few jobs at different PR and talent agencies and realized I could combine both PR and my love for the entertainment industry. I’ve made that my focus since.

How I spend the majority of my workday: Most of my day is spent writing emails, brainstorming campaign and activation ideas, running social media or being on client calls. I do a lot of pitching for clients to different outlets, including podcasts, or figuring out other digital media opportunities that make sense for them.

I also spend a lot of time doing industry research. I work with music artists and other public figures who are in unique spaces in their careers. This industry research helps me stay on top of the latest trends, pop culture news and entertainment stories.

Some days consist of events, which are really fun because I get to dress up and spend time in person with the client and the guests who attend. Meeting the editors I invite or pitch to is a great way to stay connected and make my job more personable. Networking is a big part of PR, which is something I’ve grown to love about it. Not every day in PR is the same. There’s always something new going on!

8:30 a.m.: After hitting snooze for the second time, I thank God and say a small prayer to guide me through my day. Then I check my emails and Slack to make sure I didn’t miss anything from the night before. I go to the kitchen to make an iced coffee (iced always), put on a face mask and head down the hall to my home office.

10:30 a.m.: One of my clients launched a new song today, so I spend the first half of the morning doing outreach to editors and sharing digital assets of the single for outlets to post on social media. I decide to make this a “story pitching” day and spend the rest of the morning trying to secure a few clients some editorial opportunities.

12:30 p.m.: The bodega down the street from me has the best salads. While I walk there, I call my mom to fill her in on my morning and see what she’s up to. We end up talking about everything that pops into my mind. I send a quick text to my dad, because he’s more of a texter.

12:45 p.m.: I continue my months-long tradition and text my family group chat my Wordle score. My grandparents have no idea what all the colored blocks are, and I’m sure my younger siblings have me on mute.

3 p.m.: At this point, I’ve been on Instagram way too long — I’ve been looking for new performing opportunities for a client, unique brands that may work with celebrities as brand ambassadors and new editors to pitch.

4:30 p.m.: I have two really fun calls that feature a couple of high-profile people to discuss potential new business with them. Definitely a “pinch me” moment.

5:30 p.m.: I review a few more documents for my colleagues and put some final touches on a campaign deck. One of my clients has an interview with Forbes at the end of the week, so I have to work on finalizing the briefing book that will help her prepare ahead of time.

6:15 p.m.: Time to step away from my computer! My Slack and email notifications automatically go on silent after 6:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m.: But I can’t break the habit. I’ll end up checking them at least twice more later tonight while making dinner or catching up on “Abbott Elementary.”

8:30 p.m.: I do some quick yoga, spend too long in the shower (that’s where I do my best thinking), do my seven-step skin-care routine and put on my SKIMS pajamas (I swear by them).

9:45 p.m.: I send my best friend a voice note that’s three minutes long and very random. I spend the next four minutes listening to her voice note back to me. That’s our thing.

10:10 p.m.: I get in bed while “The Office” plays in the background and scroll through TikTok.

10:30 p.m.: I check my Slack and email once more, “snooze” some tasks for tomorrow at 9 a.m. and eventually fall asleep.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/05/10/workday-entertainment-publicist/

Christin Hakim

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