Skip links


Managing Celebrities

Posted: August 7, 2014, 10:17 a.m.
by Amber Ingram.

Celebrities . . . we can’t get enough of them, from the entertainment they provide to their drama-filled lives. It takes more than just a pretty face to win over the public’s attention. Public relations is a major foundation for celebrities’ successes.

Photo by avrilllllla via
Photo by avrilllllla via

According to Robert Wynne from, there are key strategies that PR professionals should consider when managing celebrities.

At the top of the list is making a connection with the fan base. This strategy includes methods such as meet and greets, reaching out through social media, and making surprise appearances. It is ideally one of the most important aspects for PR professionals in this particular business. Fans provide the primary income for celebrities, so without them, celebrities would lose their star power. Social media and in-person connections with fans help to maintain the fan base.

His second point is to “release bad news quickly,” which could help lessen the blow of the situation and become a defense against negative publicity. Trying to keep bad news from the media is a lost cause. Look what happened regarding the BP oil spill in 2010; it lost millions of dollars because of its initial lack of transparency. When you think about it, famous people are like a corporation. The same amount of time and energy could be said to go into both.

Wynne’s strategy list is a great starting point for those in PR who want to enter the Hollywood lifestyle as publicists.

In addition, Taylor Swift’s publicist of more than seven years, Paula Erickson, gives an inside look at what you should expect when dealing with a “country music ingénue and serial break-up artist.”

Erickson’s first piece of advice is to “expect the unexpected.” With a celebrity, chaos or inspiration could strike at any moment. Those in the industry need to be prepared to deal with change in all kinds of forms. When a celebrity rises up in the ranks, they may consider having their own “in-house” PR, which can be a good if done right. That is what Swift decided on after she parted ways with Erickson. As a warning, however, if one is not careful and does not hire trustworthy and experienced people, bringing PR in house could potentially end up a disaster. The third and final tip is that publicists should never get comfortable in their job.

It takes an incredible amount of work and dedication to make sure a celebrity gets the right kind of exposure. Many PR professionals have become like a “second mother” to their celebrity clients. Instead of fixing lunches, they are scheduling interviews, lining up volunteer opportunities, and keeping the media bullies at bay. Without PR, some celebrities might not be where they are today.

Return to top of page