Education and Training Requirements

High School

As a publicist, you are the voice of the person or organization that you represent, so it is very important to be an effective communicator. Take classes in English, writing, and journalism to hone your writing skills, and take speech classes to help you learn how to compose your ideas and thoughts and convey them to an audience. You should also take other college preparatory classes, such as math, business, science, and foreign language. A general knowledge of history, sociology, psychology, and current events will also be useful.

Postsecondary Training

Most publicists are college graduates with degrees in public relations, marketing, communications, or journalism. A college degree is essential, according to the Public Relations Society of America. Visit for a list of colleges and universities that offer certified public relations programs.

Other Education or Training

The Public Relations Society of America offers continuing education classes, webinars, seminars and workshops on crisis communications strategy, public relations writing, branding strategies, digital media, social media, and other topics. The International Association of Business Communicators and the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society also provide CE resources. Contact these organizations for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

The Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators accredit public relations workers who meet specific education requirements, have related work experience, and pass a comprehensive examination. This certification will help show prospective employers that you possess a high level of knowledge and experience.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Any experience one can obtain in the field of public relations—via internships, volunteer opportunities, or a part-time job—will be useful for aspiring publicists.

In order to be a successful publicist, you should be outgoing and able to get along with many different types of people. You should also be creative, organized, and able to work well under stress, since you will likely interact with big-name clients. Strong oral and written communication skills are a must in this profession.