My Job as a Publicist: 1993 vs 2013


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Whether you’re an author or a publicist, you know the old rules of book publicity are changing fast.

Every morning, I wake up wondering what the work day will bring– definitely not a lunch date with an editor or reporter. Not a day of placing calls or answering the phones. And certainly not an afternoon of writing formal releases for mailing out to the press.

Yep. The times “they are a changin'” and I suppose I’m changing with them, although I must confess it’s not often easy.

For the fun of it, I thought I’d put together two schedules comparing my work as a publicist in the early 1990’s and what I do today. The contrast is pretty stark.

Jane Lassar’s Work Schedule (circa 1993)

  • Mail printed page proofs to book review publications
  • Order photo prints (5 X7) for sending to media (allow 2-3 weeks for delivery)
  • Call radio and TV producers to pitch authors as guests
  • Send pitch letters to book and magazine editors with story ideas (or call them with same)
  • Write press materials (news releases, fact sheets, etc) for including in press kit folders 

Jane Lassar’s Work Schedule (2013)

  • Read manuscripts in digital form on my iPad or Kindle
  • Photograph authors using my iPhone
  • Seek new publicity outlets including blogs, web sites, and other online publications 
  • Coordinate and schedule author podcasts and blog tours
  • Coach authors about blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads 
  • Teach myself a new computer trick every day

If you’re a veteran book publicist or PR professional, I’d love to hear from you about how your work has changed over the years. Send me an email or DM me via Facebook or Twitter. Don’t bother writing or calling. I won’t know how to respond.

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About janelassar

I am a publicist with Gray & Company, Publishers. We publish books about Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
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4 Responses to My Job as a Publicist: 1993 vs 2013

  1. Tell me about 2023! That’s what I really want to know.

  2. Jane, the more it changes, the more it’s the same? There are two systems, blog tours haven’t replaced pitching national or local radio and TV. Placing OpEds on blogs or soliciting reviews is same old different name. We still write releases, the art of the pitch continues, and Q&A’s. But have to contact a lot more sources to place our books and authors..

  3. Alison Barrow says:

    Jane, thanks for raising this. In fact I’m sure I do both. The most successful book PR campaigns for us are those that embrace online, but also nurture offline coverage. As a long term publicist I’ve found that personal face to face relationships with key ambassadors and journalists are pivotal. And the author book tour? Still an integral part of major campaigns.

  4. janelassar says:

    Thanks for the replies. Alison, I agree that publicists are employing old school methods as well as new ones. I like to think of myself as a “hybrid”– someone who works in both worlds. Susan, I also agree we’re doing a lot of the same things– just doing them differently.

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