Job Description: TV Publicist

It’s a couple of hours before results are announced and we’re feaverishly working bludging in an Internet cafe.

Which is why we thought we’d post this wonderful guest blog that has been written by John in which he details what is required of a TV Publicist. Also be sure to check out his blog The InterChange Desk that provides career change and job search advice for the transitioning worker. Enjoy!

Job description: TV Publicist

Job titles can be deceiving can’t they? Sometimes they give you an indication of the actual nature of the job. Sometimes they don’t.

Things like doctor, accountant, and web designer, for example, are titles that tell you a little about what the job entails. We know a doctor treats patients. An accountant cook the books (ok, just kidding), and a web designer wants the latest Apple Cinema Display computer monitor.

Pretty straightforward so far, isn’t it?

The waters are a little murkier though when it comes to the job title o f TV Publicist.

The “publicist” bit suggests the work may be busy and challenging. After all trying to drum up interest in something people are patently NOT interested in, is HARD work.

The “TV” part however suggests something else. That kind of implies celebrity status and the limelight. That in turn leads to, well, Hollywood, really, doesn’t it?

After all there’s the pseudo entrances (stage right) necessary when arriving for work each day. There’s making similar spectacles, this time in public, of yourself while entering and exiting cafes and restaurants.

There’s carrying on loud, boorish, mobile phone conversations (preferably on over crowded buses or trains) about recent meetings (well, only one actually) with Halle Berry at some promotional shindig, and the lifelong and meaningful mutual friendship that developed during the (five second) meeting that took place. (All of which Halle hasn’t the slightest recollection of by the way, but let’s not rain on the parade here shall we?)

So let’s review what we know; we have a busy, challenging, role that requires a large dose of attitude to carry off.

Now the reality. Aside from carrying on the aforementioned overly loud conversations in public, designed by the way, to create the impression of juicy inside knowledge (read: unsubstantiated gossip), the most challenging aspect of a TV Publicist’s role is actually trying to look busy all day.

Yes, that’s right, “looking busy” is the hardest part of the job. So what’s the deal with that you wonder?

Well, I’ll you a secret but don’t tell anyone I told you, ok? That would send shock waves of alarm through the TV Publicist industry, if the truth were ever revealed.

TV Publicist’s have it good, really good. Of all the roles a graduating publicist wants, it’s one in TV. Why? Because it’s a push over. A bludge. A day long, week in, week out, jolly. A dos. It’s super extra cushy.

You see TV is something that requires NO promotion. No publicity. Everyone knows about TV already. It has an instant, ready made audience just waiting to lap it up! Look at the weekly TV ratings and you’ll see what I mean.

How many millions of people in Australia, or worldwide come to that, sit down in front of their TV each day after work?

And do you think that is due to the efforts of any TV Publicist? Hardly, when there’s virtually a TV in every living room on the planet!

They already know that workers tired after a hard day’s slog, bored housewives, restless uni students, convalescing patients, kids who love fast food ads, and those who generally have way too much time on their hands, are reaching for the remote, and tuning in. Just like that.

And they are paid a motser for their “work” to boot.

So, anyway got to go, I just heard a TV Publicist (bragging) at a local cafe that there were a few openings at the nearby TV station. Wish me luck, and please turn on your TV when you get home. I want my new boss to think I am already on the job!

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