Thank you for providing such wonderful info about PR. As a former child publicist (now in the music biz), one thing actors should know, going to an event every week doesn’t necessarily guarantee more PR. Since my clients were in big demand at the time I represented them, I had them attend maybe one event per month. The press knowing that the actor rarely gets out will create a bigger buzz when he/she arrives at an event.

Also a good publicist will notify magazines in advance of a client’s appearances. Why take photos at a public appearance if they’re not published? If you’re in demand, don’t be like Kirk Cameron was (ignore the magazines). It’s best to keep the magazines updated with new photos and info on a regular basis, because if you’re helping a magazine sell magazines they’re going to print you with or without your cooperation using old info and photos, or some crappy photo taken by some photographer at an event. If that’s the case, make sure the magazines have good, up-to-date info and photos.

I also found it to be beneficial to my clients to occasionally pay for their own photo shoots and distribute the photos to magazines as freebies. Nothing pleases an editor more than freebies.

Dave Vergara
Dave Vergara Public Relations

These are great tips! The thing I would want to be sure to add, especially when dealing with young actors, is the importance of knowing how much to share and how much to keep to yourself. If you overshare, initially, you’re not going to be able to put that genie back in the bottle, so to speak. Privacy is like your virginity, in that respect. So, once the public knows how old you are, that information is always out there. Once the photos are on the Internet, you can’t get them all to go away with one click. The more you give away to the public, the more they’re going to want to know (and feel they have the right to know).

And, as can be tragically apparent in the most extreme cases, there are actors who will so crave the attention they once received from the press that they will act out in order to get that spotlight back, once they’re no longer on someone’s hot list.

It’s very important to treat the press like the tool that it is. Being a public person is fun, but it comes with responsibility and a need for advance planning on how to handle the ebb and flow of it all. Obviously, a publicist can help guide you through this experience when the time is right, but the most responsible thing you can do as an actor is pay attention — before it’s an issue — to what your motives are, in sharing information about yourself and your life. You’ll be glad you took it seriously before it became an issue!

What’s your gameplan? Pop your top PR “must” or “must not” into the comments area below! πŸ˜€

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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  1. Bernie Hirschenson December 9, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Dave Vergara, I need your mailing address to send you info on my film project. Bernie

  2. april January 12, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    bonnie – good advice for anyone who finds themselves “in the public eye” (which now includes all who are using social media). thanks for the tips!

  3. Elizabeth MacLeod January 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    All great tips…. AND …. I really liked what you said about ‘treating the press like the tool that it is’. Such grounded advice here. As I step more into the spotlight, these are good things to keep aware of . . . really remembering to remain my self and NOT let the ‘thing’ take me somewhere I might not want to go. To remember it is a ‘tool’ and to use it that way. Yes. …. and…. Thank you.

  4. Robert Williamson January 14, 2014 at 9:48 am

    These is a great post Bonnie, thank you – tell me tho, are things still the same 5, no 6 ! years on? Or has the wonderweb changed things? Interested to hear your thoughts. Thanks, Robert

  5. Bonnie Gillespie January 14, 2014 at 10:10 am

    April — For sure! This becomes relevant to all of us who keep a public presence online, right? Smart choices up front ensure a smoother ride!

    Elizabeth — Thank you! πŸ™‚ I love watching interviews and seeing which celebs DRIVE the interviews and which ones are out of control, up to the whim of the interviewers. It’s an art, for sure.

    Robert — I think much of this is evergreen, in that you absolutely want to set up your limits BEFORE they are tested, and you’ll get more heat — like Vergara said — if you’re not at EVERY little thing, always available. But the big change is HOW MUCH of our *own* PR we’re in control of BEFORE we reach the level at which the press is knocking on the door for us.

    A few years ago, you weren’t a public figure until you’d done a lot to build toward that, and you knew it was coming (for the most part) and could plan for success. Today — with all the content creation we’re engaging in, daily — you could put up a vid or podcast episode or blog post that suddenly goes viral and you’d be thrust into the spotlight without much time to plan a strategy.

    So… the lesson is: Strategize WAY before you think you need to. Start managing your “press” even while you’re the only one creating it, at first. πŸ˜€ Always think a few tiers above and be smart about it, since they’re no going back once you’ve put some stuff “out there.”

  6. Robert Williamson January 14, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Cool! Thanks for that Bonnie πŸ˜‰ Off to strategize …

  7. Karen Yankovich January 15, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Bonnie I agree with April that more of us non-actors can apply much of this to Social Media! That’s exactly what I tell my LinkedIn clients, to GIVE the world what you want them to know about you, be in control of what impression you’re giving, because if you don’t they’re not going to stop with LinkedIn, they’ll keep searching. Great advice!

  8. Bonnie Gillespie January 18, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Right on, Karen! And go, Robert. Happy strategizing!


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