Spotlights

Job Description

Public Affairs in entertainment plays an essential role in supporting the studio's government affairs and community engagement efforts. This position is required to effectively collaborate with multiple stakeholders throughout the company and within the communities where the studio produce film and television and operate facilities.

Education and Training Needed
  • Entertainment Public Affairs specialists and managers generally hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in public relations, business, social science, or communications 
  • They may have additional education and training related to the entertainment area they specialized in, such as film or music 
  • Entertainment Public Affairs workers often learn on the job as interns or in other positions within the same organization
  • Note Public Affairs educational requirements are similar to public relations in some ways, however, PA deals more with “government relations, media communications, issue management, corporate and social responsibility, information dissemination and strategic communications advice”
  • Common courses include public policy, environmental and energy policies, economic development, political decision processes, human resources, legal topics, leadership, ethics, research and innovation, and health policies
Things to do in High School and College
  • Stock up on courses in English, writing, speaking, psychology, debate, and public policy
  • Develop your research skills and a keen eye for attention to detail  
  • Join debate teams to get practical experience with forming arguments and speaking persuasively
  • Study the various roles of all the key players in your desired entertainment industry and how they interact with governmental agencies 
  • Learn about different government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels which might have dealings with entertainment companies
    • Check out The Independent’s article “Washington DC’s role behind the scenes in Hollywood goes deeper than you think” for an example
  • Keep up to date on current issues related to how industry events impact or benefit communities and the environment 
  • Try to make as many industry and government contacts as you can through constant networking
  • Keep applying for Public Affairs and Public Relations internships until you land one. Do your best to represent your employer’s interests in dealings with the government
  • Research details related to how permits are obtained, how tax incentives work, which legislation relates to entertainment industries, and how communities feel about active productions in their towns 
  • Study books, articles, and video tutorials on Public Affairs, especially within the entertainment business
How to land your 1st job
  • The path to working in Entertainment Public Affairs isn’t always straightforward. Expect to start as an intern or in an entry-level job related to PA or PR, then work your way up as you gain experience
  • If doing an internship, let your supervisor know you are passionate about learning the job and ask for their mentorship to get ahead
  • Many come from working in government (city, state, federal) as a staffer, communications director...etc. 
  • Stay open-minded about job opportunities, so you can get your foot in the door
  • Check out the websites of top media companies to look for opportunities 
  • Relocate to where you are needed the most! Forbes notes the top states for entertainment/media/PR jobs are California, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Michigan, Louisiana, Las Vegas, and Ohio
  • Check out film job sites and forums as well as portals such as Indeed, Simply Hired, and Glassdoor
  • Get the contact info of professors, supervisors, and co-workers. Ask them well in advance if they’ll serve as professional references 
  • Review Public Affairs resume templates and interview questions
  • Always dress professionally for job interviews! 
Recommended Resources

Resources

  • Institute for Public Relations 
  • International Association of Business Communicators 
  • National Council for Marketing and Public Relations 
  • PR Council, Public Affairs
  • Public Relations Society of America 
  • U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Global Public Affairs

Books

  • Essential Public Affairs for Journalists, by James Morrison
  • Public Administration and Public Affairs, by Nicholas Henry 
  • Public Affairs and Democratic Ideals: Critical Perspectives in an Era of Political and Economic Uncertainty, by Curtis Ventriss 

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