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Entertainment PR during the coronavirus pandemic: The short- and long-term effects


It has almost been nine months since the issuance of the first stay-at-home order in the state of California. The coronavirus pandemic has created a level of uncertainty for many industries in the world including the entertainment industry. As movie releases, film productions, music festivals are canceled or postponed, publicists in entertainment PR have had to adapt and evolve their practices more than ever.

Especially in the first couple of weeks after the outbreak, many publicists in entertainment PR experienced drastic changes in their productivity. According to a survey conducted by PRWeek, 90.4% of PR agencies mentioned that clients have had to postpone their campaigns.

Although the decrease in productivity may have given agencies a break from the constant hustle, that break soon became a rude awakening for change. “Once we realized things could move virtual, it then became a really big game of creativity,” said Michelle Proctor, an associate account executive at ID Public Relations.

Proctor was not the only one to mention the importance of creativity. Elizabeth A. Pecsi, adjunct lecturer at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University, noted how crucial it is for publicists to be creative in a time where clients need the most help and guidance in their career. She believes publicists should work closely with their operations team to brainstorm effective strategies to continue delivering their clients’ work to the public.


Although a decrease in productivity and challenges with creativity are some short-term effects that entertainment PR has faced, Proctor spoke on the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic on entertainment PR. She specifically highlighted the following four:

1) Health precautions will be implemented. There are now agents that are negotiating COVID-19 protocols into contracts; therefore, if someone gets sick, they could get out of a role or lose the job.

2) Shooting locations will adapt. Many productions that were initially filming in different locations of the world have now shifted their filming locations back to Los Angeles. This is because it is easier for talent to be safe in Los Angeles than be placed in an apartment in an unfamiliar city. Overall, people will want to film in locations that are safe.

3) Talent no longer wanting to participate in in-person press junkets. Press junkets have been conducted in person for decades; however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are now conducted virtually on Zoom, and talent is able to participate from the comfort of their home.


4) Award shows would not be as grandiose as they previously were. This is because it would only be done with the people that have to be present. Therefore, the venues will only be less than half-full, without an audience being physically present.

Final Takeaway


The coronavirus pandemic has heavily impacted the entertainment industry. Despite the short and long-term effects that entertainment PR is facing, publicists continue to prove that they can adapt to the new normal.


By Nene Fujimoto


Nene is a senior at San Diego State University studying Public Relations. Currently, she is an Entertainment PR intern at ID Public Relations. After graduation, she hopes to work in the field of Entertainment PR in New York City.

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