14 June 2009

Another image problem for PR

Here we go again. Another TV sitcom portraying PR as being full of party girls, glitz and glamour.

The City
, a US show, follows the dramatic life of a young PR woman in New York. Whitney Port and Olivia Palermo seem to run the public relations department, work at the fashion shows, network - and still have time to spend time each day shopping and creating drama while wearing 9 inch heels and having perfect hair.

No wonder PR has an image problem and only seems to attract females. This was the core of my PhD study (soon to be published as “The Feminisation of Public Relations - but an old web site at http://people.aapt.net.au/~net/study).

What is it that attracts TV producers to put out shows on PR, anyway? We’re up again being called spin doctors in the news media, and as being fluffy events people in the entertainment media. It’ simply a lose-lose situation.

Time for national PR campaigns (US, UK, Australia, Canada) to battle this. Maybe that means attacking the TV shows.

See more at the PR Lab


kdpaine said...

Several years ago, in our newsletter www.themeasurementstandard.com we voiced similar opinions, but I'm starting to think that these shows are in fact nothing short of reality shows. It seems that the majority of PR people are in fact nothing but publicists seeking the next "Hit" and totally uninterested in the business that they represent. Just look at how they measure success -- using AVEs, HIT counts etc.

The PR Lab said...

At least someone cares (and is reading). Thanks for the comments, KD. Coincidentally, I had only just linked to you through Friend Feed (expanding my social media knowledge). Must do a search for you on Twitter.

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.