We’ve got dancing celebrities and island survivors, but no PR?

6 03 2009

Why is it that amongst all the crazy TV shows out there, there isn’t one about PR? All we’ve got is semi-PR professional, Samantha Jones from Sex and the City, and the version of PR that she portrays doesn’t seem overly accurate.

If you’re wondering what got me started on this little rant, it was something I created last semester that I just came across when I waThe ApPRentices sorting through some files. For a TV-themed event that I worked on, I created a PR-related logo based off of the logo for The Apprentice. At first, I just thought “Hmm, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a PR version of The Apprentice? But, featuring a boss with better hair, of course.”

Then I really got thinking about it, and despite how many ridiculous reality TV shows have been created in recent years, there’s been nothing (at least, from I can remember) based on PR. Yet. Apparently Kelly Cutrone‘s fashion PR agency, People’s Revolution, is going to be the subject of a new Bravo reality show. As much as I love/fear Kelly Cutrone based on what I’ve seen of her on The Hills and The City, I can’t help but worry that this show will just continue to give people the impression that PR is nothing but glamorous parties and celebrities like we see in Sex and the City. The only thing that’s giving me hope that this will not be the case is Kelly Cutrone’s no-holds-barred, tell-it-like-it-is personality. She’s tough and cares more about being honest than hurting someone’s feelings, which is both kind of refreshing, as well as entertaining for TV.

I guess what I’m getting at is that it would just be really cool to see something on TV that accurately portrays at least some elements of the PR world. For now, it looks like all my hopes are pinned on Kelly Cutrone and Bravo.





Scandalous personal brand? No thanks, reality TV!

18 02 2009

Since starting at Centennial in September, something that I’ve heard over and over again is that I need to have a personal brand in the PR world. Everyone keeps saying that I’m supposed to brand myself to show potential employers that I have the skills and characteristics that make me the best person for the job. Ok, that makes a lot of sense, even if it does feel a little strange to think of myself as a packaged brand. Although, I guess it’s easier to picture myself as brand if I think of it as an obsessively neatly packaged, TV-addicted brand…

Gossip GirlAnyway, the whole idea of branding got me thinking about something that I read on a TV.com blog last week about Bravo working on a realty version of Gossip Girl. Basically, the show will follow the rich and privileged students of Manhattan’s most elite private schools, and broadcast their all their personality quirks to the world. Their potential audience includes individuals who may be influential in terms of their acceptance to college, or acquiring their dream job in the future. For some teens, this could be a good thing – being on their best behaviour during the show’s filming could allow them to demonstrate their positive attributes and sell their personal brand. However, the premise for this show is a real life Gossip Girl, a TV show in which no one is ever on their best behaviour.

Showing privileged teens indulging in the finer things in life, throwing lavish parties and getting caught up in high school drama may make for good TV, but it does not build a very good personal brand. The intention of the show is to find a group of teens who are the real life Serena van der Woodsen, Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf, which means that some serious drama and scandal are certainly in store for viewers. Unfortunately for the show’s cast, I really can’t imagine that drama and scandal are things that college admissions departments or employers would like to see in an applicant’s past. Opening up your life to the world may seem fun and exciting to a teenager who dreams of fame, but a show with a goal of capturing the drama and elitist behaviours of Manhattan’s wealthy teens does not seem like a good way to present your personal brand.

So, I think in building my own personal brand, it may be best to stay away from starring in scandalous reality TV shows – it probably won’t lead to a successful career in PR. It may be hard to give up on my dreams of having every single moment of my life exposed to the world, but I think it may be best if I just stick with building my brand through my online presence with social media. I’d say it’s a little easier to delete an embarrassing picture from Facebook, than it would be to eliminate all records of an embarrassing reality TV show.