Archive for April, 2011
Nothing’s more enjoyable than seeing your profession portrayed in Television or in film even when it’s public relations. You can analyze it, make fun of the portrayals, and most importantly, ponder why your job requirements don’t mirror those on the big screen.
Let’s take a quick look at some of our “spokespeople” in pop culture:
- Arguably one of the most recognizable PR figures around has to be none other than Samantha Jones of Sex & the City fame. Her job is always exciting, she is always attending swanky parties and she seems to have an indispensable amount of income. Thank goodness she appears to make sure to keep that work-home balance tipped more on the “home” side too.
- Next is Shauna Roberts from Entourage. Being a celebrity publicist for a character who doesn’t particularly care about his image or about being proactive in decisions for his career must be tiring. Luckily, for Vince and the gang, Shauna is an amazingly assertive publicist with a mouth like a sailor who gets the job done.
- For you musical theater lovers, PR is shown in a “wicked” light in . . . wait for it . . . Wicked. Spoiler alert: The infamous Wizard of Oz is not as nice as we are led to believe in the Judy Garland version. He is behind the suppression of an entire “people” in the land of Oz. And when everyone’s favorite green-skinned lady finds out about the Wizard’s evil doings, who comes to the rescue of the Wizard’s image? Yup, his Press Secretary. She keeps his name squeaky clean by putting out the message to all in the Land of Oz that the green witch is indeed, “wicked.”
- Looking for someone a bit more real? Why, say “hello” to founder of People’s Revolution, Kelly Cutrone. Cutrone has appeared on MTV reality shows The Hills and The City as the employer of some of the stars of the show. She was also given her own show, Kell on Earth, which appeared in the spring of 2010 on Bravo, and is an author of a book. Like her or leave her, she is a much more accurate version of what the job entails, right down to the seemingly unmanageable stress of deadlines and issues.
- While I absolutely love this film, one of the most disheartening portrayals to any PR professional is in Wag the Dog. After (again, SPOILER ALERT) the president becomes involved in a seedy sex scandal just prior to elections, spin doctor Robert De Niro and producer Dustin Hoffman fake a war to divert media attention. Any PR pro’s dream, right (please note the sarcasm)?
This is clearly not an exhaustive list, but a few characters certainly worth pointing out. What are your thoughts on the portrayals of the profession? Any particular character that should have made this list? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
The paid vs unpaid internship debate is one that has been going on in this industry for some time. We posted a blog on this issue back in February when PRSA released its new ethical guidelines regarding the ethical use of interns.
This week the hot button issue has come under fire once again as an opponent of unpaid internships has been caught helping his own son search for unpaid work. Read PRSA’s full post on the issue.
The PRSA’s guidelines don’t call for an outright ban using unpaid interns, but they do recommend that any PR professional or agency provide some form of payment or incentive for those who choose to intern with them.
With the new development in this debate, is it steering any internship seekers from unpaid opportunities? We’d love to hear your thoughts (shameless plug: Peppercom offers paid internships. Learn more about our internship program here and send your resume with a cover letter to Doug Feingold at interncommittee(at)peppercom(dot)com).