Picture this: You’re sitting in the First Amendment Forum at the Cronkite School waiting for class to start, and you overhear two people talking about their overwhelming desire to be PR gurus. Sounds great, right?
Then you hear one of the starry-eyed students profess that she is “super qualified” because she’s just like Whitney Port of The City. You know, because being decked head to toe in couture clothing, attending fashion and movie premieres, networking with the stars, and being lucky enough to meet model-worthy suitors during impromptu Starbucks runs comes with any PR title.
Television shows like MTV’s The City and HBO’s Sex in the City have branded the PR profession as a glitzy, celebrity-filled, event-planning gig, where “working” consists of setting up martini lunches and black-tie galas. Unfortunately, some budding PR professionals turn to TV to find examples of their future careers.
“They think it’s glamour and parties and picking out menus,” Len Gutman, founder of Phoenix-based Open Door Communications, said.
Command PR (from what we see on the show, at least) consists of six members. There’s Jonathan, the CEO and in-house stickler; Simon, Jonathan’s protégé and second in command; Katie, probably the most experienced of the Command girls; Lauren, a former model who “wants to use her brain instead of her looks” (quoted from The Spin Crowd Website); Erika, “who knows nothing about PR and little about business culture”; and Summer, a publicist wannabe from Fresno.
“I wonder if any of the folks at Command PR can write a basic press release? You think they spend much time on AP style?” Gutman said.
From the looks of it, I think not.
I haven’t watched the show – and honesty, probably won’t – but I wanted to share this with you, in case you stumble upon it while channel surfing.
Remember two things:
1. Take what you see on The Spin Crowd, or any other reality show, with a grain of salt.
2. If you’re ever feeling unsure about your abilities, remember you’re all probably way more qualified than these characters on the show! 😉