Serena at her new job
Photo Credit: Giovanni Rufino / The CW © 2009 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Spotted, Tyra Banks attempting to play an actress getting ready for her movie premier with a few secrets being held by her publicist. 

Gossip Girl is one of my guilty pleasures (other than bourbon and Kentucky sports,) and this week’s episode was anything but settling. 

*Spoiler Alert* So here’s the gist on the PR prospective, Serena isn’t going to Brown and wants to prove her worth by getting a job.  She happened into a publicist’s job because she knew how to escape from the paparazzi through a back entrance of a restaurant. 

After Serena found her “dream job,” the publicist finds out Tyra’s character’s main scene is cut from the movie but refuses to prep her so she can cause drama on-site and in front of the cameras.  This causes a conflicted Serena to not tell Tyra and let her go on with the drama, shocker I know.  The publicists then reveals how her plot won and how this news will get better media coverage and then fires Serena.  Later on Serena gets her job back thanks to Tyra (how many times has a client fought for your job after you lied to them,) and all the world is happy, for now. 

Let me break this down and bring into reality:

  • Socialite girl has never worked a day in her life and gets a job as a publicist on the spot because she knows how to escape a restaurant.
  • Prior to movie premier said socialite girl turned publicist finds out from new boss her client is cut from her biggest scene in the movie that her client hasn’t seen and won’t until the premier.
  • Socialite girl is told to lie to client/ actor about the news because it would “devastate” them.
  • Client finds out the hard way and is upset in front of all cameras and media.
  • Publicist is happy because her client is now going to be in all gossip magazines and then fires socialite girl.
  • Client/ actor demands for publicists to re-hire socialite girl despite both of them lying to her.
  • Everyone is rewarded for lying to client.

First of all, when did it become so easy to obtain such a high-profile position? Why do they insinuate the only thing a publicist does is making sure her client looks pretty and causes drama? There is so much more to the industry than paparazzi.  The episode also insinuated all PR people are about the spin, as we have had numerous posts on this topic alone (Yea…no, I don’t do that ,Yea, I do that  and Drop the Salesman Mentality.)

One of the biggest faux pas in the story line is the lying to a client.  No matter what industry you are in, is fibbing justified because you think it is better for the client? Little white lies can only amount to future trouble and your main focus should be building the relationship with the client instead of putting up little road blocks or foggy areas along the way.   Honesty will progress your relationship even if the timing doesn’t seem right.  I am confident Tyra’s character would have still shown up for her movie premier since she was in a few scenes, but would have been more prepared and poised for tough questions to transition the message to a relevant topic. 

In the world of Social Media, there is little room for error and could cause a major backlash on your client or brand.  We tweet, write, blog, and talk amongst peers about our industry, but we are forgetting about the general public. 

Therefore PR Industry, I challenge you to tell at least one new person a remarkable and unique experience or work item (outside of celebrities and movie premiers) that you accomplished in PR today!
Now run…
PR Girl