Brüno & the NOT so “Hot PR Twins”

 

By: Lauren Fernandez, guest blogger

When Brüno hit theaters, PR professionals around the world had every right to cringe: because of the appearance of the “Hot PR Twins.” (You can check out their PR firm here.)

An article appeared that detailed how Sacha Baron Cohen, playing the role of Brüno, appeared in the PR firm’s office asking what the hot charities were nowadays. They said ‘Darfur’ and when asked where that was, they said they didn’t know.

Their response is below:

“We just saw the movie and thought it was hilarious and Brüno is a comedic genius. We were directed on playing up the blonde roll (sic) and they definitely captured those parts! Like all reality shows it was cleverly edited and we are excited to be apart (sic) of a successful film.”

Wait. What?

The film edited the fact that you didn’t know what you were talking about?

The key in PR is to research, and this skill will help to be prepared for new business meetings. Research who they are. Read articles about them. Know what is going to happen and what they are looking for. Being unprepared, and then issuing a statement with a typo in it is not “cute” and a bad representation of the field.

They were interviewed here on the process of taking on this new “client.” They claim its standard to sign a release form in the PR industry, so this was no cause for alarm. Wow. I interned for major movie studios and never signed a release form. In the interview, they claim they knew something was going on but it took 11 months to realize they had been had.

Smart.

So some tips if you are in this situation:

  • Admit you didn’t know where Darfur was. Don’t claim they edited it and you were directed.
  • Always spell check your statements.
  • If you use the word ‘excited’, start talking with other PR professionals for different word choice.
  • If you are party planners, say so. Don’t taint the profession. There is a difference.

What do you think? Were they totally ‘had’ or was this a bad representation of PR?

 

–

Lauren Fernandez is currently the Marketing Coordinator for the National Office of American Mensa and it’s philanthropic arm, the Mensa Education & Research Foundation. She loves CNN and is always cheering for the Dallas Stars, Houston Astros and Real Madrid. She loves social media so you can find her on Twitter @CubanaLAF.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved

Comments

  1. I totally agree- when I watched that scene, I cringed! Not only do they make PR's look bad, they're perpetuating blonde stereotypes.

    Also, maybe I'm just nitpicking, but shouldn't it be blonde “role” and not blonde “roll”? Maybe they should use spell check as well.

  2. laurenfernandez says:

    Sheema – Exactly! That's why I said spell check. Maybe they were still playing it up? 🙂

  3. …playing it up, or they are simply just stupid and bad for the industry.

  4. Woops, sorry I missed the fact that you made that point. If they are playing it up, they're just digging the whole a little deeper.

    As a PR, especially in the entertainment industry, its pathetic to not be aware of upcoming movies like Bruno! Especially since it SBC's 2nd movie as well.

  5. I'd go with the latter- stupid & bad for the industry. They should just cut their losses and go work in Hooters or something. That would be the ultimate “blonde roll” as perceived by them.

  6. oh my god…they have music playing on their site. It looks more like a 15 year old high school girl's myspace page than a professional agency website…I guess that's exactly what they're going for. They're a gimmick, not real professionals.

    The problem is that the average joe might not know the difference…so yes they're giving PR a bad name.

  7. David, I completely agree! I visited their website last night, it reminded
    me of a 'glamour' chick's MySpace. I see what they are trying to do, and how
    they are trying to 'look' — but what they do not realize, is that, for
    'glamour' in OUR industry, less is more 🙂
    They do not look like PR. They look like a bunch of girls who might be
    really good at event planning and throwing parties.

    If that's they're strong hold, they should stick to it. Not try to infest
    our industry. They are another reason the PR industry needs to do PR for
    itself. To us out of their mess. Especially, if Bruno is heading to be as
    popular as Borat.

  8. laurenfernandez says:

    S – It's all good. It's still a great point, and one that should be brought up over and over again.

  9. laurenfernandez says:

    Stuart and I also noted it actually states “Hot PR Twins” on their site. To me, a lot of sectors of entertainment PR are solely publicity, but it gets lumped into the PR field.

    This is a misconception I feel that PR pros will always battle, no matter what. However, with TV and movies sensationlizing it, its just getting worse. I've noticed the trend is even hotter to think its just “event planning” with the classes I speak to.

  10. laurenfernandez says:

    David – Exactly. Stuart Foster and I noticed that they even have the words 'Hot PR Twins' on their site. In the entertainment PR industry, there is a fine line between PR, publicity and red carpet events.

    My boss when I interned for movie studios was very big on saying “I'm in publicity, not PR” because the one component of PR he did was publicity. He did a lot of advertising and grass roots marketing as well. I can honestly say I have never seen someone work as hard as he did to set up media tours, events, send out alerts, work with media, work on clip books and measurements, and get screenings going – he was the behind the SM efforts of the company.

  11. laurenfernandez says:

    David – You are exactly right. In the entertainment PR industry, there is a fine line between PR, publicity and red carpet events. Many times, this gets blurred because they public lumps them together based off what they have seen on TV.

  12. Very true.

    But seriously, would you take people seriously, who call themselves the “Hot
    PR Twins” — that sounds like the name of a porn movie. Good grief.

    One of the biggest issues is that publicity and event planning are facets
    and part of public relations. But Public Relations is NOT publicity and
    event planning — it is much, much more.

  13. I see that as a huge problem in Hollywood. Though, I should also mention
    that that MTV show “PoweR Girls” did absolutely NOTHING for us. Nor did
    Samantha Jones in Sex & the City.

    At least E. Monsoon in AbFab — well, the educated viewer or just anyone who
    pays attention, knows she's a lush and has no idea what she's talking about.

    The sad part is, these “Hot PR Twins” are a very common hurdle that we must
    constantly strive to overcome in our field. I cannot count the amont of
    times people have asked me, after I said I was in PR, what types of parties
    do I get to go too and how do I get people to think what I want them too.

    That would be another good blog post actually, lol — What PR is not.

  14. ….that would scream “desperate” to me though.

    These girls are horrible for our industry and really make PR people look like glorifed, celebrity party planners.

  15. Ugh! It really makes me angry when people like this are chosen to represent our profession. There are so many smart PR pros out there, yet we all get stereotyped as dumb party planners because girls like this claim to be PR pros. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm sure it'll piss me off even more when I do.

    Anyway, great post, Lauren – from one *smart* PR girl to another lol…

  16. Ha! I am loving all these comments.

    Yes, this is clearly a bad misrepresentation of our industry, which is full of intellegent, creative and hard-working professionals that are unfortunately often stereotyped with people like this. This is a good example of why it's hard for people outside the PR profession to understand what it is that we do. A variety of responsibilities fall under the wide umbrella of Public Relations, but people tend to associate it mostly with party planning and celeb publicity, which is largely a result of how PR professionals are portrayed in movies like this and TV shows (think Samantha in Sex and the City). It's maddening for serious professionals to be lumped into this category. People already have a hard enough time understanding our profession without it being associated with these blonde bimbos who don't even know where Darfur is, yet are pitching it as a “trend” charity. That's just sad.

    All we can really do is brush it off and do our best to prove that, like all professions, ours has some bad apples, but our industry is full quality professionals dedicated to improving the reputation of Public Relations through integrity and ethics.

  17. Ugh! It really makes me angry when people like this are chosen to represent our profession. There are so many smart PR pros out there, yet we all get stereotyped as dumb party planners because girls like this claim to be PR pros. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm sure it'll piss me off even more when I do.

    Anyway, great post, Lauren – from one *smart* PR girl to another lol…

  18. Ha! I am loving all these comments.

    Yes, this is clearly a bad misrepresentation of our industry, which is full of intellegent, creative and hard-working professionals that are unfortunately often stereotyped with people like this. This is a good example of why it's hard for people outside the PR profession to understand what it is that we do. A variety of responsibilities fall under the wide umbrella of Public Relations, but people tend to associate it mostly with party planning and celeb publicity, which is largely a result of how PR professionals are portrayed in movies like this and TV shows (think Samantha in Sex and the City). It's maddening for serious professionals to be lumped into this category. People already have a hard enough time understanding our profession without it being associated with these blonde bimbos who don't even know where Darfur is, yet are pitching it as a “trend” charity. That's just sad.

    All we can really do is brush it off and do our best to prove that, like all professions, ours has some bad apples, but our industry is full quality professionals dedicated to improving the reputation of Public Relations through integrity and ethics.

  19. I totally agree- when I watched that scene, I cringed! Not only do they make PR's look bad, they're perpetuating blonde stereotypes.

    Also, maybe I'm just nitpicking, but shouldn't it be blonde “role” and not blonde “roll”? Maybe they should use spell check as well.

  20. laurenfernandez says:

    Sheema – Exactly! That's why I said spell check. Maybe they were still playing it up? 🙂

  21. …playing it up, or they are simply just stupid and bad for the industry.

  22. Woops, sorry I missed the fact that you made that point. If they are playing it up, they're just digging the whole a little deeper.

    As a PR, especially in the entertainment industry, its pathetic to not be aware of upcoming movies like Bruno! Especially since it SBC's 2nd movie as well.

  23. I'd go with the latter- stupid & bad for the industry. They should just cut their losses and go work in Hooters or something. That would be the ultimate “blonde roll” as perceived by them.

  24. oh my god…they have music playing on their site. It looks more like a 15 year old high school girl's myspace page than a professional agency website…I guess that's exactly what they're going for. They're a gimmick, not real professionals.

    The problem is that the average joe might not know the difference…so yes they're giving PR a bad name.

  25. David, I completely agree! I visited their website last night, it reminded

    me of a 'glamour' chick's MySpace. I see what they are trying to do, and how

    they are trying to 'look' — but what they do not realize, is that, for

    'glamour' in OUR industry, less is more 🙂

    They do not look like PR. They look like a bunch of girls who might be

    really good at event planning and throwing parties.

    If that's they're strong hold, they should stick to it. Not try to infest

    our industry. They are another reason the PR industry needs to do PR for

    itself. To us out of their mess. Especially, if Bruno is heading to be as

    popular as Borat.

  26. laurenfernandez says:

    S – It's all good. It's still a great point, and one that should be brought up over and over again.

  27. laurenfernandez says:

    David – Exactly. Stuart Foster and I noticed that they even have the words 'Hot PR Twins' on their site. In the entertainment PR industry, there is a fine line between PR, publicity and red carpet events.

    My boss when I interned for movie studios was very big on saying “I'm in publicity, not PR” because the one component of PR he did was publicity. He did a lot of advertising and grass roots marketing as well. I can honestly say I have never seen someone work as hard as he did to set up media tours, events, send out alerts, work with media, work on clip books and measurements, and get screenings going – he was the behind the SM efforts of the company.

  28. laurenfernandez says:

    Repeat Comment.

  29. Very true.

    But seriously, would you take people seriously, who call themselves the “Hot

    PR Twins” — that sounds like the name of a porn movie. Good grief.

    One of the biggest issues is that publicity and event planning are facets

    and part of public relations. But Public Relations is NOT publicity and

    event planning — it is much, much more.

  30. I see that as a huge problem in Hollywood. Though, I should also mention

    that that MTV show “PoweR Girls” did absolutely NOTHING for us. Nor did

    Samantha Jones in Sex & the City.

    At least E. Monsoon in AbFab — well, the educated viewer or just anyone who

    pays attention, knows she's a lush and has no idea what she's talking about.

    The sad part is, these “Hot PR Twins” are a very common hurdle that we must

    constantly strive to overcome in our field. I cannot count the amont of

    times people have asked me, after I said I was in PR, what types of parties

    do I get to go too and how do I get people to think what I want them too.

    That would be another good blog post actually, lol — What PR is not.

  31. Ugh! It really makes me angry when people like this are chosen to represent our profession. There are so many smart PR pros out there, yet we all get stereotyped as dumb party planners because girls like this claim to be PR pros. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm sure it'll piss me off even more when I do.

    Anyway, great post, Lauren – from one *smart* PR girl to another lol…

  32. Ha! I am loving all these comments.

    Yes, this is clearly a bad misrepresentation of our industry, which is full of intellegent, creative and hard-working professionals that are unfortunately often stereotyped with people like this. This is a good example of why it's hard for people outside the PR profession to understand what it is that we do. A variety of responsibilities fall under the wide umbrella of Public Relations, but people tend to associate it mostly with party planning and celeb publicity, which is largely a result of how PR professionals are portrayed in movies like this and TV shows (think Samantha in Sex and the City). It's maddening for serious professionals to be lumped into this category. People already have a hard enough time understanding our profession without it being associated with these blonde bimbos who don't even know where Darfur is, yet are pitching it as a “trend” charity. That's just sad.

    All we can really do is brush it off and do our best to prove that, like all professions, ours has some bad apples, but our industry is full quality professionals dedicated to improving the reputation of Public Relations through integrity and ethics.