{Rules of PR no. 21} When PR offends PR: Porn, Cocaine & Celebrity

Image Belongs to SugarFactory.

***
UPDATE February 17, 2010
The new reality show is called SPINdustry (which I find insulting to true PR pros), it’ll be on E! television network and will premiere after the upcoming season finale of Keeping Up With the Kardashians
***

If all you need is a sex tape filled with some golden showers, a mock radio-drug saddler and a good makeup artist to make yourself famous, proving to the world you are “somebody,” then I guess the Kardashian household is full of “superstars.”

Didn’t you hear? Kimmie wants to produce a reality television show with Command PR about….wait for it….public relations!

Let me draw your attention to some hard facts:-

Since when did lack of commonsense, objectification and legal mockery equate with what it means to be an decent woman?

It’s like watching a clash of Destiny’s Child videos, with lines from Charlie’s Angels heavily baked over with excessive, unnecessary nudity and gushing bodily fluids.

Ryan Seacrest (and Michael Yo,) I’m talking to you – when did it become okay to glorify women who are presented on a busty-platter of bimbo-esque proportions, brainless attributes and more makeup than a MAC Cosmetics advertisement during Fashion Week? WTF.

First PoweR Girls, now this? Really, this is the type of “brand” I am to be associated with based on profession alone?

As a young, 20-something woman and public relations professional, these women offend me and I’m astonished when I see other ladies glorifying them.

I always have been the first line to defend my sex, but these women help to justify objectification, crude nicknames and every other nasty comment thrown our way because they obviously don’t respect themselves – scenes recorded on camera speak much louder than words ever could.

I have a hard of enough time trying to explain to people that I’m not Samantha from Sex & the City, I don’t smoke like a chimney or drink like a fishette (Absolutely Fabulous) and that 2005’s PoweR Girls on MTV was shown in my PUR3000 (Introduction to Public Relations) class at university on what NOT to do in public relations.

If we can’t respect ourselves, how the hell are we supposed to expect other women, and most of all, men, to respect us?

Little Pink Book’s Rule of PR #21:
If you are offending those who *should* be supporting you…
…then you know something is wrong.

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima.

Copyright © 2009 SashaH. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments

  1. @mikeschaffer says:

    Bingo…it would be a black eye on the industry. Just like the Paris Hilton show where she pretended to be a farmer for a day, among other “real” jobs. Blech…

  2. Great post, Sasha. I 100% agree…it makes it really hard to break the PR stereotype when it keeps getting reinforced with shows like this!

  3. Those girls have no respect for themselves and I'm frankly disgusted that E!
    and people like Ryan Seacrest and Michael Yo think it's “okay.” Frankly,
    it's NOT.

    As young women, not much younger that those sisters, in a profession that we
    worked hard for, got degrees in and dedicate all of our time and energy too
    — it's so hard to break the stereotype when things like this happen.

    Personally, I have a hard enough time explaining to people that NO, I don't
    brainwash the population, just because I am in PR and from Miami does not
    mean I'm living the “I'm in Miami Triq” lifestyle etc. and nope, I'm nothing
    like the women from AB FAB or Samantha in SATC.

    Whatever respect I had for Ryan Seacrest and Michael Yo went completely out
    of the window with these shows.

    I sincerely hope that Kim's show does not come to light. And if it does,
    well… I'm going to be PRoactively blogging about it. 🙂

    Thanks Nicole!

  4. thebeautyfile says:

    I totally agree with this entire article. However, I am completely embarrassed {and truly shocked at myself} to admit that I watch every episode, but the whole family kind of reminds me of The Brady Bunch on crack. It's like, there are teeny tiny essences of what makes a family wholesome, mixed in with “lessons” to be learned. I don't know what's with this crew, I know I shouldn't like them, for all the ridiculous reasons mentioned above, but I kind of love to watch them! They are each so endearing in some weird way…I guess that's what Seacrest saw as well. While I don't believe people should be famous for any of those reasons, it seems completely unavoidable in today's reality tv climate. If you can't beat em, join em?? {and watch??!} LOL

  5. I don't know about THAT.

    But I have watched Khloe and Kourtney Take Miami though. I wanted to “see”
    it. Frankly, I also think they give Miami a bad name — and that's where my
    disdain for Michael Yo comes from. He thinks Khloe is “great” until heaven
    forbid, she pretends to drugs on the air.

    Right, so he didn't think she would? Wow, someone isn't a good judge of
    character.

    Ah well, nope, I shall not be “joining” in — I shall be blogging about why
    this IS NOT good PR or PR at all for that matter.

    It's rather publicity, and poor publicity at that.

    Thanks for your comment, nice to hear a different POV & another insight 🙂

  6. I think our industry will take a hit from this portrayal. It's up to us (as always) to present ourselves and what we do in a professional manner.

    A few weeks ago, I posted a tweet about a story on an upcoming book release. The book is called “Spin” (OMG, I hate that term!) and the article was asking if this book woudl do for PR what “The Devil Wears Prada” did to fashion mags. LOL (Again, in reality, the author was in publicity, not so much PR…as I like to distinquish)

  7. It's true. There IS a difference between PR and publicity, not to many
    people realize it.

    I heard of SPIN (I hate that word too) — I read an excerpt. Wasn't
    impressed. The Devil Wears Prada was at least entertaining and produced a
    hell of a good film 🙂

  8. It always amazes me that this family gets the attention they do, yet no one (at least in my presence) admits to being interested. Is it really that much of a guilty pleasure for so many Americans?

    Anyway, as noted at @prdude's page it's great seeing all the Pros come out and be vocal about this catastrophe. We certainly can't sit idly by and let the rest of the world think our skill set is limited to what's seen on shows like these.

  9. Sasha:

    Wow, some powerful and strong words we all should heed, regardless of our gender. It’s unfortunate that poor taste and discrimination sells in today’s society. I hope and believe that the human race believes more in each other. I do think there are other shows like Extreme Makevoer and The Philanthropist that offer a different respect for people. Let’s hope more shows like those rise in popularity.

  10. Unfortunately people love watching the Kardashians. I admit to watching their shows, and I'm sure I'll tune into Kim's new out of curiosity. I'm interested to see what exactly her idea of public relations is. I can only imagine the show will be filled with highly publicized red carpet events, celebrities and swanky parties. I doubt we'll see any press release writing.

    People who aren't in the public relations industry often have no idea what PR is. I'm constantly explaining to friends and family exactly what it is I'm trying to get a job doing. That means that any tidbit of information they do pick up about PR is all the knowledge they have about the profession. It's no wonder so many people relate PR to Samantha's glamorous Sex & the City lifestyle.

    Hopefully Kim's new show won't set young women in PR back 10 years, but we'll have to wait and see.

    @abschoff

  11. Great post! When I first heard about this show as a possibility, my gut reaction was that it would cause another huge step backward for the PR industry. It's hard enough to help people distinguish between PR and publicity, and it's even harder to fight the “spin” stereotype when a show is built around drama associated with celebrity shenanigans.

    I'm glad you're willing to stand up for the PR profession, and more specifically, women in PR. Keep up the great work!

  12. Stephanie says:

    agreed. i find it horrifying that kris jenner is proud of her daughters. it is one thing to make a mistake, but entirely another to promote yourself throught debauchery.

    nice read.

  13. There you have it, you got it. I agree.

  14. I mean I've seen Keeping up the Kardashians once or twice. I won't lie about
    that, but do I watch it all the time? Absolutely not. Why? Because I find it
    ridiculous. Kimmie and her sister's teaching their 12-year old little
    sisters to dance on a stripper's pole? No, thank you.

    But on that same note, I like to be informed before I pass judgement. I've
    seen Khloe and Kourtney Take Miami for that EXACT same reason. They make
    Miami look bad. It's all the 6 blocks of South Beach, the same VIP
    nightclubs and the drugs. It's nothing like REAL Miami and that's sad.

    The Real World Miami — had more of what Miami is really like than that
    show.

    Not to mention, I used to think Michael Yo — who is one of our celebrated
    local radio hosts — who is on E! was pretty cool. Then I saw Khloe and
    Kourtney Take Miami and needless to say … I absolutely have no respect for
    Michael and what he does anymore. One would think someone THAT smart would
    know better than to hire those girls and it really says a lot about his
    judgement, as well as, Khloe's when she DID NOT KNOW it was unacceptable to
    bring cocaine into a radio stations aka HER JOB and on top of that fake
    snort it on the air. Live.

    Thanks Peter, insightful as always 🙂

  15. Hi Jeff 🙂

    I think you said it absolutely right with “poor taste.” That is exactly what
    this is.

    Am I saying Kimmie Kardashian should pay for the sins of her sex tape
    forever? No.

    But I certainly do not think that we should be HANDING her things that other
    people work hard for, are certified in and actually have a knack/talent
    for. Being a beginners-porn star shouldn't equate the show she's
    “producing.”

    Now, if you wanted to tell me it was Jenna Jameson who was producing a PR
    Show with Command PR … well, then I'd be all for that. There is someone,
    who for the sake of this example, spread her legs to get famous.

    The difference, Jenna capitalized on her fame, and actually created a
    business (Club Jenna) within a business (porn). Love it, hate it, love her,
    hate her — doesn't matter. She created something, she learned something and
    she did something.

    My opinion anyway. Thanks Jeff 🙂

  16. Hi Jeff 🙂

    I think you said it absolutely right with “poor taste.” That is exactly what
    this is.

    Am I saying Kimmie Kardashian should pay for the sins of her sex tape
    forever? No.

    But I certainly do not think that we should be HANDING her things that other
    people work hard for, are certified in and actually have a knack/talent
    for. Being a beginners-porn star shouldn't equate the show she's
    “producing.”

    Now, if you wanted to tell me it was Jenna Jameson who was producing a PR
    Show with Command PR … well, then I'd be all for that. There is someone,
    who for the sake of this example, spread her legs to get famous.

    The difference, Jenna capitalized on her fame, and actually created a
    business (Club Jenna) within a business (porn). Love it, hate it, love her,
    hate her — doesn't matter. She created something, she learned something and
    she did something.

    My opinion anyway. Thanks Jeff 🙂

  17. Hey Abs,

    You're right, people have no idea what PR outside of the industry and shows
    like this only make it worse. Sad but true.

    I'll tune into Kimmie's show too, if it ever makes the light of day — I
    like to know what I'm going to blog about.

    And really, if she actually looks like she knows what she's doing, I'll take
    all my words back. But I think she's got a long way to go, and from what I
    see now, she's going about it entirely WRONG.

  18. Thanks Becky! I really appreciate that 🙂

  19. Thanks Steph 🙂

  20. richpulvino says:

    Sasha,

    I can see it now…the “brains” behind this show probably thought PR were only two letters that were close neighbors in the alphabet before her agent gave her the idea to start the show.

    Public relations has always struggled to gain respect as a profession. The nay-sayers have said that if you are not licensed in what you do (doctors, lawyers, accountants, stock traders, etc.) then your job is hardly considered a respectable profession.

    It's a shame that once this show comes out, PR is going to take another licking at being considered a job that consists of party-planning, publicity, and mingling/shmoozing/etc.

    The profession is going to need a lot its professionals out there demonstrating that what they do is respectable, meaningful and important to businesses everywhere. More important, the good needs to published, broadcasted, posted, blogged, and tweeted in order to get the word out to more people that what we do has purpose, reason and ethics, and it takes brains to accomplish what we do.

    For a good laugh, check out “gurus'” Command PR website if you haven't yet. http://www.commandpr.com
    It's just a flash page with bad house music and a phone number to call for info.

    Cheers!

  21. laurenfernandez says:

    The Kardashians, as much as many loathe them, also have businesses. Kim has a perfume line coming out. So she might be considered business savvy by some. 🙂

    I'm not sure if we are really handing her things… as Kasey pointed out to me, exec producer is really just the name behind it. As much as some may hate it, she does have a name that people recognize. People will tune in. I truly believe that educating about our field is one of the things I love about my job – and always will. Passion about the industry should be transferred, and I view it as an opportunity to gain new people in the field that might not have known PR existed.

    Do I like KK? Yes, I'll admit that I do. 🙂 She is very successful and I can't fault her for that. I have friends who have worked with her in her ventures and she is actually pretty savvy. Unfortunately, she had an incident that continues to haunt her, and I can't say I've never made mistakes.

    As a woman, we constantly battle stereotypes. It's been there forever, and I really think it will be in the background for awhile. Again,. it's our job to educate – if we feel strongly about it, our voice must be heard. If there is one thing I learned from my grandfather (a Cuban revolutionary) that instead of complaining, we must act. We must do. We must continue speaking out until that voice is heard.

  22. Interesting views, Sasha, and well-made (as usual).

    While I don't follow any of the names mentioned (I'm not really a celeb gatherer, or reality TV show fan or whatever), I think it can be looked at in two ways.

    1. It's a crass publicity stunt.
    2. It's a smart business decision.

    KK (from what I gather) may have started off from a sex tape, but she seems to have made a decent name for herself as a businesswoman.

    Pamela Anderson made her name in Baywatch then obviously there was her sex tape with Tommy Lee – none of which hurt here role as ambassador for various animal and anti-fur trade organizations.

    I guess the way I look at it (right or wrong) is that people might make a mockery of themselves, or do things that we don't necessarily agree with. But… we don't need to follow what they're up to. Instead, we can share stories of the people that inspire, or do great work, or make others shine.

    As far as the PR angle goes, I think the industry has a lot more to worry about than a celeb making a reality TV show about it.

    Just my two cents 😉

  23. charlotteshaff says:

    Great post. Have you seen “The T.O. Show” on VH1? I can't stand that besides T.O., the two other main characters are his publicists. They give PR a bad name and have no reason to be in the show.

  24. Well done, Sasha. Couldn't agree more. Way to take a stand on this horrible representation of women and our industry.

  25. Haven't read all the comments, so someone may have said this, but who says E! and Ryan Seacrest and all of them think this is okay? Let me be first to say: I am NOT defending them. I agree with you 100%. But, there is a difference between making ethically “right” business decisions and making the business more profitable. They are almost always mutually exclusive, especially when businesses get very large. I hardly think the thought process of Ryan Seacrest, when he wakes up in the morning, is “You know what I want to do today? Objectify women some more, because that's what good human beings do.”

    These shows exist for one reason: you and I may think they're disgusting and depraved, but people watch them. In droves. Of course, it's only for a few months usually before people lose interest (the nature of human attention to big explosions, huge tits, melodrama, and glossed up women) so then the next show can come along. Rinse, repeat.

    Anyway, like I said, I very much agree with you that they are doing things both ethically and morally wrong. Unfortunately, that factors little/nothing into their decisions to put these shows on air; this is no different from any other business. Is that okay? I would say no. But over the last 100+ years we as a society have deemed it okay to run businesses that consider profit before altruistic things like people, morals, and ethics.

  26. I am s glad that sombody has so eloquently brought attention to the poor pr tactics these so-called “celebrities” have used to make themseleves famous. It's too easy nowadays to make a name for yourself. what they will realize is, however, that this sort of “branding” will only carry you so far.

  27. great post. I agree that the show will just further give flacks a bad name as folks will just see it as another job to get close to the reality-TV driven “Beautiful People.” It's a shame that a show like this got green-lit, and even more unfortunate that gossip rags have gotten off of the supermarket racks and into the mainstream media. Seriously when I am watching the evening news, I could give 2 cents about American Idol, a sex tape or who showed their goods drunk or high.

  28. Wow! Quite the buzz your post is leaving here.

    Hi Sasha! This is my first time on your blog, thanks to Commentz with Sarah Evans. I'm so glad I was directed here! Your writing is so fierce and edgy. As the Wayans brothers, disguised, say in the comedy 'White Chicks:' “I can't believe you said it!” “But you were thinking it!” Haha! I was taken aback by your complete and utter “in your face” honesty – not in disgust but in surprise. Out of many blogs I've read, I feel this is one where the writer's personality is openly displayed on this computer screen. I love it! I love that honesty of yours. Keep it up!

    That being said, on to the good stuff. I disagree completely with what you're saying. Kim Kardashian is my biggest role model!

    JUST KIDDING! Yeah right! I can't believe that my friends like to even keep up with those Kardashians. I didn't even know their names or their stories until I flipped to their TV show and cringed after 1 minute of too much botox, plastic, and screeching voices.

    When I found out that she was producing a show about PR, I barely hit the roof. I was LIVID. I kept thinking, “Is this a joke? PLEASE, someone, say it ain't so!” I do not respect anyone who has become famous for NO real reason (Speidi, anyone?). On top of that, to be dragging the good name of PR through the mud along with her own name? Who said she's even qualified to go behind camera in the first place? She's spent enough time in front of one. I think she should just stay away from cameras altogether.

    I agree, I have to re-define and defend the good practice of PR to people who immediately associate my profession with Samantha Jones. Maybe that's one good thing that will come out of it. “They” say no PR is bad, right? I think if people actually take the time to watch this show (doubtful), then the real professionals entrenched in real PR can explain to those who question our purposes. Perhaps this bad publicity will launch discussions among us PR folk and those who aren't very aware of the field behind the stereotypes.

    I'd like to say that we can use this to our benefit. Here's to hoping! Cheers!

    Cheryl
    @CheElizaga

  29. And some people wonder why PR folks don't get a fair shake when it comes to upper management or getting on a management track? Get real people!

    Good for you, Sasha. Keep callin' it like it is.

    David

  30. I really like this post ! You've got it 🙂

  31. Thanks Maura 🙂
    Appreciate you taking the time to comment!

    Best wishes,
    Sasha

  32. antoinettes says:

    Hello,

    I completely agree!! These women are sleezy! And will do anything for ratings. they are bad, but the mom (ChrisJenner) Is why those girls are so sleazy. I mean have you heard her? She acts like she wants to
    be 21 again. how did a good guy like Bruce get mixed up with a woman who clearly thinks she is 21?
    she should act her age, and try to set a good example for her children. But she doesn't what a sad act!

  33. antoinettes says:

    Hello,

    I completely agree!! These women are sleezy! And will do anything for ratings. they are bad, but the mom (ChrisJenner) Is why those girls are so sleazy. I mean have you heard her? She acts like she wants to
    be 21 again. how did a good guy like Bruce get mixed up with a woman who clearly thinks she is 21?
    she should act her age, and try to set a good example for her children. But she doesn't what a sad act!

  34. The kardashians are nothing more than modern day WHORES! On top of easily spreading their legs, they bare their bodies and release sex tapes and instead of at the street corner where they truly belong, they are rich enough to get a show done by Ryan Seacrest to showcase their whorish wares! They are stylish, and they have made a brand of themselves and their names, esp Kim, but that's only because she's a publicity whore who knew how to get papped and became famous for being famous…..so there's some business savvy there, but make no mistake, it's a whore's sort of business savvy. When these whores turn 35 and are no longer relevant – and that would soon come as they don't have a real skill set or talent – they won't be able to generate much money then! ALL Whores have a use-by date dolls.

  35. The kardashians are nothing more than modern day WHORES! On top of easily spreading their legs, they bare their bodies and release sex tapes and instead of at the street corner where they truly belong, they are rich enough to get a show done by Ryan Seacrest to showcase their whorish wares! They are stylish, and they have made a brand of themselves and their names, esp Kim, but that's only because she's a publicity whore who knew how to get papped and became famous for being famous…..so there's some business savvy there, but make no mistake, it's a whore's sort of business savvy. When these whores turn 35 and are no longer relevant – and that would soon come as they don't have a real skill set or talent – they won't be able to generate much money then! ALL Whores have a use-by date dolls.