By: Alexandra Farrell
Recently, a new television series called “SPINdustry” premiered on the E! Network. The program follows the day-to-day life of Jonathan Cheban and Simon Huck, owners of the firm Command PR, as they open the West coast office of their company. Although the show achieved high ratings and positive feedback from many viewers, it has many professionals in the PR world distraught. PR execs are complaining that the show simply feeds into the stereotypes that already exist about the industry. Public relations is not just an industry where attractive people plan parties and cater to celebrities. The first episode of the show focused primarily on pretty faces who passed out water battles to paparazzi on the red carpet and a VIP hostess who believe that her ability to book an event at a friend’s nightclub makes her capable of running the West coast operations of Cheban and Huck’s firm.
Coincidentally, “SPINdustry” is not the only television show currently portraying the public relations world. Bravo’s “Kell on Earth” follows Kelly Cutrone, owner of People’s Revolution, a leading fashion public relations firm. This show presents a more realistic view of what public relations actually consists of. Employees at People’s Revolution are constantly shown hunched over their desks, working hard to arrange fashion shows and please clients. This is a sharp contrast to “SPINdustry”, which mostly showed employees getting dressed, buying sandwiches, and mourning over separation from their dog.
Viewers of “SPINdustry” who are not familiar with the world of public relations are receiving misleading information about what it means to be a PR professional. Although the job may occasionally include glamorous parties or meetings with high-profile figures, this disregards the day to day process and hard work that goes into acquiring and satisfying clients, and making events happen.