I spun this off from the ‘Jessica Cutler’ post because it has developed a life of it’s own. (Extended and revised on 9/29/04)
A more ‘current’ example of the perpetuation of PR’s bad image is “Lizzie Grubman”. Sure, she is successful ‘financially’ and probably has ‘satisfied clients’, but having her ‘recognized’ and ‘promoted’ as a PR practitioner isn’t going to help the ‘fluff’ and/or derogatory image of PR as profession. See MTV reality show to star PR maven Lizzie Grubman, Lizzie Grubman has moved from behind the scenes to prison and now television and MTV Believes Lizzie Grubman’s Hype.
Too many people associate what Grubman does as PR (and that will likely get worse after the show airs) … uh, it isn’t PR. At best, Grubman is a publicist and party planner (maybe a little more). I don’t mean that as a slam – not at all – but I would hope that she would even admit that she is not the best example of a PR practitioner (as the PRSA would define it, at least).
And, let’s not lose sight of the ‘good things’ that Lizzie Grubman does. She likely is not the “Alien Woman (set) To Destroy (the) Public’s Perception of PR“, as some might wish to label her. I base this new found insight from one of my students (read on).
PR has not helped it’s own cause, in many ways. After all, if any profession should be able to counter an unfair label, wouldn’t/shouldn’t it be PR? Perhaps a part of the problem is that MTV will portray her as ‘PR’ when they would be doing a better service to the truth by calling Lizzie what she is – a publicist and party planner for the ‘nightlife (bars), personalities (glitterati), restaurants, music scene and more‘. Grubman does label her company as being PR, but a look at here clients (and the fact that the only ‘activities’ highlighted on her site are ‘events’) belies something a bit different. Why, her web site is the very epitome of slick appearance, but a lack of clarity, poor navigation and empty content areas. Surf it for yourself, you’ll see the results.
Still, one of my truly fine students interned with Lizzie’s company (PoweR Girls) and she reports on that experience in her blog. Good job, Margaret! I respect Margaret and her opinions. She’s seen ‘PoweR Girls’ firsthand, I haven’t. So, I’m open to her defense of Lizzie Grubman’s firm.