I’ve just seen footage on YouTube of a reality show that should have the PR industry quaking in its boots – PR-based reality TV show The Spin Crowd.
What I’ve seen suggests that it’s a show packed with clipboard Nazis, fashionistas and other fluffy-brained reprobates representative of the old cliché of what PR is supposed to be about – the sort of people who behave like 9 year olds who’ve found the booze cupboard and whose worldview is shallower than the mirage of a puddle.
The PR industry is undergoing a revolution at the moment – a lot of people are beginning to recognise that it can be a huge force in the world and that the captivating narratives it guides, for people, products and more, can be of enormous use and influence. The traditional world of communications is in state of flux. Sages pontificate on the revolution but few understanding of the cataclysmic changes on the media landscape. In this sort of frantic and fragmented world, PR can only be a pertinent tool; a steady, cost-effective channel of communication.
But The Spin Crowd, pumped on botox and bitching and preening its way into the collective consciousness, pushes the perception of PR back to a worse state than Ab Fab left it in – here are the people that Jennifer Saunders was satirising in reality (or as close to that state as a reality TV show allows) and unforgiving close-up.
The perception of PR as being too fluffy for words needs to be changed. Even if there is an unhealthy percentage of people who want to get into the industry for all the wrong reasons and even if this is how too many PR companies operate, particularly in America, The Spin Crowd mustn’t be allowed to ruin the industry’s progress by miring it permanently in cliché.
Even a serious show like Mad Men misunderstands PR and how it works (click here to see my blog about the guerilla PR stunt in the opening episode of the latest season). If The Spin Crowd is going to continue, let’s hope the US majority view of PR does not condemn the minority on the other side of the pond who are attempting to rewrite the laws of practice.