PR in Mass Media

Oftentimes, Public Relations is portrayed in the media as event planning and partying. For example, in the 2008 film Sex and the City, Samantha works in the Public Relations field. She has it all – the model boyfriend, the nice apartment on the beach, the expensive car, she attends countless events and she is almost always shopping. While all of these things could easily be a perk of working in the PR field, it aso glamorizes Public Relations. Hardly do you ever see the research or planning phases of the events Samantha plans. Viewers are only exposed to the outcome of Samantha’s job – money. I believe this image is harmful to the field because it is not 100% accurate.

Currently, ABC’s hit show, Scandal, is what viewers see as Public Relations. The show is based on Olivia Pope, a fixer in Washington, D.C. She mostly deals with crises involving politicians. This show gives viewers a more realistic sense of what Public Relations is about. Viewers get to witness Olivia’s strategies and tactics for program planning. The show thrives on its unpredictability. Most times, an event occurs and Olivia is forced to quickly devise a strategy to fix the situation at hand. This is a helpful image to the Public Relations field because it is more accurate. So while I believe PR has been portrayed as glamorous clothes, cars and perks, I also believe society is making steps toward a more realistic portrayal and understanding of what the Public Relations field consists of.


7 thoughts on “PR in Mass Media

  1. robhuitt

    Even though I’ve never watched “Scandal”, I know it’s a hit show. It’s good to hear that the field of PR is being accurately portrayed in such a popular show.

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  3. stefsmalls8

    This is a great comparison between the two shows. I completely agree with you on how “Scandal” portrays a more accurate role on displaying what people involved in the PR field actually do. Good Job!

  4. mm02313

    I have never watched Scandal, but after reading your thoughts I just might get into it. I have heard mixed reviews from people in class who say it is still glamorizing PR but it is a step in the right direction as far as portraying issues that PR practitioners deal with on a day to day basis. I also think Sex and the City has done a major disservice to the PR field by making the blunt, sexually aggressive character the PR practitioner. Don’t get me wrong, I think Samantha is fabulous and was a ground breaking female character at the time, but her using her sexuality to get ahead in her business (such as becoming sexually involved with some of her clients) always rubbed me the wrong way. Why can’t she enjoy her sexual lifestyle but also just be plain good at her job? Why did the two have to mix all the time? Glad to see TV producers “getting real” when is come to portraying PR on television these days.

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  6. Ashley Nixon

    This is a good comparisons but it is two different realms of PR. For the Sex and the City PR, it is more event planning and for Scandal’s case, it deals with politicians. I think they are both realistic but Scandal is based off PR and for sex and the city, the main focus is not samantha’s job but when we do see her working, she is professional.

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