The World Of PR, Is It Absolutely Fabulous?
By now you must (read should) have seen the new Absolutely Fabulous film. Full of hilarious one-liners and nonstop celebrity cameos, it’s basically an extended episode of the classic TV show: Eddy and Patsy – the two main characters – swearing like sailors, drinking like rock stars and getting up to all manner of outrageous antics.
For those unfamiliar with the show, Ab Fab centres around Edina (Eddy) Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders), owner of a London fashion PR firm and her best friend, Patsy (Pats) Stone (Joanna Lumley) works – very occasionally – as an editor for a fashion magazine. The movie is silly, cringe inducing, not as good as I had hoped it would be (sorry!), but still includes the hilarious moments that are worth the cost of the cinema ticket alone.
However, I think most PR professionals will tell you, Edina Monsoon’s life, although hysterical, is unfortunately nothing like the life of your average PR. Most days, we can be found at our desks, multi-tasking, with the most glamorous drink being a latte from the local Pret.
That said, the new Ab Fab movie does highlight things that can be all too real for those working in PR….
NOBODY KNOWS WHAT PR IS_
It’s a running joke throughout the film (and the lives of anyone who works in PR) that no one knows what PR is. Even some of our closest friends and family members don’t have a clue. As ridiculous as it seems, the below scene sums it up perfectly…
Saffy: “I’m sorry, Mum, but I’ve never seen what you actually do”
Saffy: “Yes, but…”
Eddy: “PR! I PR things!”
For us, PR is a profession that requires significant knowledge across a wide range of sectors, commercial awareness and a varied skill set that includes writing, negotiation and strategic thinking.
SOCIAL MEDIA ALWAYS MATTERS_
When Eddy accidently knocks Kate Moss into the River Thames (spoiler alert), the news breaks that she has ‘killed off’ Croydon’s finest and Eddy instantly becomes a trending hashtag and cries “I’m being trolleyed on Twitter!”
The importance of keeping your social media feeds current and relevant has never been more important. We certainly chuckled when Eddy asks her PA, Bubbles, “Have you been feeding my Twitter?” and Bubbles replies with “No I haven’t… So it died.”
PR practitioners need to keep up with new trends and techniques and the key to successful PR campaigns is to use the most appropriate methods and communications channels to communicate with your target audience.
YOU NEED TO LOOK AFTER EVERY CLIENT, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE CHASING YOUR NEXT BIG ONE_
In the film, Eddy is seen constantly neglecting her other clients in order to pursue Kate Moss. Yes it’s hilarious to watch, but it does highlight a cautionary tale for all PR Professionals: Don’t forget to look after ALL of your clients.
BURYING YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND NEVER WORKS_
The film shows pretty spectacularly how quickly and how damaging a media crisis can be. After the Kate Moss disaster, Eddy and Patsy run and hide in the South of France. Whilst their antics are hilarious, everyone knows that running away from a crisis (however trivial) rarely works.
Whether you’re planning a campaign or dealing with journalists in response to negative news, you must be prepared. Have a plan in place so that when a supermodel falls in the Thames and the client is to blame (unlikely, I hear you, but you know what we mean) statements are available, spokespersons are briefed and the issue is managed.
YOU NEED A GREAT TEAM_
Your team is always vital to the success of any campaign or initiative. You rarely work as an individual in PR. Having a team of people who understand the client, its business and the rules of engagement are key. Which leads me handily on to the fact we are recruiting for a new account manager and account executive. If you are interested in a career that is nothing like AB Fab then get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org.