PoweRGirls is Weakening the PR Industry’s Image

I just addressed a group of about 100 public relations college students and Summer interns.  In the session, we spoke about their dreams, hopes and futures in the business.  When I asked what was keeping them up at night, almost all of the young women pointed to Lizzie Grubman and PoweRGirls, the MTV reality show about a group of female PR party planners.  Young industry professionals are outraged that Grubman and her party planning cohorts have become the standard bearers of the PR world.  The group I met with today see themselves as being light years away from the vacuous, starstruck, one dimensional types portrayed on the show.  And they’re right.  Public relations today is a far-flung, sophisticated industry that provides a wide range of services, from crisis counseling and issues advocacy to marketing support and employee communications.  It’s a shame that bright, young professionals just entering the field have to routinely deflect such banal questions as: "oh, so you do parties?"

One thought on “PoweRGirls is Weakening the PR Industry’s Image

  1. I couldn’t agree more. And, I’m glad to hear that the next generation of PR professionals is as outraged about Lizzie being the “face” of PR as I am. It’s critical that they’re out there communicating with their peers that she is a publicist and party planner, not a corporate PR practioner. The PR industry needs to do a better job of defining its role to those outside the industry.