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ExPRessions :: Public Relations :: The Spindustry? Ummm, no.

The Spindustry? Ummm, no.

February 12, 2010 12:23 pm

I love working in PR. From research to writing to pitching to clients, I find my work exciting.

But, PR has a lot of sterotypes. From Samantha on Sex and the City to Kell on Earth, the profession isn’t always portrayed accurately.

Sure, you’re crazy busy, but I don’t think my job of writing copy for marketing materials and pitching social media to clients is really reality-TV material. And those things that might be good for TV can’t be shown because the client needs us to keep it confidential.

This morning I heard that Kim Kardashian is producing a PR Documentary called “‘The Spindustry.”

Ummmm, no. Real PR professionals aren’t focused on spin. They are professional communicators who help clients get messages to their audiences. I really don’t want my profession tied to Kardashian, spin or any of the other negative stereotypes.

This show is going to give so many people the wrong idea about PR. What do you think?


  1. I totally agree that TV gives the wrong impression about many things, PR included. However, I am not sure if “spin” is completely wrong. One of the definitions of spin is “give a news story or other information a positive interpretation”, which is part of what a PR professional can do for you. On a second note, however, I know that Kim Kardashian, and the people behind her, have been proven to be savvy at promoting themselves. How else do you get famous for nothing in particular? But, I am sure that PR professionals don’t necessarily want her producing a documentary as an “expert” in the PR industry. That’s not exactly who they would choose to be their spokesperson.

  2. Jenny,

    Spin has such a negativity around it though. I know PRSA and PRSSA really discourage the use of the word. Yeah, we give a positive side of things, but spin is also tied to hiding things.

    Kardashian has promoted herself…but not as a respectable person, in my opinion. I don’t know much about her, but what I do know hasn’t been good.

    I definitely think a PR documentary should be produced by someone with a good reputation in the industry. It also should be supported by real professionals in the industry, I think. Like people with APRs and an actual background working with real clients. Not that celebrities aren’t real, but doubt they will show the real side of PR.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. I can’t believe that anyone in the industry would use the word “spin,” because that alone tells you what the focus is going to be: Sensational, devious and not the most ethical presentation of the industry. PR pros should boycott this kind of thing — we don’t need you, Kim. The only thing she might be able to demonstrate is how hard to work — on your nails.

  4. I agree with you, Rachel. We had a debate in our PR Management a few weeks ago about whether/not spin is essential, and it was interesting (and scary!) to hear how some future PR professionals believe spin is essential to good PR. It can be hard enough to explain to people what good PR is without trying to battle against spin and negative stereotypes!

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Rachel M. Esterline works in public relations and marketing communications. Her blog, ExPRessions, contains her musings about PR, marketing, career and professional development, Gen Y issues, personal branding and more. Rachel also does freelance consulting and writing. She is originally from Genesee, Mich., and will graduate from Central Michigan University in May 2010.