PR IN POPULAR CULTURE
As briefly mentioned in Blog Post 2: 'Views of PR', I believe that Public Relations and the PR practitioner are often negatively portrayed in both the mass media and popular culture. A prime example of this could be seen as the popular 90's comedy, 'Absolutely Fabulous', in which the two main characters are seen to be in a regular state of intoxication and hold careers (of sorts) within Fashion PR. This has negative connotations of what exactly PR is, and suggests that the PR practitioner simply wines and dines to their leisure, without need for any 'real' talent or intellect. This is also somewhat apparent within the unit film screenings, as the PR practitioner/agency is often blamed for any wrongdoings of the brand or product they are representing. In the screening of 'Thank You for Smoking', it was quickly apparent that the portrayal of lobbyists and PR practitioners was that they held little to no ethical standards, even if what they were promoting was potentially harmful (such as smoking).
Not only are these portrayals negative, I have found that in my experience so far, they are also rather inaccurate. Although popular culture is made to entertain therefore it is often exaggerated, many people do believe that this is the Public Relations industry. Reading academically enabled me to get a less bias view of the PR practitioner and industry, alongside teaching me valuable skills.
Upon reading many textbooks and academic journals for assignments and seminars I have discovered that PR is extremely closely linked to both advertising and marketing, however there are definite lines between these types of promotion. The key text 'Exploring Public Relations' has been an incredible help throughout my studies, in particular for Element 2 in the 'Media and Communication' unit, as it has many different chapters on promotional techniques and different theories.