Ever since Sex and the City debuted on HBO in 1998, public relations practitioners have not been able to shake the stereotype associated with Samantha Jones. She made public relations look youthful, colorful and sexy. Singlehandedly, Samantha Jones changed the image of public relations for the 21st century. And it wasn’t long before other youthful, sexy publicists graced our televisions nationwide.
In 2002, Val Tyler, played by Jennie Garth in the WB’s series What I Like About You, portrayed another young woman working in public relations. And today on E!, Kim Kardashian claims she is a young, sexy woman working in PR. While there is nothing wrong with being a sexy, confident young female public relations practitioner, I feel it’s important to mention there is more to the public relations field than what women look like.
While we women would all love to wake up in the morning and go to work looking like Samantha Jones, Val Tyler or Kim Kardashian, it doesn’t always happen. But what we can all go to work with in the morning is our knowledge and understanding of the public relations field.
We’re taught in school the basics of communication. We learn how to write news releases, conduct research, put together media kits, work in groups and write communication plans. We learn the basics of event planning, but a major in public relations isn’t strictly about that. After we graduate, we put these skills to good use so we can build a name for ourselves in the public relations field.
While we all want to think public relations is as easy and as glamorous as these women make it seem, there is really more to it than some people think. A lot of thought goes into planning a campaign to launch a new brand for a company, and it takes time and strategy to target different media to cover events. We learn to be good public relations practitioners though the skills we’re taught in school and on the job, not by watching Sex and the City or What I Like About You. But it is nice to think that the women who are representing female public relations practitioners are confident and sexy.