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The Kardashians: Communications with a K

Published on February 24, 2021, at 9:15 p.m. 
by Taylor Tobin.

“Keeping up with the Kardashians” (KUWTK) is coming to an end, but the Kardashian legacy will stick with us forever.

The Kardashian/Jenner family has always been ridiculed for not having true talent, but I would say that statement is false. Yes, the Kardashians are not known for talents such as singing, dancing or acting. However, they do have a major talent, and that is understanding and performing really amazing public relations.

Although the family has decided to leave the television industry, the PR tactics they have taught us over the years will stick with us for decades. Let’s take a look back at the countless scandals and ways the Kardashian/Jenner family has managed to stay in our lives since 2007.

Be relatable.
The Kardashians have thrived through their television show for 20 seasons, but it wasn’t always easy for the family. Toward the conclusion of the third season, the show was fading in viewership and almost ended. The content was dry and no longer interesting for viewers. It wasn’t until Kourtney Kardashian became pregnant with her first child, Mason Disick, that the show became more relatable.

The Kardashians demonstrated that producing relatable content is what pulls in viewers. In later seasons, they showed their divorces, marriages and pregnancy struggles that created a connection between the family and fans. The Kardashians opened up their imperfect homes for the whole world to see: That is why they are the Kardashian family.

Create connections through social media.
The Kardashians are no strangers to documenting their lives on social media, but their strategies of connecting with fans and having their voices heard are what makes them great. The world is now overpowered by social media platforms, and the KarJenner family understands that they must do everything possible to keep up.

The Kardashians use social media platforms for all forms of promotion. The family also understands the importance of making their fans’ voices heard, as seen through their interaction with fans on Twitter. During each episode of KUWTK, you will notice that members of the family will interact with fans who are watching the live show. This interaction creates a connection with the fans and makes them feel special knowing that the Kardashian family “noticed” them.

Kris Jenner knows best.
For many years it has been rumored that the biggest PR stunt Momager has up her sleeve is the planning of a story’s release in accordance with the premiere of a new season. An example of this rumored speculation is the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson scandal.

Photo by celebrityabc from Creative Commons

The scandal destroyed many relationships within the family, and the drama continued for months. Some would even say the turmoil is still prominent. Through all of the drama and tears, fans began to speculate the odd timing of this story’s release. The story broke just a few weeks before the premiere of season 16. Fans also suspect that the story was released to assist with the fact that viewership had been down in season 15, and this was the Momager’s way of fixing that.

In a profile about Kris Jenner, Taffy Brodesser-Aken wrote that when discussing the Kardashian family secrets, “Kris Jenner doesn’t care that you know everything. Kris only cares that you heard [about] them when and where she decided you should.” Any publicity can be good; it comes down to how you manage it. The Momager knows this and lives by it. She runs the world, the news and the PR game.

Kim Kardashian: the queen of PR?
When it comes to being caught in a scandal, the KarJenner family usually turns to Kim to help them navigate through the public controversy. Let’s review.

Photo by Nathan Congleton from Creative Commons

First, we have the Khloe Kardashian and TMZ scandal from 2017. On Sept. 26, 2017, TMZ got word that Khloe Kardashian was pregnant with Tristan Thompson’s baby. Kim debated calling TMZ and confirming Khloe’s pregnancy, asking if it could hold the story until Khloe reached 12 weeks. Knowing that TMZ would ultimately run with the story, and with the stress of running out of time, Kim called TMZ and confirmed the story, but provided no further comment.

Second, we have part one of the feud between Kanye West and Taylor Swift. In 2016, a video recording of Kanye West calling Taylor Swift “fake” was released, and Kim came to West’s rescue to help manage his image. Kim advised West to stay off of Twitter for a while to avoid any further controversy while she worked with her team on creating a plan. West agreed to follow Kim’s lead in order to preserve the public’s perception of them. Kim told West, “my full time job is being your publicist.” See, even West listens to Kim for PR management.

In a past interview, Kim discussed what her career path might look like if she hadn’t become “Kim Kardashian.”

“Sometimes I wonder what I would be doing if I had a different career path. Everyone who knows me really well says that I would be a good publicist. I think the PR world is really interesting and over the years I’ve definitely learned a lot about it.”

In addition to being a beauty mogul, TV personality and entrepreneur, is Kim Kardashian a publicist in disguise? She is quite possibly the queen of public relations.

Even with the Kardashians leaving the television industry, their legacy and PR strategies will stick with us PR practitioners forever. When creating the show, the Kardashians expected us to keep up with their lives, but what they didn’t realize is how we would keep up with their PR stunts.

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