Labels are for Clothes: Dispelling PR Stereotypes (Part B)

We had the first two PR stereotypes in the Part A. Now, let’s begin…

The B*tch and the Bunny

Stereotypical PR practitioners – the fluffy and anti-fluff – are often referred to as the so-called PR B*itched and Bunnies.

If you are a fan of tough love and have a no-nonsense attitude then you’re probably be pegged as a PR b*tch. A PR b*tch is fierce and confident (sometimes overconfident).

Kelly “Cutthroat” Cutrone

The ultimate role model for a PR b*itch is Kelly “Cutthroat” Cutrone, founder and head of PR fashion firm People’s Revolution and author of If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. For these people the industry that requires its players to be competitive and tougher. Being competitive, at times, is not all bad. One should always strive for excellence.

A PR bunny is a young, PR practitioner characterized by a pretty face and a lack of management competence. Like a bunny, they are fluffy and cute and despite of their ability to throwing great parties, and flirting with clients, they are not good at much else. According to this stereotype, PR work is all glamorous. This is highly debatable since it is a must for PR practitioners to dress up. One should be presentable in front of their current and prospect clients. The flirting, on the other hand, is a subjective matter. Both parties simply have to be professional.

If only the knowledge of the Public Relations industry is based from shows like Sex & the City, The Hills and The City, it can be concluded that these stereotypes are true; however, these portrayals of PR practitioners are inaccurate.


Catty Industry

The PR industry may resemble high school cliques as far as being catty is concerned. The reason for these is the nature of the industry and the fact that there is such a tight competition for clients. You have to “fight” for every single position, promotion, and work from the moment you start working. That is why the PR field is known for cattiness.

Cattiness is also associated with the number of females in the industry. However, this must not be the case. Always remember that the industry is not self-regulating. Anyone can enter the industry and clients can hire anyone, making the competition tougher. Some practitioners go too far to get coverage, which could be construed as catty. Another is that there are influential individuals that have catty personality and it works with their specific line of PR.

However, the competition when women are involved is different because it is not women trying to prove that they are better that their male colleagues but that they are better than the other women competing in the industry. The “mean girl syndrome” can be observed if there is any truth to it.

Most stereotypes are directed to female PR practitioners. Dr. Larissa “Lauri” A. Grunig said, “Because PR is mostly female; the negative impacts associated with being female also impact negatively on PR.” While we all want to think public relations is as easy and as glamorous as it seems, there is really more to it. Labels are for clothes. It is high time for people to think out of the box that confines public relations.

Genuine PR professionals think critically and strategically. They do research, planning, implementation and evaluation in order to guarantee effective communications and positive outcomes. Above all, PR professionals are truthful, and practitioners maintain utmost professionalism, which includes respect and confidentiality. The notion of spin, b*tch, bunny, and catty implies something false, which good PR professionals detest. Good PR skills are taught in school and honed through experience, not by watching Sex and the City.





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