I’m in LA on a short holiday. Unlike a lot of San Franciscans, I love LA. It’s always nice to come down, visit my friends and remember what sunshine feels like.
If you couldn’t tell from my facebook pics, I’m a very sociable person, so when I’m in LA, I like to go out to party and rub elbows with actors, writers, producers. At some point in the conversation, someone always asks me what I do. It turns out, people in LA don’t really like PR people. They also don’t quite understand social media.
On Saturday, I was at a party and started talking to an actor who plays a widely recognized character on a TV comedy show. When my career path came up I explained that I did PR for the tech industry. As a writer, it helps keep my mind stimulated, etc. He responded, “PR is the perfect industry for a fiction writer; they do nothing but spout off lies.”
Yes, I was taken aback, but I’m a trained professional. I smiled and explained that I work for a firm that is trying to open up our clients and improve transparency in PR. He snidely replied, “Sounds like a publicity stunt to me.”
I guess it’s easy to be cynical about PR in LA. With starlets’ PR agents (read publicists) making up all sorts of excuses or denying what’s caught on film, who can blame them?
That was the worst encounter of the evening. The rest of the night was fun, and I used the opportunity to sniff out thoughts on social media.
Not surprisingly, almost everyone at the party had heard of MySpace and was on it. I was surprised that so many mid-20’s to mid-30’s hadn’t heard of Facebook or didn’t want to join another site. Of course, the younger folks at the party had Facebook. Sadly, among the Glitterati, I met no members of the Twitterati.
In LA, it seems most people associate blogs with gossip and are surprised that people actually read blogs on technology or PR. Other people still think blogs are fringe.
Are the results of this casual survey solely indicative of the entertainment industry? Or are we in the Tech industry just very insular?
It would be interesting to see how our Entertainment PR (not advertising or marketing) friends use social media campaigns. Does anyone have any case studies?
Finally, how does “reality” TV change people’s perception of transparency in the entertainment industry?
Seems like we still have a long way to go, my friends.
[SocialTNT returns from vacation tomorrow]