What the Flack?
The PR community is all a-flutter about Flack, currently running on Amazon Prime. The show focuses on Robyn, an American publicist working for a cutthroat London PR company that represents troubled celebrities. And while she’s helping cover-up her clients’, shall we say, “misdeeds,” she is doing drugs, drinking and sleeping with her clients.
Don’t get me wrong – I completely agree with the sentiment of my friends, this depiction is nothing like how ethical public relations practitioners act. Yes, of course, we are called upon to assist our clients during a crisis. But falsify information, create scenarios so that they look good and then celebrate with a romp in the hay with the client– not happening.
But it’s fiction. It is not based on a true-life story. It is intended to be entertainment.
I watched it. Was it entertaining? Sure, in that “I can’t believe I’m watching this but can’t turn it off” kind of way.
This, of course, isn’t the first time that the PR profession has been depicted in such a way. Remember Scandal or Sex and the City? Certainly Olivia and Samantha stretched the job description a bit.
Autumn and I were talking about this the other day. So many professions have fallen victim to the creative license of the writers and producers. Isn’t it safe to say the lawyers on television are not like lawyers in real life? That doctors on television are not like doctors in real life? Or detectives? Or flight attendants (hello Kaley Cuoco’s Cassie)? Or likely any profession?
As a profession, let’s keep doing what we do best. Our clients know who we are and what we do. New business prospects come to us because of our solid reputation. If they want us to be more like Robyn instead of like Scott, Abbie, Alison, Autumn, Marissa, Jennifer and Justin, they are not a good fit anyway.