Welcome to Intrinsic States!!

Thanks for stopping by everyone!! What is this about? Well, I hope to share some views - on life, marketing/branding, fashion/style, people and business - that you find interesting enough to come back.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Heads Up for Publicists, Employees and other Business People…that Appear on Reality Shows (and for those of us who work in actual reality)

I love it when people on reality shows forget that they are appearing in the filming of real, or somewhat real, events. If they are a business person or vendor and they flub the execution of their duties, they forget that this could be highly-viewed bad publicity. On the Katie Cazorla reality show, Nail Files, Katie recently experienced a series of bad business behavior occurrences…with her printed graphics vendor, her assistant and the worst, her publicist. It all started when her publicist called her very last minute, 2 days before, I believe, and pitched her this exaggerated promise of a wonderful publicity opportunity to host a gifting suite at Sundance Film Festival. She followed that up by giving her little to no help in arranging it, and based on the waste of time and money it was – evidenced by the abysmal attendance, or promoting it either (By the way, incomprehensively to me, Katie fell for the same thing with this publicist for the Oscars).
What I found most offensive, was that in each case when Katie complained to the publicist, Eileen, that no stars were visiting the suites – which was her opportunity to get them to name her nail polish shades (a branding tactic brainchild of Katie, a former entertainer herself)– they responded by either making claims about who was supposedly “in the building”, or that they’d seen nearby (I’d think anyone at the event was technically “nearby”); or out and out contradicting their initial promise, saying that “they (celebrities) don’t come to these suites”, or words to that effect. What sad excuses. At the Oscars, when Katie’s boyfriend, Walter, a noted music producer, complained about the poor turnout, one of them said Lindsay Lohan was either “seen”, or “would be there”, to which he responded, “Isn’t she in jail?” Oops!!  (I’m not sure, myself. So, I can’t confirm that for certain.)

Anyway, the point is that, there appeared to be no PR plan, as these great “opportunities” wouldn’t have been thrust onto Katie so last minute -- twice, without any apparent professional support to prepare for them. Then there was the day, after Katie decided to go publicist-less, that Eileen tried to strong-arm Katie using threats and intimidation to get paid for a full month’s work, while misquoting her own contract terms. She tried to bully Katie into paying based on a non-existent 30-day notice clause. Again, I say, oops!! I guess what Eileen failed to realize was that a business person might actually read their contract before taking any action to exit it.

The other thing that was bad – at least as far as timing, was that the publicist got fired just before Katie was ready to launch her spring product line and she (Katie) managed to do that, along with other promotions, and in-house events, on her own. This is a perfect example of the reason so many businesses believe they can do a better job than a publicist, and by-pass many of us. In this case, the client, with her regular staff and an event planner, did. In one fail swoop, Eileen the publicist, made this area of expertise appear utterly useless, unprofessional, and unethical. I’ve shared the Public Relations Society of America Member Statement of Professional Values from the Code of Ethics, just as a reference guide, but if Eileen is a member, she struck out in 5 of the 6 categories.

 ADVOCACY - We serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.

HONESTY - We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.

EXPERTISE - We acquire and responsibly use specialized knowledge and experience. We advance the profession through continued professional development, research, and education. We build mutual understanding, credibility, and relationships among a wide array of institutions and audiences.

INDEPENDENCE - We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.

LOYALTY - We are faithful to those we represent, while honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.

FAIRNESS - We deal fairly with clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media, and the general public. We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression.”

This was not the only incompetence and bad business Katie was exposed to in these same episodes. I mentioned another vendor and an employee, right? Well, the employee, Katie’s former assistant, failed to book Katie’s travel and accommodations for Sundance and failed to pay bills at the salon. Then, after realizing how inept she’d been, quit with no notice. Katie, also, in this chaotic milieu of worst practices, was misled by the graphic design company representative, who made no apologies for not properly placing, fulfilling or assembling Katie’s order for display signage and product labels. I just don’t understand where they get these people. But for some, reason, someone keeps hiring and  paying them. Let this be a lesson to all of us that hold ourselves out as professional, ethical, business persons...of what not to do.

But back to my original point, people easily forget they’re being taped and broadcasted being unprofessional, incompetent and unapologetic…remember Atlanta Housewives’ Sheree’ and that event planner from the famous “who gon’ check me, boo?!?!”, episode?

Welcome to Intrinsic States!!

Thanks for stopping by everyone!! What is this about? Well, I hope to share some views - on life, marketing/branding, fashion/style, people and business - that you find interesting enough to come back…so here’s my first post, all!  -Michelle