Lizzie Grubman – the founder and owner of New York-based Lizzie Grubman PR – has a new reality show. If you don’t know who she is, she’s the person that, in 2001, was accused of allegedly plowing into people at a Long Island nightclub with her SUV.
And now she has her own reality show. Now, I realize this might sound like sour grapes coming from me - ask me if I care - but I’ve pretty much become bitter toward the entire PR industry after the experiences I’ve had trying to land a job in it. And the fact that Grubman is now on the brink of what could be a hit TV show is just a kick in the nut.
The funny thing about American celebrity is that people can become famous for any reason. Talent isn’t necessarily required; people only need to be good looking and mediocre, at best, at whatever they do in order to get noticed. Need an example? Kato Kaelin minus the “good looking” part. Jennifer Love Hewitt. Paris Hilton.
I rest my case.
Grubman may be a decent publicist – she lists Tara Reid, Ja Rule and Jay-Z as some of her notable clients – but I’m not buying it. I predict that enrollment numbers in PR-focused degrees are going to surge upward among college-aged women. Especially on the East Coast. Thanks to Samantha Jones in “Sex and the City,” the perception that the PR industry is all glam and ritz and hob-nobbing with celebrities and going to VIP parties is going to be all the more glamorized. It’s not. It’s a pretty cutthroat business in which anything the client says, goes. You’re a salesperson, selling your client’s “story” to any media that will listen to what you have to say. You’re a slave to the whims of your client, regardless of whether or not that move is strategic or not. The client wants media clips, you get them media clips, even though you think they should focus more on getting their executives more industry exposure. Whatever the client wants, the client gets.
I’m not working in the PR industry, and I think I’ve finally come to a place where I’m happy that I’m not. I’ve seen the toll PR agency life has taken on my friends and fellow classmates. I’ve been treated poorly by PR agencies during my post-grad school job hunt. Will I watch “Power Girls”? Probably. I have no sympathy for Lizzie Grubman and her new fame, although there is a part of me that can’t help but admire the fact that she was able to pull off the greatest image makeovers I’ve seen in a while.