I can imagine doctors and nurses berating their TV sets from time to time when the latest episode of Holby City or Casualty happens to capture a character acting in a way completely unlikely in the real world.
I’m no different when it comes to squirming at the portrayal of media types. It used to be that I’d watch a primetime soap and the standard appearance of a journalist would be that of someone wearing a dirty coat and prepared to dig through bins or verbally attack someone from 50 paces. At the time, I was a journalist who loved my chosen profession and – take my word for it – genuinely hated that generalised perception instead of seeing me as a pretty compassionate storyteller.
Today, of course, I’m a “PR type”. And the generalisations are no less frustrating. Last night I sat and watched the appointed ‘comms person’ in an episode of Silent Witness and couldn’t help but sigh uncomfortably at the hugely unlikeable female character shouting down the senior inspector in a current murder case.
Okay, so yes, we comms types are appointed to have and express an opinion, and to ensure we get it across in the right time with the right wisdom. Nonetheless, let me state for the record that we’re not in the business of shouting our mouth off in the face of authority when it doesn’t call for it, and we’re a whole lot more sympathetic of our surroundings and circumstances than the TV would often have you believe.
Get the wrong PR, and yes, certainly you’re going to have someone who’s on a mission to prove that what they say goes at whatever cost. Get the right one , and no matter what crisis you or your brand are in, they’ll walk with you, encourage you, support you, and amicably assist your cause from as near or afar as you need them.
Just remember that not everything you watch on the box is in fact “Reality TV”!