The show is a mixture of the Hills, the Devil Wears Prada and Keeping up with the Kardashians (no surprise considering Kim Kardashian produces it) and follows the trials and tribulations of CommandPR West fronted by Jonathan Cheben and Simon Huck.
Within ten minutes, it is clear that the show is reality drama at its best (or worst depending on your view point) with some scenes, hopefully, created for entertainment's sake, such as Jonathan asking an employee to get her lips injected to improve her appearance. It’s undeniable that hard work does take place when the camera isn’t rolling and the team manage to pull off every event without so much as a hair out of place.
Some scenes do seem ridiculous, but delve deeper and the show illustrates some very important PR lessons.
- Contacts are essential. For Jonathan and his team this consisted of starlets in the form of Kelly Rowland, Mel B and Kelly Osbourne, but this can still apply to the smaller company. Networking is key for developing your business contacts and social media sites such as LinkedIn can further help you.
- Never say never. With only a day to plan and promote a charity event for Kelly Osbourne, the team, though a little concerned, duly got down to it and produced another successful event. Flexibility is key. If strategies are too rigid and client types too defined an opportunity can pass the small business by.
- A clear command structure is needed. CommandPR seemed to suffer from a lack of HR skills as employees bickered and resented Jonathan’s sometimes heavy handed approach to leadership. Though this may have been for the benefit of the cameras, it is still an important lesson to learn. Staff need to feel valued, yet know who the boss is, in order to lead to increased productivity and a happier work environment.
The show is over the top, granted, and it does leave you with a sense of concern for the stereotyping of the PR industry. However when taken in the context that it is purely an entertainment show, it becomes easier to digest.
A word of warning to people starting out in PR: don't get into it expecting this. While it is fun, it's an air-brushed version of what the day to day job entails.