August 30, 2008

Reality TV: The ultimate PR platform?

Posted in Media at 9:22 pm by R

It’s a slow Saturday night for me and the hubbs, so what am I doing…watching reality TV of all shapes and sizes.

So yes, my butt has been glued to the couch for a whole day with the exception of a romantic little dinner at Grazie Wine Bar (THE best place in Phoenix for a real Italian-style pizza and a great glass of vino.) But all of this TV got me thinking…Reality TV is great PR…or is it?

By having a TV show that basically showcases your business there’s amazing ROI and name/brand-recognition. But, and this is a major but, you’ve got to take the good with the bad. And reality TV is driven by drama, so there can be plenty of bad.

Take a show like Sunset Tan. The re-run I saw tonight showcased two of the employees getting in an all out (drunken) bitch fest at a nationwide conference for tanning vendors. Not a great impression — great TV though. I don’t tan, but — at the end of the day — I hear Sunset Tan has a great product.

Or take Million Dollar Listing. Three 20-something Realtors in LA share their day-to-day with Bravo. These guys are rather self-entitled and totally image obsessed – which at least they openly confess, which is in this odd way admirable. That can be a major turn off for viewers, including ones that could be potential clients. But it could also be the reason they get the next big listing. And kudos to them, because I’m sure not that brave.

So what’s the bottom line with reality TV as a PR tactic? The pay off is big if you’re willing to put up with the judgement that comes along with airing your dirty laundry as well.

I don’t have a client I’d recommend this kind of strategy to, but I sure do enjoy a well-made “reality” show.



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