Monday, 3 April 2017

The rise of reality TV stars is the success of PR

Guest post

When you think of reality TV stars, you probably think of the typical figures such as Kim Kardashian, Vicky Pattison and many others who don’t mind showing off their daily lives to millions of viewers, both in the UK and across the world.

Many reality TV stars are now worth millions, basically for just showing us their world and having an opinion, why can’t we all earn that sort of money for just doing that? I wonder what their secret to this fame and success could be? 

You’ve guessed it, PR is the answer! 

Most stars will have a strong team of PR people behind them, to come up with ideas to gain public interest, organise promotional events and shine them in the very best light possible. If it wasn’t for the strong PR team many of these individuals really wouldn’t be that successful, it’s just not that possible. Celebrities are completely different, they may be a famous singer or actor who already has a glittering career, but think about reality stars, what have they actually done? Sometimes it seems like they appeared out of nowhere and you can’t actually remember how or why!

Take Kim Kardashian as a big example of this. Her entire family have an executive PR team behind them. They take care of their new product launches, public appearances, even handling personal issues, one example being where Kim Kardashian was robbed whilst on a trip for Paris fashion week.
Reality TV stars becoming more popular and well known benefits many people, particularly brands. Fashion, beauty, food, and fitness brands are the main ones that benefit from a cash boost, just by including one of the stars as a brand ambassador, public appearance at one of their events or just taking a photo with a product and then uploading to their millions of followers. It’s really that simple. 

Not so long ago it was hard to become a celebrity, now it seems accessible to pretty much everyone, you don’t need a talent, you don’t have to really do much to achieve it… let the PR people handle that! Reality TV has only added to the obsession many of the public have with celebrities, many will do whatever it takes to look like their favourite star, even by going as far as having cosmetic surgery in order to achieve their flawless features.

Reality TV stars have now become trendsetters, they can inspire and influence thousands and even millions of people. For brands this is huge. In recent years, many brands have launched collaborations with celebrities, an example being the many perfumes released by the ITV hit show The Only Way Is Essex, the public can’t enough of it. PR can be thanked again, they most likely pushed the idea of a perfume being created and released, something that seems quite popular these days amongst reality stars.

PR agencies have capitalised on all the brand activity with reality TV stars, realising that the stars have huge influence amongst their many teenage and even adult fans, their accessible in a huge way through their various social media platforms and usually inexpensive to hire for brand campaigns. Ann Summers, Lipsy London and The Perfume Shop are just some examples of brands who have worked with members of TOWIE over the years, there will definitely be many more to come. In the early days TOWIE as a show, its stars were mocked for their bright orange fake tans and accents, fast forward to 2017 and the show is more popular than ever. 

The budget has got bigger and therefore the amount of money the stars get paid has also increased, many stars such as Amy Childs, Gemma Collins and Sam Faiers all have a net worth in the millions… not bad for appearing on a reality TV show! This just shows me that reality TV stars and PR agencies go hand in hand together, the stars most likely wouldn’t do as well without having the guidance and experience from the agencies.

Overall reality TV stars will always have a place within our fast paced media industry, possible even more so in the future with new shows emerging and then creating new versions of the reality stars we have encountered in recent years, PR will always have a role to play! 

Post by Jack Walton, first year Media and Communication student at BCU. Follow Jack on Twitter and his media blog, Jack Walton Media.

If you would like to feature in a guest interview or write a post for #BCUWeArePR, get in touch.


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