Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ugh, Perez Hilton

As a publicist, or really anyone who has a client, you want what is best for said client. So what do you do when your personal opinion interferes? Is it a moral thing or a business ethics thing or both or none? Let me give my exact situation so it's easier to understand.

Perez Hilton. Everyone, even my grandmother, unfortunately knows who he is. He's become mainstream, like The National Enquirer. Referred to on shows like The View, fictional ones like CSI and taking interviews and giving opinions all over the TV and internet. He does the celebrity gossip thing but in a childish way, drawing on their faces and usually only saying negative things about them. To me, it just gets annoying.

I was a huge fan back in the day. I used his site as a celebrity news source. But in the past 2 years, he has become a little too offensive. So unnecessarily out of line, rude, and just immature that it made me boycott. I have not gone to his site in months. Maybe 6 as of now? I don't know exactly because I wasn't counting, I just woke up one day, was doing my thing online, and decided today I will stop supporting him. I no longer click on links leading to his site, and ignore the tube when hes on it. I wouldn't say it takes any effort. There are so many other sources I am not effected in any way whatsoever, personally.

But being an entertainment publicist, what is one to do? I may not like Oprah, but I'll sure as hell pitch to her peeps because you asked. (FYI I am partial about the big O.) It's also a given unfortunately, that PH gets massive amounts of hits. But so does TMZ. Plus, you cant really say no to a client about something like this, can you? I feel like PH has become one of the clients nonchalant requests these days and its unfortunate. So as I asked before, whats a publicist to do?

I am not going to change the world and make it my mission to run him to the ground. I guess on a professional level I just have to suck it up and pitch it. But I'm not gunna be happy about it!

Just a side note shouting out other known protesters:
rPulse (originally PerezRevenge)

Are you a fan of PH? Are you a boycotter? Do you not care? What do you do when you really don't like an outlet? Still keep up with it for the sake of your job?
To read more on the actual person, Mario, here is his wikipedia page, since I wont link his site.


Bangs and a Bun said...

Great post.

Well, as you know, I feel the same way. I boycotted him after the Will.I.Am incident, but he'd been getting on my nerves long before that. I don't like what he does, how he does it or what he stands for. Well done to him for becoming successful but at some point, surely you have to ask yourself, at what cost?

In your line of work, sadly I think the answer is you have to put aside your own personal feelings on it and do what your client requests. You may not like it but it may have to be one of those things that you just have to swallow. At least you can separate it. Your professional life is not who you are. And who YOU are (not what you do) is not supporting him.

I don't envy you though - definitely not a dilemma I'd want to have to deal with!

Erin Ryder said...

At this point, I have no problem telling a client it's not a favorable outlet to be on. Entertainment publicity is a tricky niche to navigate and there are plenty of publications with a large and dedicated audience. That particular site is not comparable to the Oprah seal of approval (which I'm also ambivalent about).

Generally you have to promise an exclusive, and may not be the only source feeding info on the story. What gets posted is not always the angle you were hoping for. Regardless of the outlet, if a client requests targeting a specific publication that could end up unfavorable, I'd decline. You're hired to counsel and help gain positive press. It's not worth taking the risk - if you get burned it will remain in your clients search history, and picked up by other outlets as credible.

Alanna Glicksman said...

Interesting piece.

While I do love my daily doses of Perez, I understand your frustrations. He is childish, he is immature and he is impartial.

From a PR standpoint, he is a publicists dream. Being on Perez is equated with having "made it." While the comments made are probably negative, it gives celebrities and/or products the exposure they need. According to his advertising site, his blog reaches 13.5 million unique users per month. With guaranteed publicity, a PR rep would be crazy not to attempt to have Perez cover their product (star, movie, album, tv show, concert, etc.).

When Perez gets excited about a product, he publicizes it everywhere. I can only assume that he has input in creating the lists and story ideas on the programs he guest-hosts or comments on. If he is interested in your product (in a not too negative way, of course) - go for the pitch.

However, you have to be cautious of what you are trying to publicize. If you are are representing a product you think will be torn to shreds by Perez (as opposed to general negativity), it is probably best to avoid his site.

Personally, I have had him use one of my pitches. Last year I sent him an email pitch for an organization I believe in for his daily charity post, and he did use it. The publicity it got was staggering!

Sorry for the rant. Basic consensus - each situation is different, but if the client wants Perez exposure and you know he won't tear it apart, go for it!

B said...

Alanna I know you are right and I hate admitting it. haha My friends band I pitched to them did amazing after he posted something (actually positive) about them. It just sucks that he does things the way he does.

"All pr is good pr." So they say.

Kate Ottavio said...

Great topic! I am a true believer in: if you don't "get" or love what your client does, you won't do your best work. BUT when it comes to those we pitch to, unless it's heinously unethical, we must suck it up and do our jobs to the best of our ability...even when it gives us a gag reflex. We all get offended or don’t like someone at some point in our careers. Just a stinky part of the workin’ life.