PR explained by 90s television

By Kathryn Vance

In my four years as a PR student and a member of PRSSA at IU, I’ve learned countless valuable skills about the industry as a whole and what to expect from a career in the field. As I’m about to graduate in a little over a month, I thought I’d share some of the nuggets of knowledge I’ve picked up along the way… and bring in some of my favorite 90s shows at the same time.

1.Client communication can be tough

From working on client committees to working on service learning projects in classes, I have learned the importance of planning ahead when working with a client. They have their own jobs taking up most of their day and you have to make sure that you allow time for them to respond to your calls or emails. While it might seem like it is taking forever to hear back sometimes, just remember to be patient. Even when you feel like screaming like Carlton, be sure to dial back your emotions, consider the client’s time and needs, and make a plan to work with these new obstacles.

fresh prince

2.Online presence is a must

This is something that we all understand at this point in our lives, but it is something that many brands and companies take for granted. Just having a website is no longer an acceptable way for a company to be part of the digital age. Companies now need to be active on social media platforms as well as have a website that is engaging and compatible with mobile devices. No longer do we look like Zack Morris, carrying around clunky phones to just make calls—mobile phones are now an integral part of everyday life.


3.Keep branding consistent

While creating an online presence, one of the most important things to consider is consistent branding. This goes not only for the messaging strategies used by the brand, but also for the logo, color scheme, and typefaces used in their media. In building a strong brand presence (both on and off the web), it is essential for the company to keep in the consumer’s mind a consistent picture of who they are and what they do. From their show in the 90s to their Netflix reboot earlier this year, Full House kept “how rude!” as a staple of the show’s script creating a sense of continuity in the viewer’s mind

full house

4.Know how to respond to a crisis

This is one of the most challenging to master (and I am by no means calling myself a master) because you can’t practice it until it is already happening. While you will most definitely have a mini freak-out moment like Shawn and Cory, you have to make sure to step back, look at the bigger picture, and evaluate your options. When looking at how to respond to crisis, you need to consider the immediate repercussions of your decision as well as the reputation of your brand in the long run.



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