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Holiday Reading July 4, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Uncategorized.
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Summer holidays are here and what to pack to read on the beach?  Leather bound collections of PR Week? A costing document?

You could pluck for some worthy PR or business tome but my recommendation for the right blend of entertainment and PR education is grab one of the latest revisionist biographies of the Hollywood stars.

William Mann’s biography of Katharine  Hepburn fits the bill. Why is it relevant you ask? Well this and other biographies of this genre take the lid off the careful PR processes that built the star’s brand. In the case of Hepburn, a decade’s worth of awful PR in the 1930s was remedied by a carefully placed article or two that defined much that we now have of Hepburn. there’s also a great technology angle too. A perfect storm of movies, radio and print meant the army of journalists desperate for a story was huge in Hepburn’s day. So the PR role wasn’t small either.

What’s also illuminating is how much Hepburn colluded in her own PR right up until her death while espousing that she avoided the Hollywood publicists. The reality was that her image was deliberately created and protected. Well no surprise there you might say. That’s a fair point but read the biography and you’ll find that the PR process concealed a complex character with a complex sex life too.

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