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PR Reality (or not!) from Emily in Paris

So, I was binge watching Netflix’s newest hit – Emily in Paris.

I would love to rave about chocolates, the patisserie, wine and Gabriel but I am not. Instead, I am going to dissect the reality or myth of the series from a Public Relations perspective.

Spoiler Alert! For those who have not watched the series, you might want to skip this part:

Emily Cooper works in a marketing firm in Chicago. She was offered to her dream job in Paris at a luxury marketing firm that is part of her existing company. Her primary focus would be social media. The show takes us on a tour of the City of Lights, but with a lot of communications clichés.

Exponential Growth of Instagram Followers

Emily moved to Paris with around 48 followers on her Instagram. By posting selfies of her daily life in Paris, her followers spiked from 48 up to over 20,000 and that’s in just five episodes!

Let’s get real. This does not happen in reality even for tier 1 influencers. A large follower base is built over time through consistent and regular postings. It may take several years – unless you “buy” followers.

So, for regular Janes / Joes like us or Emily, a sudden spike in the number of followers is very unlikely to happen. It may be different story if a scandal or something negative is involved.

Off-the-cuff Social Media Campaign Ideas!

Social media communications is more than just posting photos and captions. Unbeknown to many, there are a lot of planning involved – content development, scheduling, data analysis, AB testing, optimal timeline, to name a few. Ultimately, postings should translate into engagement and conversions that will drive business and contribute to the bottomline. The last component seems to be missing from Emily’s campaigns.

Emily crafts and posts captions on the spot and just posts them off on her client’s account without any prior clearance – a big No No. Anyone who works in an agency will tell you that such autonomy does not exist. Rounds and rounds of vetting and approval are needed before a post finally goes public.

Another issue I have is -- Emily received an influencer lunch invitation from a brand on the day of the lunch via an Instagram DM. Sorry, but in reality, such events take weeks of advance planning and back and forth. And, invitation via DM? Forget it!

SUPER understanding client

The amazing level of understanding and patience showed by one of Emily’s clients, Pierre Cadeau, is unprecedented.

Emily continuously act out of line and her poor judgement put Pierre Cadeau and his brand in jeopardy. I would expect Pierre Cadeau to fire Emily a long time ago. Amazingly he didn’t but continued to trust and accept Emily’s ideas. Please find me such a SUPER understanding client!

Emily in Paris gives us a rose-tinted glimpse of life in an agency. Other than social media marketing, there was no acknowledgement of the need for integrated marketing approach involving different aspects of marketing communications.

In spite of its glamorized take, I must admit that I enjoyed watching Emily in Paris. I now can fantasize about living Emily’s life -- especially with a hot neighbor / friend like Gabriel.

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