Your phone is ringing off the hook at all hours of the night and day, but you’re not a doctor. Your email constantly is flooded with messages that require your immediate response, but you’re not a CEO. Your text inbox is always full of new information that desperately requires your attention, but you’re not a popular socialite. No, you’re none of these things, and yet somehow you have taken on these individuals’ responsibilities. Welcome to the world of Lindsay Lohan’s public relations representative.
To date, and to my knowledge, Lohan has had at least three reps quit on her in the last five years. The main issue with representing a client like Lindsay is the fact that you don’t just have to deal with her antics, but the publicity her family generates as well. It’s almost like you’re working on behalf of the whole Lohan clan when you pick her up as a client. Public relations can work with singular clients or whole businesses. In the case of Lindsay Lohan, this is a fantastic example of what it is like to represent a single entity (or in other cases, a brand) as opposed to a company itself.
Lohan is the shining example of a PR specialist’s nightmare, but solely due to her adverse behavior that pushes them to work harder for their pay. Lohan is the client that forces her representative to finally throw the towel in. People may (probably not) question why her publicity team disbands so often without remorse. However, upon further reflection, the answer is clear: PR is just as much about representing a client as it is about representing yourself.
The exact time one decides to preserve their own image over their client’s is a matter of personal choice. Some may see it as jumping ship selfishly, but in the realm of public relations, your thriving image should be as much your concern as is creating a positive image for your client. If the public believes a client is making poor choices, they likely pair the misconduct as a product of the specialist’s training. Basically, your client’s failures are your failures. When hired as a client’s rep, there is an understanding that they will take the advice offered and apply it accordingly. That agreement is essentially breached when a client repeatedly smudges their image with no consideration of the consequences you may face professionally.
This all isn’t to say that a client who is adhering to your advice and still faltering is a candidate for abandonment – actually quite the contrary. It’s your job to help them as the PR expert, especially in times of extreme difficulty. The trick, though, is to trust your intuition enough to know when it’s time to move on from a client that carries great liability; one that will likely not improve with your assistance. Sometimes, it’s okay to not be a miracle-worker.