What Clueless taught me about PR

By Vanessa Copetas

As a huge Clueless fan and a wannabe Cher Horowitz, it’s safe to say I’ve seen the movie a large number of times. However, as a student going into the PR field, what many people don’t realize is that Cher also uses some great techniques that can help anyone in PR.

Dress for success

Cher is the epitome of a fashionista. Cher rocks a signature style and knows it is crucial to look you’re best, regardless of the situation. Whether she’s getting ready for a party or just picking an outfit for class, she knows that people viewing you positively is necessary to be successful. In public relations, your first impression should be a good one and the easiest way to convey this is in what you’re wearing.

Life is all about negotiations anigif_enhanced-3637-1408823115-11 When Cher’s grades were….not up to par, she didn’t let one bad grade ruin her. Cher did extra work (and exaggerated a bit) and in the end, she earned the result she wanted. In PR it’s crucial to use 100% of your effort in all aspects. As humans, we’re bound to make mistakes but a bump in the road doesn’t have to ruin a potential client, recovering from a mistake can heal a situation as long as you keep at it.

  It isn’t JUST about who you know or who you are

  Hard work pays off! Sure, we’ve all heard that lecture from teachers, parents and other speakers for 18+ years, but it’s true! While it seems like today it’s easy to forgo any work given what your last name is, that is not always the case. Despite being the daughter of a rich lawyer and having everything handed to her, Cher still is unable to pass her driving test because she did not work on safe driving. Just like Cher, it’s impossible to be successful in PR if we don’t work hard and learn from our mistakes. Despite who we are or who we know, it is impossible to improve as a PR professional if we don’t work.

Don’t turn down a job despite how hard it may seem

Cher H- As if

In order to help her two teachers find love (which will ultimately raise her grades), Cher attempts to set them up. While the task at hand seems daunting and takes up time, Cher knows it will benefit her in the future. While some necessary work with PR may seem tedious, remember that completing it will help you become more successful and bring you one step closer to your goal.

Being seasoned may have its benefits

Cher goes out of her way to befriend a transfer student named Tai. Cher helps her navigate through the school, offers her advice, Tai learns from Cher and in the end she fits in with other students in the school. In PR we focus on our clients, it’s crucial for us to give the best service possible. In some cases, older can be wiser and those who have been in PR a few years have the potential to help and give great advice. Be sure to listen to advice your more seasoned coworkers may have, you never know which coworker who can turn into a mentor!

But there is always more to learn


While Cher begins as a know-it-all judgmental teenager, she learns with help from Tai, to not judge a book by its cover. In PR, we may find different social media outlets that benefit us or new tools that seasoned professionals may not know about or want to use. Your superiors may have more experience, but don’t be afraid to speak up if you have knowledge or ideas to share. Overall, Clueless focuses on both Tai and Cher learning off of each other and different situations. Remember that PR is an ever-growing field and there’s always more to learn! With experience, time and the advice from others we can all learn something new, and use our knowledge to help improve ourselves as (budding) PR professionals.


Vanessa Copetas is a Sophomore studying Strategic Communications with a minor in News and Information. Follow her on Twitter @vanessa_copetas!

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