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Reviewing ‘Emily in Paris’ from a Public Relations & Advertising Perspective

Let’s be realistic. How many times have you seen a movie or series where a public relations practitioner, publicist or marketing executive didn’t have to move, begin a new life in a big city, plan and go to fancy parties, and fall for an “impossible” love?

Yes, that’s what I thought. This type of drama is the stereotype for any production about people in the strategic communication industry (SCI). I wasn’t expecting anything different from one of Netflix’s most popular October releases, Emily in Paris.

Photo via @emilyinparis

Considering that its writer is Darren Star, the creator of Sex and the City, the similarities aren’t surprising. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Sex and the City, and really enjoyed Emily in Paris, but I want to analyze it from a different standpoint rather than take the cliché approach. 

Being a Public Relations (PR) & Advertising student allowed me to analyze the story from an “industry perspective,” and it certainly met my expectations in terms of some of the basic concepts about working a career in the SCI. Even though marketing, PR and advertising have their slight differences, plenty of the basic concepts and strategies are derived from the same knowledge. 

Emily Cooper is a marketing executive at a Chicago firm who suddenly has to move to work at Savoir, a Parisian luxury marketing firm. Focusing on social media, her task is to bring the American marketing point of view to Paris because, apparently, every place in the world somehow needs an American perspective about everything.

Once she arrives in the City of Lights, she changes her Instagram username to @emilyinparis. This moment is pivotal in the sense that it’s clear, from the start, that this account is going to play an important role in the story. 

Photo via @emilyinparis

As expected, the content she shares on Instagram is responsible for numerous plot points throughout the series, especially when viewed from a strategic communication perspective. Every client that she works with is featured on her social media, and that’s one of the main themes within the show: the importance of brands’ social media accounts in a digital era. However, her huge follower growth is quite unrealistic, considering the actual strategy being used behind the content creation, but that’s a topic for another day. 

The production highlights some of the key elements of the marketing and strategic communication industry, such as knowing your audience, valuable content, quality over quantity, influencer marketing, cultural perspective about the content that brands create, mixed with a slightly humorous, fashionable and romantic storyline.

If we take out the predictableーbut still entertainingーromantic story, we are left with a good review for our next digital communication midterm. Go watch Emily in Paris if you haven’t already!

Public Relations & Advertising student at University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. I'm passionate about finding new ways to improve my lifestyle and looking for fresh songs to add to my playlists.
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