Thursday, November 18, 2010

When PR Gets Dangerous- The slaying of a Hollywood publicist

   National headlines are flooded with news about the slaying of Ronni Chasen, one of the most popular publicists in Hollywood."Everybody's running around town with their mouths dropped open. We're all a little shell-shocked," said publicist Howard Bragman."To lose somebody so suddenly -- and the way she was taken -- that's not the kind of thing you'd expect to see in this community," he added. "A publicist? I've had unhappy clients, but she's the last one you'd expect this to happen to. P.R. is generally not a dangerous job."
   Chasen was representing clients at the premiere for the highly anticipated film "Burlesque" the night her life was taken. No one knew this would be this would be her last red carpet. Chasen was shot multiple times as she drove home along Sunset Boulevard to her Hollywood condo in the popular Beverly Hills flat, where Lucille Ball and other stars once lived. Chasen was found in her car after she had crashed into a utility pole in her neighborhood.
   Modeling herself after old Hollywood press agents, Chasen has successfully campaigned for seven Oscar wins for Best Picture, including "Slumdog Millionaire", "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Hurt Locker." She also campaigned for Grammy awards in six different categories including Alanis Morisette's "Jagged Little Pill" for Album of the Year. Chasen has run her own boutique PR firm in Hollywood for the past 20 years.
   There are no suspects or clues, and no one can imagine a client who would be angry enough to do this. It seems that people are thinking it is a client, and no one has mentioned anything about it being a random crime, but so far, that is what it seems to be. 
   What if I am wrong and this is an angry client? When does it get dangerous to represent a client? What could have happened that was worth taking a life? Right now publicists are shocked and on their toes, this doesn't happen in the PR world much. I am anxious to see how this crime unfolds, and I am sure it will be a learning experience for publicists are public relations practitioners everywhere.

CNN article:

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