Public relations: Celebrities’ relationships impact on the general public


Alex Caceres, Staff Writer

Public relations was first established with the firm Publicity Bureau in the 1900s, which according to book publisher and publicist Jane Tabachnick, was thought to be the first ever PR company. Although PR was first composed of print media and radio stations and heavily reliant on postal mail and telephone access as a means to distribute news to the public, the definition of “PR” has shifted as technological advancements are made.

Nowadays, PR is often used as a way to boost an individual’s or a company’s public reputation using communications and connections.

In today’s social media-dominated world where rumors and gossip spread like wildfire, “public-relation” relationships between two celebrities, usually one better known than the other, are used to gain publicity for films, television shows, new music releases or even just to raise a celebrity’s profile. 

However, the general public is oftentimes unaware of the carefully falsified connection between public figures. Some even go as far as creating “hate” pages on various social media sites to defend the relationship’s credibility from those who doubt it. Regardless of whether they’re real or not, however, the public is still drawn to celebrity gossip.

“[Celebrities] are living a life that [the general public] wants, and it’s appealing to us because we’ll probably never live that life. We’re kind of seeing it happen through them, so it just gets us super excited,” sophomore Diana Voronina said.

Not only is the general public captivated by these showmances and the drama that surrounds them, but some critics argue that their personal relationships are directly affected by them.

“I feel like people are obviously very influenced by [celebrities’] decisions, and when they don’t take their relationships seriously, people think ‘it’s okay to not take my own relationship seriously’,” sophomore Hannah Macfarlane said.
Putting the effects of PR stunts on the public population aside, these connections can be especially effective for celebrities’ careers. 

In 2018, Nicholas Diego Leanos, more commonly known as rapper Lil Xan, reportedly fostered a relationship with singer Noah Cyrus. However, Lil Xan claimed that their relationship was set up by his record label.

According to Cosmopolitan, he said that “it was something set up by Columbia Records… Columbia set it up to boost her,” and that Cyrus was “using [him] to get more popping in the music industry.” 

Although Cyrus and Columbia Records denied this claim, “Live or Die” remains Lil Xan’s 6th most popular song. Because of this, it may be difficult for some not to wonder if this arguably successful outcome was due to the publicity surrounding their relationship or purely a result of the likability of the record.

Following the song’s release and subsequent cheating allegations, the pair had a rather unamicable breakup in September of 2018. Cyrus’s negative statements on Instagram as well as her claim that the relationship was a mistake further escalated the scandal. Even supposing public figures can benefit from being linked to one another, in this case the popularity of “Live or Die,” there can also be negative repercussions that arise as well, such as the dramatization of their breakups.

“It’s really easy for the media to point fingers and pick a side between two celebrities,” junior Stella Rivituso said. “There’s things like false accusations [during celebrity] breakups that greatly harm a celebrity’s career.”