18 Jun

Does Gwyneth Paltrow Have a PR Problem?

By Erika Turan, APR

Senior Account Executive

By my estimation, talented actors have a few options in how to manage their careers:

1. Continue acting, but branch out into sort-of related industries like directing, producing or writing (see: Shirley McClane, Tom Hanks, Julie Andrews).

2. Focus solely on acting, and do it really well (Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington)

3. Create an empire (Oprah Winfrey)

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has been hard at work attempting to create a larger brand for herself, but her biggest obstacle seems to be herself.


She acts, and she sings  and she writes cookbooks, and she sets trends on her lifestyle website, www.goop.com.

But this Oscar-winning, People –christened “Most Beautiful Woman in the World” can’t seem to get out of her own way. And as a result, has become one of the most polarizing celebrities on the planet.

First, there’s the behavior that comes across as ungracious, declaring that the prestigious Met Ball “sucked.”

Then there’s behavior that comes across as boastful, declaring herself to have the “butt of a 22-year-old stripper.”

But mostly, it’s the behavior that puts her completely out of touch with the women with whom she’s trying to connect as she builds her brand:

· Decrying how difficult it can be to find a recommendation for a good organic wine bar in Paris or a place for a bikini wax while traveling led her to start her website, www.goop.com.

· Having her chauffeur drive her one block while her celeb friends walked

· Explaining the installation of the wood burning oven in her backyard as a good investment in the intro of one of her cookbooks.

· Offering this insight into how her family – including her two young children – feel on their carb-avoidance diet:  ‘Sometimes when my family is not eating pasta, bread or processed grains like white rice, we’re left with that specific hunger that comes with avoiding carbs.’

· And the much ballyhooed Goop column in which she responded to one working mom’s query of “how do you get it all done” by offering tips such as having a personal trainer come to your home each morning, starting the day with a cup of coffee from a $2,300 coffee maker and ending the day with a visit by an acupuncturist to your home.

So Gwyneth does have a PR problem. She aspires to inspire women in everything from parenting to cooking to lifestyle, but hasn’t learned to successfully reconcile her own very wealthy world with how the rest of us live. As a result, she comes across as pretentious, haughty and entitled.

And she sets herself up to be the subject of blogs like this one from “People I Want to Punch in the Throat.

Plenty of celebrities have built larger brands successfully and haven’t become so loathed in the process: Jessica Simpson, Cindy Crawford, Kathy Ireland and Jimmy Buffett, just to name a few.

Gwyneth, it’s no fun to be hated, and it won’t help you grow your empire. It’s time to do a little introspection and figure out how you can change your image to make yourself more successful.