Here at Crikey we receive a lot of press releases from politicians, lobby groups, angry people, etc. Most are useless and immediately deleted, but one popped up overnight from Lauren Jones, an Aussie girl who works for gossip site Perez Hilton, which we thought deserved wider attention.

The subject of this email? “Aussie Lauren Jones rising quickly to the top of the LA Social Media scene.”

Lauren had thoughtfully attached a little intro about herself — she does social media content and edits videos — and asked: “I wondered if you would be interested in doing a story about me for your paper?”

We’d like to take Lauren up on her offer. Not because she’s newsworthy — she’s not — but because it’s an interesting study on how PR can influence what you read both online and in the papers. And how being a shameless self-promoter actually works.

Lauren provided several lines about herself, which presumably any journalist could just pop into a story:

“Less than eighteen months after moving to Los Angeles, 26-year-old social media prodigy Lauren Jones is the sole Social Media Content Producer for Gossip King, Perez Hilton. She produces, directs, shoots, and edits all original online content for the entire Perez Hilton Brand, including his Fashion, Mom and Pet Blogs … She produces, directs, shoots, and edits all original online content for the entire Perez Hilton Brand, including his Fashion, Mom and Pet Blogs.”

And so on. Lauren also provided a link to where her cousin Dannii Minogue (the less famous one) had blogged about her a few weeks ago calling Lauren a “social networking genius!!!” and noting that Lauren was the reason Dannii had got involved with social media. Dannii writes:

“Lauren moved to Los Angeles in early 2010 and creates around 30 videos for Perez every week. She’s an expert at creating content on the run and totally gets that the audience wants information instantly and with no frills.

“I’m so proud of my cousin, a Melbourne girl making it big in LA and creating social media content viewed by literally millions of people all over the world …

“A big thank you to Lauren for teaching me about blogging and twitter, otherwise I would never have had this connection with you all — this is the woman that made it happen. It took her 6 months of annoying me with tales of ‘Twitter is the next big thing, and you need to learn it’, with a huff and a sigh from me, and a clever and persistent cousin — I made it into the world of social media!”

No word on if Dannii also received a press release/gentle nudge from her cousin to write a promo on her.

Other cousin Kylie employed Lauren to do social media on a tour in 2009 and Lauren helpfully attached some positive quotes from Kylie, including:

“She [Lauren] was ahead of her time with not only the content but the speed of getting it to my audience, who absolutely loved all of it. Her work was outstanding. She is immensely talented, inspired and dedicated to her craft.”

So full marks on getting a celebrity connection. Lauren also pointed us in the direction of a recent feature on her — actually an article she wrote about herself for the Hudson/Houston blog about how she does her job.

For a girl with a job and no apparent real need to promote herself, it’s a top effort by Lauren in attempting to get her name out there. But surely no legitimate newspaper or magazine would actually do a serious profile on Lauren? Oh wait …

From yesterday’s Courier Mail:

“A Brisbane-raised social media expert is making waves in Los Angeles working for gossip king Perez Hilton …

“The chance meeting has turned into a profitable working relationship with the pair leading the way in the cutting-edge industry of social and online media.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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