PR professionals in film and what your company can learn from them
When PR professionals are depicted on the big screen, they’re typically shown as conniving, unscrupulous liars who are willing to cross ethical lines to get results for their clients. This has helped to cast the PR profession in a negative light because those probably aren’t the types of people anyone wants working on behalf of his company.
Nonetheless, there have been some examples of PR characters in movies offering valuable lessons you can use for your company. So grab some popcorn and find out what you can learn about the positive PR tactics used on the silver screen.
Movie: Sex and the City
PR professional: Samantha Jones (played by Kim Cattrall)
Lesson: The importance of building relationships and knowing the right people
In the movie, Samantha knows how to get into all the best places and position her clients for maximum visibility and promotion. Your company can do the same by working to increase your news coverage and media relations outreach efforts with help from PR.
The right PR firm can do this for you. Even if you have in-house PR staff, those individuals can probably only devote a small portion of their weeks to media outreach. PR firms work with media every day. They have already been building relationships and making connections with journalists and know the best ways to get their attention. Therefore, when you have news to share, your PR team can hit the ground running.
PR professional: Ray Embrey (played by Jason Bateman)
Lesson: The importance of image and reputation management
This film tells the story of a misunderstood alien superhero (played by Will Smith) who has good intentions and tries to help people, but who uses crude methods to get the job done, losing public respect along the way. Ray pledges to help him improve his image and become a true superhero once again. If your company has been hit with negative reviews and is nursing a damaged reputation, you can also use PR to turn things around.
Using the right tools and tactics, a PR firm can work to improve your reputation and rebuild public trust. They can do this by monitoring your online presence, developing social media campaigns and creating initiatives to ensure that consumers are more aware of your company’s positive impact, which can serve to drown out damaging comments.
Movie: Thank You for Smoking
PR professional: Nick Naylor (played by Aaron Eckhart)
Lesson: The importance of having a great spokesperson
This satirical film follows the trials and stresses of a spokesperson for the tobacco industry. He must use research and his own smarts to defend his clients, whom many believe to be reprehensible, while still setting a good example for his son. Although this is not exactly the best movie representation of a PR professional ethically speaking, it does demonstrate one who is good at his job and illustrates why you need to have a competent, articulate person as the public face of your company. PR can help get your spokesperson ready for prime time.
Anyone who is allowed to address the media or public on behalf of your company must have professional training to handle this huge responsibility. Whether it’s your CEO, PR director or someone else, she should be prepared to answer any question and appear confident and at ease while doing so. When your spokesperson seems unsure or out of touch, people will view your company in the same light.
All in all, the function of PR is crucial to your organization and can be a vital part of your strategic goals, so you should let professionals handle it. Let the experts at Axia manage this important task for you so that you are always ready for your close up. Contact us today or register for our free 60-Second Impact to learn more.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com