Sunday, December 28, 2014

Five Movies Any PR Person Will Want to Watch

It’s no secret that I’m a movie guy. If you know me even a little bit, one thing you’d leave with is probably my love for film. Cross that with my passion for PR, and we have this post. There are definitely other movies that belong in this post – fortunately, this post isn’t titled “the top 5 PR movies of all time.”

That said, if you enjoy movies and PR then read on!

Wag The Dog
The film focuses on a political spin-doctor who partners with a Hollywood producer to present a fake war. Why? It’s all in the hope of distracting the electorate from a presidential sex scandal only two weeks before the election.

Margin Call
The 2008 financial collapse is still fresh in our minds as one of the largest crisis incidences in recent history. Though you can argue this is more a movie for financial analysts, make no mistake: this is a crisis management issue that a lot can be learned from. It gives a sense of what a leadership team looks like, particularly in the midst of an impending crisis. It also sheds light into how an organization’s behaviour aligns with its value system, right down to treatment of its employees. The firm’s change management and communication techniques are also worth taking note.

Admittedly not my favourite movie, let alone superhero movie, but Jason Bateman brings the spirit that every PR practitioner should embody. Rather than simply fix a troubled alien’s reputation, Bateman’s character sets out to change the alien’s ill-mannered behaviour first. It’s a true underdog story of a PR person trying to do the right thing the right way.

Enemy at the Gates
Although this film’s protagonist is a pawn in the story’s propaganda campaign, there are still interesting ideas to pull on the topic of forming public opinion. There’s much that can be learned from propaganda used during the war, from both sides, and how this has evolved communication models.

The Ides of March

Perfect for any communicator in politics. Ryan Gosling plays an experienced press secretary for the governor of Ohio but winds up in a secret meeting with the opposing party. This encounter sets off a series of incidents that severely threaten his governor’s chances at winning the party election for a shot at the presidency. You see speech writing in action here.

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