6 Movies You Must Watch If You Work In PR

Public relations is a diverse industry, one that involves writers, media relations associates, brand ambassadors, social media teams, graphic artists, art directors—the list could go on.

As people who work in public relations in the Philippines, we understand all too well its many complexities, from its creative culture to its ethical dilemmas. The fact is, our rich, messy, and often contradictory industry makes for some great popcorn-viewing, so the next time you get one of those rare breaks from your clients, load these 6 movies up on your must-watch list. They’ll all feel a little too close to home!

The Movie: Our Brand is Crisis (2015)

Why You Should Watch it: This film is about a battle-hardened political consultant sent to Bolivia to help re-elect a controversial presidential candidate. Well, we all know that old adage: If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation. While it’s a good lesson on highlighting a client’s strengths, the flick also presents a lot of thoughtful ethical questions to ponder, as the re-electionist machine starts dipping into some questionable practices.

The Movie: Hancock (2008)

Why You Should Watch It: Not exactly Oscar-winning stuff, but Hancock does show what a good PR strategy can do for a brand’s image. The “brand”, in this case, is superhero Hancock (played by Will Smith), who feels he’s underappreciated by the very city he’s saving. A chance meeting with a PR man (played by Jason Bateman), helps change the city’s perception of him thanks to a communications makeover. Your takeaway: If a brand in essence has a lot of good, a positive campaign can help make it shine.

The Movie:  Jerry Maguire (1996)  

Why You Should Watch It: Some purists would say that Jerry, played by Tom Cruise, is a sports agent rather than a PR practitioner. Well, true. But his relationship with his one and only client, Rod Tidwell (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.), shows the kind of rapport you should have with your own clients—honest, sincere, and dripping with empathy, even when they’re being very difficult. Like Maguire says: “Help me…help you.”

The Movie: The Candidate (1972)

Why You Should Watch It: Some might say that this is way too old school (the film was released in 1972), but its story still resonates. A little-known senatorial candidate, played by Robert Redford, teams up with a PR pro to spin his story and make a him a viable choice for the ballot box. Shrewd practices abound, and the movie depicts exactly the kind of power PR campaigns can wield.  

The Movie: The Social Network (2010)

Why You Should Watch It: The film might be an origin story of Facebook, but it also depicts the type of human behavior that social networking sites successfully tap into. With social media being a huge part of PR strategies nowadays, a tell-all film on the lives of the ones who founded the biggest network around can give great insight on what it takes to go all-in on digital.

The Movie: Thank You For Smoking (2006)

Why You Should Watch it: This comedy centers on Nick Taylor (played by Aaron Eckhart), a tobacco lobbyist who spins tales on the “health benefits” of smoking. While Taylor might not be fighting the good fight, he does show how a good talker is able to entertain and gets people’s attention. And boy is this guy a good talker.

Got any great PR movies we missed? Tell us about it in the comments below!