The film industry is brimming with mass media related flicks. But while advertising agencies, journalism and publishing companies have become recurring topics, there’s hardly a major motion picture film that puts the spotlight on the life of a Public Relations professional.
Nevertheless, there is still a handful of great movies that accurately reflects the importance of the PR industry. These movies turned out to be box office hits and to this day, continue to influence those who want to become the best in the field.
So, here’s our random list of the top 5 PR movies of all time:
1. Jerry Maguire
This classic Tom Cruise flick is perhaps the most famous PR movie, dominating many lists of best PR films to date. It begins in a familiar PR plot – clients, press, money – where Maguire works as a PR professional for a top firm until he finds himself being fired for merely expressing his desire to concentrate on fewer clients.
This unfortunate event leads him to start his independent firm – with only a single client and his secretary - and find his own success in a world that isn’t always friendly.
What Makes it Great: This movie gives attention to the day to day life of a PR professional, and there are just one too many lessons to learn from it.
Jerry Maguire – Trailer
2. Jersey Girl
This 2004 comedy-drama film is one of the most adept PR movies that showcase the high pressures of the industry. It follows Ollie Trinke, a Manhattan music publicist who has a gift for manipulating the press. Later on, he finds himself a single father who tries to balance his life between fatherhood and his career – but of course, with the help of a friend who made him fall in love again.
What Makes it Great: Despite the negative criticisms it received, it still is an iconic movie that you need to see when you’re pursuing a career in public relations.
Jersey Girl (2004) Official Trailer
3. Thank You for Smoking
Based on the satirical novel by Christopher Buckley, Thank You for Smoking reflects on the familiar ethical struggle of a PR professional to maintain honesty in his work. It follows the story of Nick Naylor, a persuasive lobbyist for a big tobacco industry who finds it difficult to balance his trade all while being a good influence on his son. It only gets more complicated when it finally dawns on him that his work is already interfering with his own dignity.
What Makes it Great: The film puts the world of PR on full display. But, while the presence of propaganda is prevalent, it’s still unfair to think that PR professionals only exist to spin the truth.
Thank you for Smoking Trailer
4. The Candidate
The 1972 political comedy-drama film centers on how a PR manager can create a candidate out of little material and a drive to succeed. It follows Marvin Lucas, a shrewd campaign specialist who recruits a leftist lawyer to run for the Senate against an established Republican. It’s a typical story of a consultant-client relationship only that the PR guy needs to learn first the value of keeping client requests at the forefront.
What Makes it Great: The depiction of Lucas’s character provides valuable insight on what PR professionals must avoid rather than what to advocate.
The Candidate Trailer 1972
5. Wag the Dog
Wag the Dog is arguably one of the most cynical films about American politics. In the runup to the election, the US president finds himself in a scandalous situation. In a desperate move to suppress the issue he decides to a fake a war - with the help of a spin doctor and a Hollywood producer – to divert media attention.
What Makes it Great: Wag the Dog is utterly a strange movie with its plot completely outlandish but realistic at the same time. It will make you think how PR is essential in protecting a public image.
Wag the Dog - Original Theatrical Trailer
There are other movies that highlight the role of public relations in many – if not all – industries in the world. But, these five definitely delve deep into the industry and the life of a PR professional.
Do you have any other movies that should be on the list? Let us know by commenting below!
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