What PR Can Learn From ‘The Avengers’ and How to Spot a Superhero

You saw this blog post coming, right? As a communicator, you can’t ignore the major “event” that is “The Avengers” and will, if asked, find a newsworthy connection with your own product, company or, in my case, this blog. After all, “The Avengers” blew box office records so there’s no way you can get through this week without an Avengers-like analogy or discussion. Hopefully you’ve seen the movie, but even if you haven’t you know that good beats evil and that you can’t win a big battle without the help of your peers.  Short of declaring “there’s no “I” in teamwork, The Avengers’ underlying theme is that a battle is best won by putting together a team of superheroes whose best attributes are complemented and ignited by working as one.

Should a crisis or heated situation erupt in your company, who are the superheroes on your team? It’s time to start pinpointing them so you can be prepared for the next battle.

How to identify your own Avengers:

* Iron Man: this is the creative guy or gal who is a self-described genius, but you have to admit – he makes cool stuff, so you need to tolerate his pompousness. He will deliver.

* Captain America:  selfless, lonely and strong (and a bit outdated in his fashion sense), he’s still a loyal soldier and you can’t go to battle without his strength.  Forget the fact that he and Iron Man seem to loathe each other; they don’t need to be best friends to be effective team members.

* Hulk: he’s the loose cannon on your team, and everyone fears he’ll lose his cool. But he’s the finisher and you know it.  A little unpredictability can help your campaign. You might not want to bring him to all your meetings.

* Thor: an all-around good guy, a bit idealistic but the key is that he (or she) holds the essential connection to the bad guy/competition (see Loki, below).  You need a connector on your team.

* Hawkeye:  he’s the team member with a particular and essential skill set who will go to battle for you and over-deliver. You rely on him to pinpoint the competition and hit ‘em where it hurts.

* Black Widow: an intelligent, savvy fighter without real superpowers, she’s your ninja. She’s reliable and perhaps because of her gender, at first she’s underestimated by her peers and competitors.

* Loki:  you don’t want him on your team; most likely he’s the guy you’re battling – he’s jealous and vengeful and demands but does not command respect.

* Nick Fury: the group manager, he or she has the foresight to bring this motley crew together and keep them focused on the important fight. Tough as nails with the courage of his conviction; he’s the tough middle man between the team and the board/owners.  The eye patch is optional, but only wear it if you truly need it.

Like “The Avengers” movie itself, your team of superheroes should live up to its hype.  And if you succeed, your team might expect a better comp package and possibly be recruited by your enemies.  That should not scare you away.

– Diane Schwartz

On Twitter: @dianeschwartz