Some of the Best PR Movies to Reel in During the Holidays


sweet-smell-of-success-trailer-title-01The days between Christmas and New Year’s Day are probably the best time of the year for PR pros to regroup, relax and ruminate on what’s in store for the next few months. As many communicators take some time off (and the thermostat heads south) we thought it was a good time to recommend some of the best PR movies.

> The Harder They Fall (1956): In his last performance, Humphrey Bogart plays a downsized newspaper reporter (Eddie Willis) who becomes a PR agent for the boxing profession. Eddie plays fast and loose with the truth and is not above some questionable means to justify the ends. It’s a decidedly hoary portrayal of public relations. But the film also shows that doing the right thing is indigenous to the PR profession (or at least should be).

> Sweet Smell of Success (1957): Before the Web, before digital PR and way before charts and graphs and assorted tables professing to show PR measurement, there was the press agent, deliciously (or devilishly, depending on whom you ask) embodied by Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis). The film follows Falco’s tireless efforts to get his clients mentioned by all-powerful columnist, J.J. Hunsecker (who was modeled after Walter Winchell). The film is a tutorial on the relationship between PR pros and journalists, and each side constantly has an angle. The script, by Alexander Mackendrick, is searing, the performances are magical, and the location shots of old New York are dreamlike.

> Wag the Dog (1997): A pitch-black comedy, with media manipulation as the gooey center. When the President of the United States is caught in an uncompromising position, Conrad Brean (Robert De Niro), a top-notch spin doctor, is brought in to change the narrative. He changes the narrative alright, producing a fake war with Armenia or, as Brean puts it, a “pageant.” We’ll leave it to you to decide whether the film is satirical, or not.

> Phone Booth (2003): Colin Farrell plays an arrogant New York City publicist (Stu Shepard) who is held hostage in a telephone booth by a sniper. Thinking that his number may be up, Shepard begins to confess that everything he does is a lie to make himself look better. It’s a fairly cartoonish portrayal of PR (which is what makes it so much fun) and a cautionary tale on how not to behave if you want to succeed in the communications field.

Follow Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1 


Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

avatar

About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.



Deals of the Week

Get $200 Off PR News' Digital PR Conference

 digitalpr2015-180x150_updated
Join us June 1-3 where you'll hear from top brands such as Walmart, Miami Heat, Verizon and Ritz-Carlton on PR and communication best practices for the next wave of digital trends.

Use code “200off” at checkout to save $200 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Book of Employee Communications

employeecommunications-180x150

In this 5th volume of PR News’ Book of Employee Communications, our authors cover more than 45 articles on crisis communications, social media policies, human resources collaboration, brand evangelism and more.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

 

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.