Water Cooler Chat: Movies to See if you are in PR

Someone at Fusion sent around an email recommending a documentary, I replied, and before you knew it Nightatthemovies we had a lively thread about good movies to see if you are in PR – and fodder for this blog post.

I list the movies below, in no particular order, and the text of the emails as well, which provide additional color.  Hope you enjoy, and please feel free to chime in with other suggestions.

  • Page One – Inside the New York Times
  • Phone Booth
  • Wag the Dog
  • Sweet Smell of Success
  • Happy Gilmore
  • Exit through the Gift Shop
  • Thank You for Smoking
  • The Persuaders

Victoria:  Although it is a year or so old, I wanted to recommend the documentary “Page One – Inside The New York Times.” Coming from a journalism background and with my career experience in PR, I think it was an interesting snapshot into a trying time for traditional newspapers. We’ve all lived through the industry wide meltdown and surely you’ll be familiar with the journalists showcased in the film…

Bob: Yes I have wanted to see that – any other good movies for PR people to see? There are some dark ones about the profession and publicity agents:

  1. Sweet Smell of Success – classic with Burt Lancaster
  2. Phone Booth – Colin Farrell is a PR guy, did not see this
  3. Thank you for Smoking – About a tobacco industry apologist / PR guy

Heather: Business Insider did a whole article in September….Some good movies on the list, but I wouldn’t call them accurate of the field…."Wag the Dog", excellent flick

Mark: I saw "Phone Booth" – Colin plays a sleazy celebrity publicist. Not one to emulate! I liked the movie though. “Happy Gilmore” finds Adam Sandler’s violent hockey-loving golfer falling in love with a publicist for the golf tournament (played by an actress who now stars on “Modern Family”)! “Exit Through The Gift Shop” is a hilarious documentary about a talentless wannabe graffiti artist who self-promotes his way to success in the NYC art scene. Some pretty good PR lessons therein…. I haven’t seen it, but Amazon has a DVD of a Frontline episode called “The Persuaders,” focusing on the advertising and PR professions.

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6 Responses to Water Cooler Chat: Movies to See if you are in PR

  1. PR_in_Pink says:

    Great recommendations, thanks for sharing! I have a few vacation days coming up, so I’m always up for movie recommendations. I especially like old classic films that depict how the PR or journalism profession were “back in the day” so I think The Sweet Smell of Success is right up my alley 🙂

  2. Tia Tappan says:

    Hancock, where Will Smith plays a super hero is a good PR film

  3. Alan Stamm says:

    Strong, smart list, Bob . . . with room for one more offbeat suggestion with particular timeliness.
    “Miracle on 34th Street” is not only a 1947 classic, but also has instructive lessons about:
    * Branding (fluffy white beard is an iconic visual with virtually 100% global recognition).
    * Image management (political counselor Charlie Halloran warns New York Supreme Court Judge Henry Harper that denying Santa’s existence would be a PR disaster).
    * A ‘Big Idea’ stunt (have postal clerks dump piles of kids’ Santa letters in court).
    Hat tip to Yvette Pistorio of Cision Blog for steering me here with a Dec. 23 link.
    And to all, a Merry Christmas!

  4. Bob Geller says:

    You make an excellent point. Thanks for reading and adding to the list

  5. CarrieGrayPA says:

    A must add to this list is America’s Sweethearts – the whole movie revolves around a PR junket for a film, with Billy Crystal as a publicist thrown in for good measure

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