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And the Award Goes To: Nominees for Best Male & Female in a PR Role

January 30, 2016 Bradford Group Administrator


By Greg in Hollywood (Greg Hernandez) (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Moviegoers, fashionistas and star gazers can all agree — Oscar night is one of the most exciting nights of the year. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced the Hollywood heavyweights who will vie for that coveted statue at the 88th Annual Academy Awards. And millions of viewers will tune in to see if this is finally Leonardo DiCaprio’s year.

All the nominees delivered dramatic performances, executed flawless cinematography or exhibited top-notch directing. In honor of Hollywood’s golden night, let’s take a look at some of the best performances on television and film, in a public relations role.

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope (Scandal)
In five brief seasons Kerry Washington, a.k.a. Olivia Pope, has become the most famous crisis communications maven on the planet. In ABC’s Scandal, Olivia has the nation’s most powerful people eating out of the palm of her hand. Affairs, fraud, kidnapping, murder…no matter the controversy, Olivia knows just how to clean it up. She knows who needs to be the face of the crisis, what needs to be said and how to say it and what needs to happen once the dust settles. And, if that won’t solve the problem, she knows how to get the controversial person out of dodge.

When facing a PR crisis, companies need to outline the roles for all key players and create an action plan, determining step by step what needs to be said and how and where to say it. Of course, it always helps to have a dynamite team around you. Olivia’s collection of rock star gladiators always show up and make her look even better than those designer clothes.

Every decision or movement a company or public figure makes is documented, posted and commented on in the blink of an eye.

Jason Bateman as Ray (Hancock)
The movie may not have brought home any awards (or critical praise for that matter) but as Ray, Jason Bateman proves it can take skills on par with a superhero to manage a brand. Hancock is a normal-looking guy with superhuman strength and abilities. But his loud mouth and negative attitude make him a far cry from the Superman-type superheros we expect. Enter Ray, the well-intentioned PR guy who takes it upon himself to change Hancock’s public image.

Today’s constantly moving, constantly connected world takes brand management to another level. It’s no longer just about how a brand is perceived on television or in newspapers and magazines; now it’s also about likes, tweets and viral videos. Every decision or movement a company or public figure makes is documented, posted and commented on in the blink of an eye. It takes a creative combination of marketing, public relations and advertising savvy to take your brand to superhero status.

Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones (Sex and the City)
One thing that never changes: when it comes to succeeding in business, it’s all about who you know. Whether you’re trying to land a new client or a new job, the most effective ways to get ahead are to consult your LinkedIn connections, network and build relationships. No one knows that art better than Samantha Jones.

In Sex and the City, Kim Cattrall brought Samantha to life as a tough-as-nails, no-nonsense PR professional who knew all the who’s who in New York City. She was among the best when it came to pulling off a successful event or landing her clients in the headlines. And there was hardly a soul in town who didn’t know her name. The best way to further your PR career is to hit the town and rub elbows with other pros in all types of industries. Other PR professionals, journalists, industry and business leaders – they could all end up playing a surprising role in where you’re headed.

Find that memorable aspect or hook and tell that story. Make it “ameezing.”

Nick Kroll as Liz G. (The Kroll Show – PubLIZity)
There are many characteristics that make up successful public relations professionals – like having solid writing and communication skills, paying attention to detail, being well informed, having the ability to multitask and thinking outside the box. The list goes on. And then, there’s Liz G.

In his comedic sketch PubLIZity, Nick Kroll pokes fun at our profession while at the same time showing a strong grasp for another helpful trait — creativity. He creates a character, a PR business and a laundry list of scenarios that you can’t help but laugh at, whether or not you work in public relations. If you want people to remember and talk about you, you need to get creative. Find that memorable aspect or hook and tell that story. Make it “ameezing.”

Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket (The Hunger Games)
Sometimes ordinary people are thrust into the limelight, whether or not they “volunteer as tribute.” Even the most unlikely people can survive superstardom with the proper media training. The Hunger Games’ hero and heroine may have survived the arena, but if it hadn’t been for Effie Trinket, they would never have survived the Victory Tour that followed. She coached them on what to say and how to act when they stepped in front of the districts and the adoring eyes of everyone in the Capitol.

Some people are naturals in front of a camera lens, and some people are not. With a little media training, interview subjects can practice with PR professionals, getting tips and prompts to help them through their time on-camera. By knowing what to expect, their nerves may calm a little and they will be able to get across their intended message. At the end, they will stand victorious.

Who do you think deserves to win?

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