Last week, I suggested the movie”Mary Poppins” contained lessons we can apply to public relations. Now with Christmas upon us, this nice Jewish boy from Long Island is also suggesting there are some lovely PR presents in some of his favorite holiday TV shows and movies which can also illustrate the value of PR:
- “A Charlie Brown Christmas” — When Charlie Brown is tasked with finding a Christmas tree, he buys the saddest looking one on the lot. He’s laughed at for his choice, forcing him to wonder what Christmas is all about. Like PR practitioners who often must serve as the conscience of their clients, Charlie Brown became the conscience of the people around him, looking beyond the commercialization of Christmas for deeper meaning.
- “A Christmas Carol” — There’s no better tale of redemption than this Dickens classic. Ebeneezer Scrooge learns through three spirits that caring for people is far more valuable than money. We usually don’t go into public relations to become rich, and many work in PR because our empathetic natures want to truly affect people’s lives.
- “It’s a Wonderful Life” — Desperate George Bailey’s life and spirit is saved when he realizes “no man is a failure who has friends.” The angel Clarence shows George how important his very existence has been to the lives of others. Like”Christmas Carol’s” lesson, PR people can touch so many others in positive ways, often with little recognition or fanfare.
- “Miracle on 34th Street” — Effective public relations is a theme throughout this film in which no one believes Kris Kringle is THE Santa Claus. His lawyer proves it by showing thousands of letters delivered to Santa by the U.S. Postal Service as courtroom evidence. PR people understand that objective, third-party endorsements are far more powerful than first-party claims.
- “Seinfeld” (the “Festivus” episode) — This silly faux holiday “for the rest of us” is a reminder to be inclusive. It’s also very funny, and we all know a sense of humor is fundamental to success and survival.
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and may you find your PR lesson under the tree. Your thoughts?