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What my favorite fantasy characters have taught me about media relations

What my favorite fantasy characters have taught me about media relationsI’m a huge fan of anything fantasy. From movies to books, the more unrealistic it is, the better. Imagination knows no boundaries, and I love the creativity that can flow in storytelling when all rational restraints are removed.

Through my years of escaping reality to other worlds where make-believe creatures roam, I’ve drawn parallels to my real-life work in media relations. Essential media relations practices have been re-enforced time and again by my three favorite fantasy characters.

1. Honesty is the best policy.

Kahlen Amnell is the Mother Confessor in the book series “Sword of Truth” by Terry Goodkind. Born with an ancient magical ability to elicit the truth from any person, she journeys throughout the Midlands passing final judgments in cases to ensure order and peace. When Kahlen is called upon to use her power to settle disputes, the outcome is typically worse than if the accused would have been forthcoming.

As with the media, being upfront and honest in interviews saves an organization embarrassment and corrosion of trust later when the truth is revealed, which it always is. This policy also strengthens relationships with reporters who are then more willing to cover your good stories down the road.

2. Do your homework.  

Hermoine Granger is a muggle-born witch studying at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and a frequent companion to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley in the book series “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling. She is well-read and stays in the know, spending much of her free time in the library learning as much as she can about magic and wizardkind history.  In and out of the classroom, Hermoine can always be depended upon to know the answer, many times saving her and her friends in their many adventures.

This type of preparation also makes for a successful media interview. From knowing the reporter’s style to being well-versed in the subject matter to having a grasp on what current events affect the topic, the more background work you do, the better it goes.

3. Resourcefulness is a must.

Dr. Helen Magnus, at a non-aging 160 years old, runs a refuge for paranormal creatures in the former web series-turned-TV-show “Sanctuary.”  Facing enemies that mean to destroy all abnormals and working to contain dangerous species, she constantly finds herself in dire circumstances. Though her team uses highly-sophisticated equipment, Helen many times must rely on her wits and whatever is available to save the day.

Being resourceful when angling you and your organization into breaking news stories is what is known as brand journalism or newsjacking. You and your organization have an expertise to offer media when certain stories are leading the news. Being a go-to resource for reporters is twofold: 1) You build better relationships with media members, and 2) you and your organization receive exposure, confirming your expertise.

Lessons in PR can be found throughout almost all areas of life. Where are some unexpected places you’ve learned about PR?      

photo credit: spettacolopuro via photopin cc

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One Comment to "What my favorite fantasy characters have taught me about media relations"

  1. […] such a risk. So, as my turn came up and the butterflies fluttered, I revealed my love of all things fantasy, especially novels like the Sword of Truth, Harry Potter and The Hobbit series. To my great relief, […]

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