Public Relations & Marketing on The Big Screen

Public relations and marketing are all around us, even if we don’t know it. As consumers, we may not necessarily see them in plain sight—unless you are a public relations practitioner/marketer or student—but they are there. It is why you choose one brand over another. It is why when a company does something that you do not agree with, you stop supporting them. Not only can you view examples of public relations and marketing in real life, but much like many other things in the world, we can also view it through film and media.

Yes, there are actual entertaining productions that use public relations and marketing as main parts of a story line. Before watching these movies and shows, there are a few things to consider.

Drama – Part of how the entertainment industry is the multi-billion dollar industry it is today is because of our consuming and shameless desire for dramatic film and television. Alright, I admit it, I am a part of the eight million viewers who still watch Grey’s Anatomy and think I could perform major heart surgery just from watching 15 seasons of the series. Anyway, my point is that the productions in which public relations and marketing are displayed are way more dramatized and glamorous than they actually are in real life.

Gender Roles – When looking into older movies about the public relations and marketing fields, many starred men as lead roles. Today, public relations is stereotyped to be a woman driven practice. The gender roles portrayed in this films are not accurate depictions of practitioners in the field today.

Types of Public Relations/Marketing  There are many different job titles and types of organizations you could work for within both fields. You could even start your own firm if you want to. The public relations/marketing portrayed in these productions barely scratch the surface of what kinds of opportunities there are within these fields.


Now you can officially grab some popcorn. Here are some productions that use public relations/marketing in their story line.

The Social Network

This movie tells the story of how Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg, started one of the most widely used social media platforms in the world: Facebook.

Mad Men

This series has more to do with advertising. Taking place in the 1960’s, this show follows the professional and personal lives of employees at one of New York’s most distinguished advertising firms.  

All the President’s Men

This film tackles one of the most famous PR crisis America has ever seen: The Watergate Scandal.

Thank You for Smoking

Taking place during the anti-tobacco movement, Big Tobacco lobbyist, Nick Naylor, must find a new way to promote tobacco or lose his job.

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