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Check out these public relations movies you and your PR team can take from Hollywood if you’re looking to make a big splash.

30 PR Movies You Must Watch If You Work in Public Relations

Even though you’re out of the office, you can keep your PR intelligence sharp with a little light fun as movies about public relations. Although PR movies rarely capture reality in their truest sense, some PR films have managed to deliver an incredibly unique experience for experts in communication and business owners. You can find some stories about communications directors, spokesmen, or managers, that represent celebrities or protect business interests, or try to redirect public attention from scandals.

Check out these public relations movies you and your PR team can take from Hollywood if you’re looking to make a big splash:

Best PR Movies

Thank You for Smoking (2005)

This movie is presented in all top lists and it’s worth it. The scenario plays out about a good-looking career lobbyist for Big Tobacco in the USA. The movie itself is a satire of big tobacco. The protagonist helps us take a look at some advertising techniques, spin, and propaganda used by big tobacco. 

The Ides of March (2011)

In this story, a young idealist, Stephen Meyers, starts working as communications director for a promising Democrat party candidate. Stephen is locked up in a dirty battle and finds himself caught up in a scandal where the only way to achieve political success is to play both sides. And this is where the power of PR shows up.  

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

This is one of the most powerful and convincing movies ever made about the countless ways the human spirit is infringed on in the workplace. The salesmen in a small real estate office are told that a new competition will be held to increase sales. The winner will get a Cadillac, the second prize will be a set of steak knives, and other people will be fired.

One of the most powerful parts of this movie is Alec Baldwin’s eight-minute speech where he “inspires” a failing group of real estate salesmen. You can also learn his way of using the concept of AIDA there. Just this monologue is worth the attention of all experts in PR.

Network (1976)

Oscar-winning movie ‘Network‘ tells the story of a TV broadcaster who created a scandal before his retirement. His idea went off successfully and got fantastic popularity and ratings. Be ready for a story of the cruel TV world and its dirty secrets.

Wag the Dog (1997)

Wag the Dog describes the power that public relations can have on its audience. It showcases the story of how a group of people can change the audience’s focus of attention. Originating from a crisis relating to the President of the USA, political consultant Robert De Niro starts a fictitious but intricately captured war in Albania. The movie makes you think about how easy it is to make people think about what you want and react in a way it is useful for you.

Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane tells the story of Charles Foster Kane, based on the life of “yellow journalism” settler William Randolph Hearst, who ignored ethics in his terrific newspaper fight with Joseph Pulitzer. This is a movie that arguably has some insight into the thinking of some of today’s media moguls. 

Jerry Maguire (1996)

 Arguably the most well-known PR movie out there. Working for a top company as one of the public relations experts, Maguire suddenly realizes things need to change. After writing a memo, he was fired, and the time to start his management firm has come. It is a story about love, success, and finding one’s way in a world that isn’t always friendly to those who put their best foot forward.

The Candidate (1972)

Another example of public relations in movies from the world of the American elections is this awesome work by Peter Boyle where an outsider is placed as a competitor against a solid veteran. This is a great illustration of how to create a real story out of little insight, few details, and a drive to succeed.

Frost/Nixon (2008)

This is a must-watch for those who are or train spokesmen. In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon’s subsequent exit, British journalist David Frost gets the opportunity to interview the former President. Both show a very smart line of conversation. This interview is a great illustration of the need for spokesperson knowledge.

Primary Colors (1998)

Another successful movie made during the 1990s, Primary Colors follows some fraud schemes of a presidential campaign – and all of the PR techniques that come with it. Released in 1998 and based on the campaign of Bill Clinton, John Travolta plays a role of a Southern Governor running for the White House. The idealistic Henry Burton – grandson of a civil rights leader – copes with the unpleasant reality of politics and his idealism of how the system should function.

All The President’s Men (1976)

Oscar-winning ‘All The President’s Men‘ (1976) with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman is practically a documentary movie on how the Washington Post influenced the Watergate political scandal, which led to President Richard Nixon‘s exit. “All the President’s Men” is a striking example of the art of storytelling and its consequences.

Hancock (2008)

In ‘Hancock‘ a superhero played by Will Smith with an awful public reputation becomes a case study for a PR expert who decides to help him change his image. The movie transforms from a somewhat typical Smith buddy comedy into an unexpectedly tragic and romantic story.

The Post (2017)

The movie reveals an interesting and intriguing story of Katharine Graham. This woman was the first female publisher, who got a job in a famous American newspaper. She was involved in a tight battle between The New York Times and Washington Post. The story turns around breaking open the well-known and scandalous Pentagon Papers in 1971. If you want to work in the media sector, you should watch this movie to be ready for the tightrope that the most powerful and wealthy media magnates are able to do to achieve their goals. The performance of Meryl Streep deserves your attention!

Almost Famous (2000)

If you are fond of sweet and gentle stories, you will like the movie called “Almost Famous”. The principal actress is Kate Hudson who is only 20 years old. Her performance is excellent. The story is devoted to a rock groupie in the 70s. She finds a friend who is a rock journalist focusing on the teenage audience. If you are considering building a professional career in public relations or journalism, this movie is a must-watch. You will feel the passion for journalism and call for real fun adventures.

Top 15 Movies About Journalists

Movies about journalists. Have you ever thought about how important a journalist’s profession is? There are various kinds of people working in this field. They represent modern hunters who are always on the run for a scoop. They can transmit written information, for example, in magazines and newspapers, or shoot video reports about current events. Their goal is, to tell the truth, and let everyone know what is going on in the world around them. Here we are going to make a list of the most-rated movies about reporters that depict their life in various circumstances and show the dangers and difficulties they face daily. 

Some movies will depict the journalist characters as a bit exaggerated though some of the features are true and show a real person behind this masquerade. Check out these films below, and you will spend quality time watching them.

Spider-Man (2002)

It may seem strange, but that movie tells us about Peter Parker, an ordinary photo reporter who made a spider man the star of his pictures. So basically, he created content for his news. Though he is not a serious journalist, this trick made him super successful. 

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

A professional journalist can influence different spheres, including fashion, politics, and social life. This movie shows viewers what is hidden behind the doors. We would see how a powerful woman can manage the whole business empire, speak directly and impress the crowd with her looks. We also would know how those employed by the woman survive mood swings and still follow her lead. The director introduces us to the cruelties of not only fashion but editors’ cruel world.

Read more: PR Insights from “The Devil Wears Prada”

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Those who love a good old thriller will appreciate this creation. The movie tells us about journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his friend Lisbeth Salander. They both are involved in a confusing investigation of the missing young girl. The film shows us the dangers that some people in this profession meet each day. Especially if you wish to tell the truth when it seems everything prevents it.

Nightcrawler (2014)

The main character of the tape is a young man named Louis, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. While he was searching for work, he stumbles upon the opportunity to become a freelance reporter for the TV channel, who can be the first in the epicenter of the city events. The cycle of opening opportunities and the invariably haunting sense of danger explode the brain of a young man. He cannot escape from the clutches of such journalism. The movie shows how obsessed you can be one day if you love this job so much.

Morning Glory (2010)

Let’s take a look behind the TV morning entertainment and news shows and find out how those who are used to seeing on the screen only in good spirits live. However, behind the screen, the relationships between colleagues sometimes can resemble a war. Co-hosts hate each other, editors break down on subordinates, and producers cannot cope with the problems that have fallen on the channel’s team. So, do not be that envious when you see two stars with smiley faces; that all may not be true.

Roman Holiday (1953)

It is a good old classic with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. It is romanticized but totally worth watching. An ordinary reporter goes to Rome and meets a girl there. Later the next day, he finds out that the girl is a princess. A light, funny comedy is full of great humor and interesting characters. It is not about serious journalism, but they should also have a great story like this to inspire young generations.

Blowup (1966)

Here we would put a serious piece directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. The film shows us a photographer and reporter who made some pictures in the park and later discovered a tricky crime while making their enlargements. 

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

A funny comedy about a girl journalist who is tasked with writing a story about what annoys men most in relationships. And he bumps into an advertising agent who has made a bet with his boss that he can fall in love with anyone. It is really interesting to watch two people following their personal goals. It can be in real life, you know.

Good Advice (2001)

The main character of the movie, portrayed by Charlie Sheen, is a man who lost his job. He applies for work in the paper and starts writing short reports and giving advice to women. Nobody could have expected that this column would be top-rated so quickly. One of the points of the movie is that it does not matter who you are if you provide great content that helps people. 

Spotlight (2015)

Reporters for The Boston Globe investigate crimes committed by priests of various levels. Journalists have information that representatives of the clergy are involved in the sexual harassment of minors. Correspondents manage to prove the involvement of priests in crimes, and after the publication of material about pedophiles, the scandal flares up with violent force.

Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

It seems Hollywood will never get tired of talking about the influence of journalists on the social and political system of America. There are a lot of films about real historical events in which reporters took part in one way or another, and there are quite good ones among them. George Clooney shot a real masterpiece about the confrontation between the popular TV presenter and the American political system.

Zodiac (2007)

David Fincher is long, confused, drowning in too much information and too little at the same time movie. It is about a real, old criminal case that is conducted from body to body, from evidence to evidence, and from witness to witness. Fincher filmed police protocols and depicted two journalist characters who were trying their investigation.

Frost/Nixon (2008)

It is not a secret that journalism goes hand in hand with politics. A real confrontation between a journalist and a politician, to some extent even more dramatic than the exposure of McCarthyism, is a series of interviews between reporter David Frost and US President Richard Nixon, accused of abuse of power and position, later called Watergate. The journalistic fight was especially powerful at the end of the movie. 

An Interview with God (2018)

The movie is about a promising and talented journalist Paul Asher, who returned from a working trip to Afghanistan. The war shook his faith, and his wife decided to divorce him. He writes religious articles for secular publications. And so he meets with another person to interview him on the topic of faith. And this man in a jacket and tie appears to him as God, Lord, and Creator of the Universe.

The Newsroom (2012)

This is the last but not the least significant movie on our list. The most striking project for combining the series and journalism was the uncompromising work of HBO. It was based on the script of the famous Aaron Sorkin “News Service.” The life of a single news service of a major TV channel, painstakingly disassembled, is shown through the prism of real events that have become the central topics of news broadcasts over the past ten years.

Bottom Line: PR movies

Although these stories used PR technologies for the world of big money, your business idea also needs PR and a strong content marketing strategy, and here is why.

Not all PR movies always show the best side of the PR industry and PR professionals, but they are interesting and useful when watched with a PR hat on and a sense of humor. I hope you will make this list longer in the comments below by sharing your favorite movies about journalists and the PR industry.

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