PR, like cinema, demands great storytelling


This is an article by Athina Papandreou.
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Athina Papandreou transferred from Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece

“That’s impossible!”

This was the first thought that crossed my mind when I realised I was going directly into the second year of PR after four semesters in Film Studies.

At first glance, it seemed like these two fields had very little, if nothing, in common.

But here I am a year later to prove my initial thinking wrong.

Storytelling

In cinema, screenwriting is one of the most crucial phases of the production. That is when the story is being thought out and crafted into an appealing narrative.

In public relations, coming up with ideas to react to or create a situation is important but not enough. A PR team must take their ideas and produce a comprehensible story that will attract the public and live up to stakeholders’ expectations.

Analysing the audience

One of the first things we were taught in film school was to know our audience. Knowing who we are writing for would speed up the decision-making process and help set clear goals for our story.

When writing a press release, managing a social media account or creating a campaign, we need to be actively aware who we are addressing. PR professionals need to know the audience. That way we keep content interesting and to the point using the right tools available.

Uniqueness and creativity

Even a clichéd story with numerous adaptations must have at least one unique element to captivate the audience.

In PR, despite having guidelines and steps that need to be taken “by the book”, we need to come up with original ideas to help the client stand out in a sea of rivals.

This distinctiveness doesn’t mean that the idea must be completely different than anything else before. Sometimes the most creative concept might be an ingenious adaptation of a previous model.

In the end, both in PR and in cinema we are creating stories and shaping them in accordance to the spectators we select.

And what I’ve learned this past year is that in either of these fields, nothing is impossible.

Athina Papandreou is a second year PR student at Edge Hill University

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