Oscar Night Redux: When Will Hollywood Dramatize Public Relations?

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Like many here and around the world, I watched the Academy Awards presentation last night and was thrilled to learn “Spotlight” earned the Oscar of Best Picture.

Perhaps the ensemble cast and production team from "Spotlight" could reassemble to star in a film that centers on public relations.

Perhaps the ensemble cast and production team from “Spotlight” could reassemble to star in a film that centers on public relations.

As a former newsman, I found the film to be incredibly compelling and very well acted; but what really stood out to me: The story captured the inner-workings and drama of what often takes place in investigative news organizations.

“Spotlight” will join the ranks of other cinematic productions — from blockbusters like “All the President’s Men” to “Call Northside 777,” a post World War II film noir set in my old Chicago neighborhood — based on the news business.

Who could portray Ivy Ledbetter Lee on the big screen? My choice would be Kevin Spacey.

Who could portray Ivy Ledbetter Lee on the big screen? My choice would be Kevin Spacey.

But it also inspired this observation: The news profession, and many others, have been extensively chronicled by Hollywood.  So, why has the film industry — or the television industry, for that matter– failed to produce a drama, romcom, bromance or even a documentary about another communications profession (you guessed it), namely public relations?

So as a , The PRDude offers these possible scenarios for a movie treatment:

  1. “The Ivy Lee Story.” Imagine the tension that unfolds as Mr. Lee, called the father of modern public relations, drafts then disseminates his famous “Declaration of Principles.”
  2. “Crisis Communications — The Untold Story.” A behind-the-scenes docu-drama about what really goes on to mitigate bad news when something really, really bad happens to a big corporation.
  3. “The Strategist and The Tactician.” A romantic comedy between a by-the-book SVP and a feisty millennial AE;  set in a global shop that features free ice cream in the break room, of course.

And, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t suggest a movie about a guy who blogs about public relations (and other stuff).

Some stories aren’t meant for the silver screen, you know.

 

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