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8 movies for PR and marketing pros
2016-04-13

“Spotlight”—the film about reporters at The Boston Globe who broke the story on misconduct in the Catholic Church—recently won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Its popularity got me thinking of other must-watch films for PR and marketing pros.

Here’s a list to which I’m sure you can add:

1. “The Social Network” (2010): A brilliantly edited film, with gorgeous cinematography—not to mention the compelling story of how Facebook got its start.

It has a great cast, including Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, the cofounder of Napster and the first president of Facebook. It won an Academy Award winner for screenplay and editing.

2. “Baby Boom” (1987): "One would take it for granted that a woman like this has it all. One must never take anything for granted."

In this film, Diane Keaton proves you can have it all. The lessons about building a business from scratch aren’t bad, either.

3. “Jerry Maguire” (1996): A film about how staying true to yourself—even when surrounded by those who sell out—can win the day.

Jerry’s infamous “mission statement” would trend in today’s world of transparency.

4. “Tommy Boy” (1995): This is one of the films to watch if you’re in sales—and it’s great for marketers, too.

Watch Chris Farley go from zero to hero when he, fresh out of college, must take over the family business. Its no-nonsense sales technique still applies.

5. “All the President’s Men” (1976): For those who couldn’t put the book down (like me), this film is nearly as captivating. It won four Academy Awards.

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Perhaps its highest accolade came from Ben Bradlee, who, skeptical at the start, said after seeing the film, "The question is, does it reflect the verities of journalism and investigative reporting, and what was going on in terms of Nixon and the White House? And I thought it did just that."

6. “Broadcast News” (1988): An engrossing look at television news and ethics with an A-list cast. It’s Academy Award-nominated and one of the best films about the news business that’s ever been made.

7. “The Candidate” (1972): In an election year, this film is a study of the inner workings of a young senatorial candidate’s campaign.

It’s a fantastic study in political marketing. Watch for sanity that you might not get from the real world.

8. “Office Space” (1999): This is not just for communicators, but for anyone who works in a cubicle—and detests it!

This movie will make you laugh. Caution: It might also make you want to quit your job.

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Vivian Li

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