I love movies. Love love LOVE them. I will stay up all night just watching them. Some of my favorites? “The Departed,” “The Patriot,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Titanic,” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” I think movies are a great way to visualize things in real life. Now, I realize they ARE movies, and they ARE fabricated, but nether the less, they can still be useful to understanding concepts. And that’s what the movie “Thank You For Smoking” does for understanding public relations.
I was reading an article about PR where it explained that PR practitioners can also be refereed to as “spin doctors.” This makes sense to me, seeing as often times the goal of the PR practitioner is to spin the material or case in a positive light. Because, as learned in the Crisis Communication chapter, good things can happen to bad people. At some point or another, every client will be in need of some spin.
However, one client that is ALWAYS in need of good spin, is cigarettes.
The product kills 1200 people daily, and contains some of the same ingredients as rat poison, hair removal cream, batteries, and lighter fluid. It’s addictive, cancer-causing, and quite frankly, gross. So how does one market cigarettes?
That burning question is the plot of “Thank You For Smoking.” Aaron Eckhart stars as Nick Naylor, chief spokesperson for Big Tobacco. The entire film he is seen putting a positive spin on cigarettes- to TV show hosts, senators, and even children. He is so good at it- it’s hard not to be on his side, even though he is selling cigarettes. Talk about good PR…
“Thank You For Smoking” is a hilarious satire that eventually has a good message. And for those of you thinking about starting a career in the PR field, I would definitely suggest taking a few pointers from Nick Naylor.