Movies about public relations: The multi-faceted industry portrayed on-screen

by Amanda Plachte


I love movies and I love lists. Out of pure curiosity, I conducted a web search to see what kind of movies there are that have a public relations theme within the plots.  Much to my surprise, there are a lot.  I recognize many of these films’ titles but have never actually seen them.  However, a couple of them happen to be some of my favorite movies of all time.

The variety of PR-based movies available only reiterates the fact that this industry is huge.  There are so many different avenues that an education in public relations can take a future professional.  It appears as though I need to invest some time in watching some of these on-screen portrayals of my future career.

I stumbled upon several lists but most of them contained many of the same titles.  This list in particular, The Top 15 Movies as PR Case Studies, was the longest; therefore, it contains the most titles for the movie binge I will soon enjoy.

  1. Wag the Dog (1997)
  2. The Queen (2006)
  3. Man of the Year (2006)
  4. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  5. Chicago (2002)
  6. Bulworth (1998)
  7. Thank You for Smoking (2005)
  8. Absolute Power (2000)
  9. The Hucksters (1947)
  10. Nixon (1995)
  11. Radio Day (2008)
  12. All the President’s Men (1976)
  13. Network (1976)
  14. Bobby (2006)
  15. Hancock (2008)

Another list, which came from the Truscott Rossman blog, was much shorter, with only five entries.  Although two of the titles are repeats from above, this list contains some of my favorites: Nos. 3 and 5.

  1. The Queen (2006)
  2. Nixon (1995)
  3. Jerry Maguire (1996)
  4. Roman Holiday (1954)
  5. A League of Their Own (1992)

Jerry Maguire

This Social Media Today post, 5 Social Media Lessons from Jerry Maguire Quotes, breaks down some of the key messages from the film. And who can forget seeing Tom Cruise screaming into his phone, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”

A League of Their Own


This has always been a favorite for me, however, the PR angle was never the reason.  With that being said, I can definitely see how this film landed on this list.

Set during World War II, American women were called to join the workforce while their male counterparts were sent to war.  One of such jobs to be filled was that of professional baseball players and the general public had a difficult time taking the game seriously with female players.

Jon Lovitz and David Strathairn’s characters, Ernie Capadino and Ira Lowenstein, decided to give the league a rebrand.  They redesigned the players’ uniforms, sent the women to etiquette school and promoted beauty in order to gain the audience’s approval and interest.  Unfortunately, after its short-lived success, the league did not survive on its own.  Just as many PR campaigns, it ran its course and then it was over.  Many victories were had and lessons were learned but the one thing that Coach Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) wants us to all remember is, “There is no crying in baseball!”

How many of these PR-themed movies have you seen? Have any to add to the list?  Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.


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