STRANGER THINGS: PR Lessons
November 13, 2017
Between the rad soundtrack, homages to all the 80s movies, and breakout child stars, the Netflix show Stranger Things has become immortalized in American pop culture. In anticipation for season two, I re-watched season one to refresh my memory of all of the goings on in Hawkins, Indiana. Low and behold, I discovered several lessons that are easily translated to public relations!
You don’t have to be the biggest or loudest to make an impact.
Although Nancy’s friend, Barb, only got a small amount of screen time, she has been forever immortalized in our hearts. Perhaps it’s because we all recognize a little bit of our teenage selves when we peer into her thick glasses. When she was shockingly and unfairly taken to The Upside Down and devoured by a Demogorgon, the fans took to the streets (Twitter) to demand #Justice4Barb – a move not even Shannon Purser, the actress who plays Barb, saw coming.
When your job is to tell a story, you don’t always know which part of the story will resonate the most with your audience. If something surprising hits a nerve, run with it.
Friends don’t lie. (And neither do we.)
There’s no question that the heart of the Stranger Things story lies within the fierce friendship between Mike, Will, Lucas, Dustin, and later, Eleven. After everything they have been through together, their mantra “friends don’t lie” cuts through the B.S. to put trust and respect at the heart of their relationship.
That’s how we do things, too, both internally and with our client partners. No matter how difficult the topic, it’s extremely important to have honest and open communication in order to quickly solve problems and pool our resources behind the best ideas.
Be persistent – but try not to stress out like Joyce.
When her boy (my boy!) Will (Will?!) goes missing, Joyce Byers refuses to stop looking for him. When his alleged corpse is discovered and everyone told her that she was having a mental breakdown, she refuses to believe he is dead. When she thinks that he’s communicating with her through house lamps, she buys every damn box of holiday lights and paints the alphabet on her wall so he can talk to her. That, my friends, is persistence.
In PR, many wins can be attributed to never giving up in spite of difficulty. Story angle lands DOA? Change it up and try again. Editor not answering the phone? Keep calling until she picks up. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
You may be asking: How does Steve’s hair fit in? How many Eggos should I eat in one sitting? We’ll leave these questions for the season two recap.