State of Play and the PR industry

I watched the film State of Play on Saturday night and, as is often the case nowadays, I couldn’t help but think about my professional life and this blog as the story unfolded – much to my other half’s annoyance!

The movie follows a Washington Post reporter (played by Russell Crowe) as he tries to get to the bottom of a political defence spending scandal.

Russell Crowe as a Washington Post reporter in State of Play. Source: Washingtonpost.com

The fictional reporter charms police detectives, runaways and even coroners to uncover evidence that would never usually reach the public domain. The reporter also uncovers evidence that helps the police team that’s investigating the case.

While it’s an entirely fictional scenario, it got me thinking about the real value of good contacts and the shared benefits that these relationships can bring.

For instance, in the PR industry, good journalist contacts can pay dividends. Being warned about a negative story before it breaks can allow PR professionals to contact those involved and prepare reactive statements ahead of time. It can also lead to lesser known clients being invited to comment on relevant, high-profile stories.

For journalists, a strong relationship with a PR professional can guarantee them exclusives on the biggest stories. It can also get them access to influential individuals who might not normally agree to be interviewed.

While this blog isn’t a place for movie reviews, I’d highly recommend State of Play. It was a smart, clever, engaging film that I also found a bit inspiring!

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