FiftyOneZeroOne

Films, TV, radio and books on PR – UPDATE

Posted on: November 5, 2008

[This update includes films and TV listed in Trevor Morris and Simon Goldsworthy’s new ‘PR – A Persuasive Industry? (2008: Palgrave Macmillan) and suggestions from colleagues. How could I have left ‘Spin City’ out of the first edition?]

Recently, I asked PR educator colleagues in the UK for help in developing a list of films, television and radio programmes/series and books that either featured public relations as a core issue or referred to it in a passing way. They responded enthusiastically with suggestions that went back into the 1950s and forward to the present including films on current release and a soap opera set in a real PR consultancy in Manchester, UK. Here’s the list we can up with – Can you add to it so that we have a world-wide resource on the visual and fictional presentation of PR:

Films:

Wag the Dog

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120885/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wag_the_Dog

 

Thank You for Smoking

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427944/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thank_You_for_Smoking

  

America’s Sweethearts

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0265029/

 

The Sweet Smell of Success

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_Smell_of_Success

 

 The Devil wears Prada

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil_Wears_Prada_(film)

 

The Control Room

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_Room_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0391024/ 

 

Hancock (Alcoholic superhero cuckolds his PR man)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448157/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hancock_(film)

 

The China Syndrome

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078966/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Syndrome

 

Sliding Doors – key character works in PR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sliding_Doors

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120148/

 

Bridget Jones’s Diary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridget_Jones’s_Diary

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0243155/

 

Days of Wine and Roses

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Days_of_Wine_and_Roses_(1962_film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055895/

 

Four’s a Crowd

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four%27s_a_Crowd

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030151/

 

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_in_the_Gray_Flannel_Suit

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049474/

 

Phone Booth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phone_Booth_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0183649/

 

Primary Colors

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_Colors_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119942/

 

Sex and the City (movie)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_the_City_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1000774/

 

Waikiki Wedding

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waikiki_Wedding

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029742/

 

Documentaries and polemics:

 

Roger and Me

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098213/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_&_Me

 

Century of the Self

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/century_of_the_self.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Century_of_the_Self

 

The War Room

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_Room

 

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0413845/   

 

The Corporation

http://www.thecorporation.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Corporation

 

Television:

 

Absolutely Fabulous

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolutely_Fabulous

http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/abfab/

 

Absolute Power

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_Power_(comedy)

 

The Thick of It

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thick_of_It

 

Some Mothers do Have’Em

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Some_Mothers_Do_’Ave_’Em – Series two, episode three – the public relations course.

 

Party Animals

http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/partyanimals/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_Animals_(TV_series)

 

The West Wing

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0200276/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_West_Wing

 

Spitting Image

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086807/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spitting_Image

 

Spinning Jenny – A new twist to PR film / TV with an interactive internet-based soap opera  set in Manchester’s Brazen PR and made by online entertainment service Manchester-live.tv

http://www.manchester-live.tv/spinningjenny.html

http://www.youtube.com/spinningjennytv

 

PoweR Girls

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PoweR_Girls

http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/power_girls/series.jhtml

 

Sex and the City

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_the_City

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0159206/

 

Spin City

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spin_City

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115369/

 

Books:

 

Christoper Buckley (1994) Thank you for Smoking. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0679431748;

Paper back Random House ISBN 0812976525

 

Alistair Campbell (2007) The Blair Years. Random House. Paperback August 2008, ISBN 0099514753

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/system/topicRoot/Alastair_Campbell_diaries/ 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blair_Years

 

Eric Dezenhall (2004) Jackie Disaster: A Mystery. St Martin’s Press. ISBN 0312307713

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=hHAMHQAACAAJ&dq=Eric+Dezenhall&source=an&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result

 

Anonymous [Joe Klein] (1996) Primary Colors. Grand Central Publishing, ISBN 0446604275

 

Graham Lancaster (1997) Grave Song. Coronet. Paperback ISBN: 0340667117.

 

David Michie – Conflict of Interest, Pure Deception, Expiry Date

http://www.davidmichie.com/index.php

http://www.twbooks.co.uk/authors/davidmichie.html

 

Daniel Price (2004) Slick. Villard. ISBN 1400062349

 

J.B. Priestley. (1996 reprint). The Image Men. Mandarin ISBN 0749322969

 

Mimi Thebo (2002) The saint who loved me. Allison & Busby. ISBN: 0749005041

 

Sloan Wilson (1955; 2002 reprint) The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. Four Walls Eight Windows/ Capo Publishing. ISBN 1568582463

 

Radio:

Absolute Power

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/comedy/absolute.shtml

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386149/

 

Articles:

 

Miller, K. (1999) Public Relations in Film and Fiction. Journal of Public Relations Research, Vol 11, No.1, pp. 3 – 28

 

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7 Responses to "Films, TV, radio and books on PR – UPDATE"

Excellent list – thank you. The books perhaps need some attention (are you suggesting The Blair Years is a work of fiction?). Let me propose one addition – William Boyd’s Restless: this 2006 novel is a fictionalised account of British propaganda attempts to persuade the US to join the war in the months before Pearl Harbor.

Oh, sorry, Miller and Dinan believe we’ve excised discussion of propaganda from the history of PR…

Thanks for the appreciative feedback. ‘The Blair Years’ is the lone non-fiction book amongst a list of fiction. It is a debateable point as to whether it is about the creation of fiction being reported in a non-fiction format.

All suggestions of additions to the list are welcomed. I only wish I had time to sit and watch, read or listen to all of them. I do, however, enjoy ‘Wag The Dog’ which is is valuable addition to the teaching of political communication and lobbying.

I LOVE wag the dog (and for one teaching year wore bow ties in honour of the Robert de Niro character) – it’s very dark, very brilliant and almost completely prescient (most of it really happened).

Good list Tom; how about ‘Fun With Dick and Jane’ (Carey as Corp Comms VP) plus, cant resist a plug for my book ‘Public Relations Disasters’! Gerry

Gerry: Thanks for the suggestion. Haven’t seen ‘Fun with Dick and Jane’ but then I have an aversion to Jim Carrey (same for Adam Sandler). I’ll be brave and watch it soon.

Happy Gilmore (sorry is a film with Adam Sandler), but Julie Bowen plays Virginia who is the head of PR for the golf tour

Just an update on Spinning Jenny, our online drama about PR girl jenny hragrevaes basde in a real PR agency. It is currently piloting on bebo http://www.bebo.com/spinningjennytv and the first series should be starting in the New Year.By the way, since launching the pilot, “Jenny” has been head hunted by a couple of agencies and the main series might well start with Jenny’s first day in her new job … just like real life, hey?

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