7 PR lessons from the Game of Thrones finale

By Stanislava Burianek, Senior Communications Consultant at Active (Digital. Marketing. Communications)

We were waiting with the outmost excitement for the seventh and last episode of the seventh Game of Thrones season and here we are, sad to say goodbye to GOT7. These were seven exciting years filled with unexpected turns and violent endings for those who had to go and those we will miss dearly. Did we learn anything from the last episode? Of course – here are seven takeaways from the season finale you should not forget when executing your communications plans:

1. The Wall – your story and strategy will collapse if you don’t get your facts straight. Make sure that all your stats, statements, and promises come from reputable sources and have strong grounds.

The last thing you want is to distribute a news announcement with false statements that your spokesperson will have to answer to at the next interview. Never take your chances when it comes to accuracy.

2. Lord Baelish – you don’t want your media to feel like Petyr who was invited to Arya’s trial. Make sure you offer your media event attendees exactly what you promised. If you invited your media for an unveiling event with most of the information under embargo and you promised them “groundbreaking” and “exclusive” launch of something, stand by it. This means you really need to announce something that:

a) Haven’t been launched before by your client’s competitors

b) Is not an enhancement of existing service and product

c) Will make real difference for the industry your client is in

3. When Bran Stark sees the past and he learns from it, he learns a lot. Be like Bran. If something you have done in the past didn’t go down quite well, learn from your mistakes and stay resilient when it comes to new campaign developments.

4. Landing on the back of the dragon is not all you need for the long-term success of your communication campaign. Daenerys surely made a good impression when she has arrived for the meeting with other leaders, but it didn’t secure any long-term result. Cersei is still convinced she should do it her way.

When working on your PR strategy, make sure you look into the future and don’t just try to make a big impression. A lot of brands are so tempted to go for the Guinness record “bang”, but does it represent your brand’s identity? Will this huge stunt make enough noise to keep your brand visibility alive?

Will it help your brand to achieve its communications objectives for the year ahead? Make sure you answer all these questions so as to not forget about the long-term impact.

5. Tyrion’s bravery would only be smart when content is smart – know your audiences when you put your brand reputation on the line.

Tyrion’s fearless decision to speak to Cersei tete-a-tete was well played, mainly because he knew his topic very well. Make sure that you follow this rule when you advise your client to speak at any industry event.

Make sure your spokesperson is well prepared, ready to answer challenging questions and knows his/her topic well. It is better not to secure any speaking opportunities rather than inviting your client to the public humiliation.

6. Theon Greyjoy was never perfect, but his crisis communications move was the real deal. All brands make mistakes and wrong turns at some point, but what really matters is how they go about it moving forward.

When you are putting your brand on the line for the good of your customers, followers, stakeholders or fans, you have more chances to be the winner rather than loser.

Be honest about your brand’s intentions to rectify your past mistakes and crowd will get on board. Honesty and sincere willingness to make things better always make a very big positive difference.

7. Bringing a White Walker to make an impression on Cersei was a very bold and risky move, but it surely achieved the goal of the big reveal. Your announcement of a new and ground-breaking concept will definitely strike a difference if it’s supported by a spectacular presentation.

However, it should never be the only focus area of your launch project. Remember point four? A spectacular entrance is not everything.

Keep up the good work and strive for excellence. The winter is coming and with it comes industry events, new product launches, GITEX, CES and other exciting projects from October to May.

 

The views expressed by the author are her own and do not necessarily represent those of Gulf Marketing Review.

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