Monday, June 24, 2013

5 PR Lessons Inspired By War

"Game of Thrones" image via ShmoesKnow; Seasons 1-3 available at

We do not often talk about it this way, but PR is actually (postmodern) warfare. Here are some concepts to keep in mind:

1. The "spoils of war" are primarily credibility and only secondarily whatever tactical objective you seek. Always focus on gaining and keeping credibility. 

2. Offense wins, defense loses, unless the defense is extremely sympathetic. Normally people identify with the winner. Attacking the defense is a show of weakness and should be avoided.

3. In a confrontation, accommodation is defeat. Physical and symbolic shows of strength are critical. 

4. Honor beats treachery, but skilled treachery frequently displays itself as honor. Be ready with documentation.

5. When you're dead, lie down and take the hit. Then take ownership of defeat by embracing and then coopting the other side. 

In the end, in PR, what matters is always control of the message. You must own your own story, guard and defend it. That narrative is the key to the castle.

* All opinions my own.