It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I’m not talking about Christmas. The Force is strong at 177 Milk Street, as people throughout the office express their excitement for the new Star Wars film in various ways and blog posts. But all this hype got us thinking about the communication exhibited by certain characters in the films. Here are some recommendations the intergalactic PR agency Solomon McCown might provide if we all worked a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…
Anakin Skywalker: Whenever an executive or Jedi leaves one organization for another, it is important to have a plan in place to ensure a flawless transition and minimize the risk of any negative publicity. While Chancellor Palpatine had a carefully organized plan, it is clear that his impressionable pupil did not. Rather than letting word spread about his betrayal of the Jedi, Anakin should have controlled his narrative by alerting key stakeholders of his transition before letting his actions do the talking for him. I’m sure Obi-Wan would have appreciated the heads-up. Then, a tactful press announcement provided under embargo to a select reporter would have made the news move smoother.
Han Solo: With a reputation across the galaxy as a smuggling scoundrel, it seemed pretty unlikely that the captain of the Millennium Falcon would ever be viewed positively in the public’s eye. Good thing he’s never been one to listen to the odds. Han’s selfless act to shake off Darth Vader as Luke destroyed the Death Star was worthy of front-page attention—even through Luke came out as the hero. With a few well-coordinated interviews, some positive stories could have really helped out Han’s brand.
Princess Leia and the Rebel Alliance: Everything ended up working out in the long run, but the Rebels could have had an easier go of it with a public affairs campaign to build further grassroots support against the Empire. A strategically placed op-ed titled “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, You’re My Only Hope” would kick off the campaign through a sharp critique of Darth Vader’s tyranny, mobilizing the masses to join the Rebel cause.
Chewbacca: Everyone’s favorite Wookie is friendly once you get to know him, but he can cause an uproar when something rubs him the wrong way – especially when he loses. With a bit of media training, Chewie would have a much easier time under the scrutiny of journalists, able to articulate coherent talking points in a calm, yet authoritative manner.
Though some of these ideas may be a little out there, Star Wars goes to show that anyone could need a little PR help at any time—even when they’re halfway across hyperspace.