Tag Archive | "Star Trek"

5 PR Lessons We Can Learn From Star Trek

Okay, I have to admit, I’ve been watching a fair amount of Star Trek lately. Every time a new movie comes out, I get inspired to go back and watch some of my favorite episodes in the original series, the Next Generation, and Voyager. Call me a throwback, but there are some really great stories in those old TV series, and some valuable PR lessons as well. Hopefully some of my fellow Trekkies (or is it Trekkers?) can relate:

1. Do your homework before you get started

Every time the Enterprise’s crew comes up against an enemy that’s an especially tough one, it’s because they didn’t know enough about them before the encounter. As a PR professional, the same lesson holds true: know your target audience and know them well. If you don’t, you risk alienating them from your message.

2. Celebrate the diversity of your audience

One of the first things that struck me about Star Trek when I was a kid was the crew’s willingness to learn about and accept alien species with totally different customs from their own. Similarly, one of the most important things to remember in PR is that in most cases, the audience you are attempting to reach is culturally, ethnically, and racially different. Take time to learn about other cultures before you dismiss them from your target market.


3. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd

The Borg are one of the most dangerous and frightening villains in the Star Trek series, partly because they act as one giant entity rather than individuals. A lot of people look at companies like they do the Borg; big, scary, single-minded behemoths who can’t identify with them. As a PR professional, you should make it your mission to stand out from the crowd and capture your audience’s attention.

4. Hold yourself to a higher standard

If you’ve ever watched Star Trek, you know about the “Prime Directive” which forbids Star Fleet’s Crew from interfering with the development of alien societies. This binding rule holds Star Fleet’s members to a high standard of integrity and excellence, and keeps their intentions clear. If you’re in PR, you’ve probably met a few people with a high level of integrity like this, and some who lack it. Make a commitment to yourself and your employer that you will be honest and you’re more likely to be happy in your career.


5. Remember that technology could fail you at any time

Sometimes it’s a bit of a weak plot device, but on a ship the size of Enterprise, it makes sense that there would be some mechanical and technical failures. The same can happen at any time in your PR career, so don’t rely too much on untested or uncertain technological crazes. Just look at all the people who jumped on the SEO-optimized anchor text bandwagon who are now getting burned by Google’s latest updates. It’s best to always have a backup plan.

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