5 Movie Pairings for Public Relations and Economic Development Professionals

October 19, 2017

Here at DCI, we know that economic development (ED) and public relations (PR) go hand-in-hand, just like fine wine and good cheese, or popcorn and butter. We also know how hard both of these industries work, so what better way to kick back and relax than a perfectly paired PR and ED double-header movie night?

So bring out the snacks, pour yourself a beverage, hop on the couch and sit back and enjoy some of our favorite ED and PR pairings while expanding your industry knowledge! Warning: spoilers ahead!

For the political junkie

PR Pick: Thank You for Smoking (2005)

Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) is the Vice President, chief spokesperson and lobbyist for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, where he is responsible for spreading positive tobacco messaging in a time when the health risks of the substance are hard to ignore.

PR lesson learned: The powers of research, strategic messaging, branding and client loyalty.

ED Pairing: The Hunger Games (2012)

The Hunger Games takes place in Panem, a dystopian nation built from the remains of North America, consisting of 12 districts and the Capital, with each district producing either food, utilities or supplies for the wealthy Capital.

Economic development lesson learned: While this movie portrays an awful future for the 12 districts, it shows how industry clusters work, the struggles that come with an extreme wealth gap and the ways that economic development can go wrong under a ruthless government.


For the sports fan

PR Pick: Jerry McGuire (1996)

Slick sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a successful sports agent when he has a crisis of conscience that ultimately leads to his firing. He begins his own management firm with one client.

PR lesson learned: The values of client loyalty and building personal relationships.

ED Pairing: Cars (2006)

Racecar Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is heading to Los Angeles for a race when he suddenly breaks down and causes road damage in the deserted small town of Radiator Springs. After eventually making it to the LA race, Lightning returns to Radiator Springs to set up his new headquarters, ultimately getting the deserted town back on track and bringing economic success to the region.

Economic development lesson learned: How transportation can transform a community and how a small town can be revitalized with a little love and hard work.

For the Academy Award lover

PR Pick: The Queen (2006)

In the wake of Princess Diana’s death, Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren), Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) and the Royal Family must present the tragic accident to the public while they are still in mourning.

PR lesson learned: How to effectively handle crisis communications in professional and personal times.

 ED Pairing: Milk (2008)

Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) and his lover Scott Smith (James Franco) move from New York City to San Francisco to start a new life. Harvey opens a camera shop in the Castro District, which eventually leads to many other store openings owned by and targeted to LGBT people, ultimately turning the Castro into a mecca for the LGBT community.

Economic Development lesson learned: Building a cluster business community often starts with one entrepreneur who influences others to open shop in new areas.


Finished them all? No problem! Check out some of our favorite TV shows for PR pros!

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