My day job is in corporate communications. From what I’ve heard from other authors at writing festivals, etc., many of them work in corporate communications too. We know how to disseminate ideas—and put our skills to steady-paycheque use.
So last weekend when I finally saw the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, the importance of communications—in this case the public relations efforts of government—stood out.
The movie wasn’t so much about violent clashes—winning the war through physical interaction—but about disseminating propaganda in order to rally the masses over to one side or the other. Video clips were the weapon, not so much Katniss’s ubiquitous arrows.
Now that I think back, the entire series of books/movies has been about public relations. The Hunger Games themselves were a way of compelling people to stay in order. Peeta and Katniss had to groom their looks and behaviour in order to be likeable so they could attract sponsors, which could in turn help them survive. The Mockingjay is a brand.
While seeing the role of public relations in adult movies isn’t so rare, off the top of my head I can’t think of others that are aimed at teens. But I guess these days, all kids innately know the power (and peril) of addressing the public, with the force of social media at their fingertips. Public relations and projecting the right image has become the standard for everyone—whether you’re one person or an entire rebel army.