Hunger Games PR
Source: thehungergames.wikia.com

For anyone that’s a fan of The Hunger Games, it’s nearly impossible not to draw parallels to your life and society. Whether it’s politics, romance, business, or even pop culture, there are lessons we can draw from the trilogy and apply to our daily routines.

Thinking about our data-driven PR world, and while reflecting on The Hunger Games, I wanted to share key takeaways and lessons learned from the bold fictional characters:

Develop relationships and network.

With 24 tributes participating in the games, it’s important that you make connections (think about your colleagues and business partners). Your friends and allies are your key assets. Whether you need food, medicine or weapons, all of the tributes must rely on the help of others. The Hunger Games are not something that you can participate in alone. Ask for help when you need it. Seek and create resources for yourself and your team. Everything we do is based on relationships and experiences we encounter with media, colleagues and prospects. The relationships we develop over time help us to produce good work and to continue to advance to new adventures, and ultimately grow. Like the arena in The Hunger Games, the world is smaller than you think, and every day I continue to remain surprised at how often paths will cross.

Your work ethic matters.

At the end of the day, there is no shortcut to getting ahead. The shortcut is working hard. Determination is the key to success in all future endeavors. It’s the work, planning and preparation you put in along the way that gets you to the finish line. Like the tributes, PR professionals must remain committed and strategic in everything that they do to produce stellar results. Hard work rarely goes unnoticed in our industry, and the leaders in the arena like Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark exemplify these traits. They also showcase many of SHIFT’s values: dedicated, smart, honorable and ballsy to name a few!

Showcase your skills and value.

Tributes in The Hunger Games must rely on their special skills. This will help them differentiate themselves from the other tributes. The core competencies that they possess cannot only help them win, but also to get sponsorships from the districts (think investors). This is the value-add, and the players in the arena must leverage their special skills – from hunting, to camouflage, to building a fire and even gathering food. In communications, it’s just as important to highlight your special skills. Are you a good writer? Do you know all of social media’s secrets? Familiar with analyst relations? Are you an expert in Adobe Illustrator? Flaunt those skills! Bring something to the table that no one else can offer. For our clients, they find our special skills to be most beneficial.

Just keep swimming.

While we are not fighting for our lives day-in and day-out, we need to remember to keep breathing. Naturally, the PR and marketing industry is not as hectic as the arena that the characters face. It’s important to look ahead and focus on the big picture – keep trekking through the workday. Whatever you do, just don’t give up. Finnick, a tribute in Mockingjay once said, “It’s better to not give in. It takes ten times as long to put your self back together as it does to fall apart.” Mind over matter in the games is key, and in real life, it absolutely holds meaning. Remember to stay motivated even when the days can get stressful. At the same time, remember that we aren’t saving lives.

As Effie Trinket would say, “May the odds be ever in your favor.” Catch the final film of The Hunger Games this fall on Nov. 20 and see what lessons you can draw for your professional and personal lives.