May the force be with you. Today marks the 40th anniversary one of George Lucas’ epic works. Since its inception in 1977, the Star Wars narratives have amassed a great deal of following.
Adopting a transmedia strategy, it has provided its fandom with a truly immersive experience which gave birth to a unique subculture of its own. While many look to the film franchise for childhood reminiscence and heart-racing plot build-ups, some of us discovered enlightening public relations advice from Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Here are some of them:
Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.
The first lesson to learn from Obi-Wan is the importance of empathy for a PR practitioner. We, as PR practitioners, must be able to abandon confirmatory biases to be able to analyse situations from the perspective of the different stakeholders.
The mission of public relations is to build a mutually beneficial relationship among different stakeholders by managing interests. Without the ability to consider from the standpoints of different parties, certain stakeholder groups may be shortchanged and hence, sets the ground for conflict in the future.
Always in motion is the future.
Change is the only constant; the future is hard to predict. However, one of the most exciting parts of PR is also forecasting trends and preparing for what may be.
The fast-paced changes in media consumption patterns and technological advancements adds to the challenge. It is the very speed which throws unsuspecting practitioners and agencies off their game and even renders some obsolete. The courage in embracing change is the key to survival and success. There is a need to constantly stay abreast of the latest industrial developments, consumption trends and to strengthen our arsenal with the latest skill sets.
Do not assume anything Obi-Wan. Clear your mind must be if you are to discover the real villains behind this plot.
Yoda’s advice to Obi-Wan serves as a reminder to all to never take things at face value and to always be clear minded. Regardless of how busy we may be, being a professional means to never compromise work standards and ethics.
Instead of only hoping for the ideal, we always pre-empt and prepare for the worst with contingency plans. It also helps to have a clear mind when analysing facts and situations. When faced with a cluttered mind, always take a breather before diving into the tasks.
To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night.
Last but not least, Yoda also imparts an important PR lesson on making choices and integrity. When a choice or decision has to be made, it must be made based on ethics and integrity. Always playing the devil’s advocate, the best among the publicists must always remember that we are not crowd pleasers, nor are we mere mouthpieces. Always choose to err on the right (did I say light?) side.
In short, regardless of being a Warsie or not, there is always something for everyone to learn from the wisdom nuggets hidden throughout the Star Wars journey. Whenever we are confident that we have learned all that is to, always remember that
“Much to learn, you still have”