The PR lesson Oscar winner for Best Picture Moonlight can teach us


While the Academy Awards were full of exciting moments on February 26, none were more exciting than the announcement—and then re-announcement—in the Best Picture category. In a shocking plot twist, Moonlight bested La La Land and seven other highly acclaimed films for the coveted statue.

A heart-breaking film that follows three phases of a gay man’s life, Moonlight is touted as a major moment for African American and LGBT cinema. Throughout the film, we see the main character struggle through childhood difference, teenage bullying, and adult emotional paralysis.

One of the themes central to the film is that what we project externally to the world is very different to what we feel inside ourselves. Life is a game of fake-it-until-we-make-it.

Moonlight also provides us with a very valuable PR lesson: Just as in life, you must have confidence in PR.

A trader on Wall Street I know once joked, “it’s more important to be convincing than right.” Sadly, this is true in many circumstances—in life and at work.

As an example, if you see a woman in a dress so low-cut that it requires tape in uncomfortable places, and so short that you’re nervous for her every time she leans forward, coupled with mile-high stiletto heels that have a 99 percent chance of causing an ankle break, you will think one of two things.

One, if she’s moving about the room as if she wears that every day, you will perhaps think, “Good on her for pulling that off.”

However, if she is hunched over, visibly uncomfortable with the low neckline, and like Bambi on ice in her heels, you will instead think “that woman has no business wearing that outfit.”

What’s the key difference? It’s the woman’s confidence.

Confidence breeds a plethora of qualities that are critical to PR, including good first impressions, thick skin, authenticity, courage, and honesty.

What to learn more about the PR-related lessons this year’s nine Oscar Nominees for Best Picture can teach us? They’re provided without spoilers here.

What other PR lessons can you find hidden in this year’s Oscar Nominees for Best Picture?

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