Come now, PR pros, you are in a safe space here … how many animated shows have you watched this year?

Either way, we all enjoy a story every now and then. But stories are more than just entertaining distractions to help pass the time.

Storytelling plays a vital part in our journey on this blue little ball. It is actually invaluable in that it can:

  • evoke necessary feelings
  • challenge ways of thinking
  • contextualise our time
  • put forward situations to experience vital scenarios for human living, and
  • most importantly, it can teach us the lessons that others are convicted to pass on to us in a special way.
Many stories have a particular purpose or lesson in mind. However this is not to say that we, as readers or receivers of the magical telling, are limited to learning that one particular lesson.

Epiphany moments are beautiful in that they are unpredictable, unexpected and are definitely worth learning from. And let me tell you, they strike whenever they want!

Enter The Sea Beast, brought to you by Netflix. The animated 'feel-gooder' might have had its sight set on the 'youngins' of our time, but this goes out to every PR professional that has had the chance to give it a gleeful squiz.

This little gem comprises a few epiphany moments that can be made into lessons directly targeting your industry! All you need is a bit of child-like curiosity to be struck with awe …

Low and behold, the mighty sea beast and all of its wisdom! Read on as the team at media update allows childhood fantasy to lead the way with these seven lessons:

1. Learn from those that came before you

As we see in the film, the sailors who made their living by hunting sea monsters have their own heroes that they look up to. While some, like Sarah Sharpe, still thrive on the job, others have already moved into legend and history, like Masie Brumble’s parents.

Maisie herself holds these heroes in high regard, telling anyone who is willing to listen about their adventures, victories and heroic traits. Little Maisie sets quite an example for us.

This is because every PR pro can take a few pages out of her books (yes, the pun is intended) and learn about events, strategies and individuals who have paved the way for PR successes in the past.

This will evoke passion, equip professionals with skills and inspire them for future actions and ideas to come!

2. Get the most out of your communications

We all know that PR entails comms — it's a little bit obvious. But compare the way that Jacob tries to talk to Red (and hilariously fails at it), compared to Maisie's compelling speech that actually persuades the captain to keep her on board the ship.

PR pro, it's not about what you say, it's about how you say it. And if you feel conversationally unprepared for the looming comms crisis that could hit any day, fret not! There are tools, such as media monitoring solutions, which will help you say what you need to communicate in the best way possible. You'll have it all down in a jiffy!

3. Involve — and listen to — the youngsters

Ah, the trouble makers … or should we say, the way makers! Little Maisie creates ultimate havoc when the crew are tumbling waves while fighting off the Red Bluster. Instead of listening to her captain, she severs the rope connecting the ship to the sea creature. Oh, dam! (Bad dad water joke, I know)

While we might side with the wise little heroine, it's her "youthful" decisions and new-age mindset that ultimately changes the world for both humans and ocean life entirely by the film's end. 

Well, the point here is that the youth want to have a hand in their own future … work with them, like Jacob did with Maisie, if you want to see their successes come through in a brighter future — your future.

4. Be inclusive

Netflix's The Sea Beast is filled with feelings of exploration, adventure and making different and new friends.

What's the lesson here? Difference is beauty! Red breathes underwater, has scary teeth and, well, breathes underwater. But still, the scary sea monster steals our hearts and is accepted as a friend.

Differences should not divide — differences should empower. Look at how Red empowered Maisie to take a stand for the betterment of the world. If humans can be empowered by difference, then PR can be too!

5. Do not take everything at face value

Just like Maisie questions the validity of her history books — when given good reason to — so should we consider that, sometimes, not everything is what it seems.

Ever had a reputation risk that is threatening your client's brand, but you couldn't pinpoint the actual root of the problem?

This is a clear example of a scenario when deeper insights are required to make the right decision for your client. And what better way to ask questions, conduct research and dig deeper than with analytical reports?

6. Be open-minded and do what is right

Poor, poor Jacob. The man is:
  • thrown overboard
  • eaten by a sea creature
  • hurt by his own spear (twice), and
  • is called to stand against his entire upbringing on the premise of it being dishonest propaganda.
Like, zoinks, Scoob!

But his open-mindedness provided Maisie with the support she needed to make things right between hunters and sea beasts. Thanks, dude!

Likewise, a PR pro can find themselves in scenarios where really surprising perspectives, opinions or tactics regarding their industry may arise. Do not be too quick to put them down or reject them; who knows, it could be the right thing to do — it "could be the start of something new …" (any HSM fans out there?).

7. Show compassion

Being the first to show compassion, humility or an act of trust can lead to better yielding results for your client than those built out of sole conflict. Examples of this? Glad you asked …

If the public calls you out on a mistake, own it and apologise. If a client calls you up for an extra (urgent) project, take them up on it instead of declining; you never know how much they might react going forward towards your dedication!

Finally, like Red, be the first to show trust. Conflict is never the nicest option, so why even consider it if there is another way? Be like Red: Be nice to the humans and lead them home to a 'happily ever after'.

Did you pick up on any other tips from Netflix's latest lovable monster? Share 'em in the comments section.

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Want to keep on learning about this awesome industry in a fun way? Then check out What PR pros can learn from their favourite Stranger Things duos.
*Image courtesy of Canva