House of Cards Offers PR Hopefuls Some Advice

By: Will Harris

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House of Cards, a Netflix original series, centers on the cunning and power-hungry politician, Frank Underwood. Volatile and devious, Frank plots to move up political ranks as he tears down anyone who stands in his way. With season two having recently aired on Valentines Day, Frank is back to his manipulating ways. Aided by his equally diabolical wife, Claire, and other cohorts, Frank makes waves after being sworn in as Vice President.  To us beyond the fourth wall, however, season two offers

1. Face a crisis immediately.some relevant advice to those in PR.

This season starts with reporter Zoe Barnes hot on Franks trail. While visiting Freddy’s BBQ Joint for his morning rack of ribs, Freddy tells Frank that the most humane way to butcher a pig is to do it quickly, not to draw it out. Frank uses this thinking to face his own problems before they can escalate into a much bigger scandal.

PR hopefuls can relate to this train of thought by being proactive rather than reactive when facing a crisis. Rather than letting a crisis escalate, PR practitioners should strive to face the issues at hand head on.

2. Be able to think on your feet.

We’ve all practiced our interviewing techniques and perfected our elevator speeches, but what happens when someone asks you a question that throws you completely off-guard?

During an exclusive live interview, Claire Underwood was asked the question about why she and Frank had never had children. Her answer was one that she had given before, and when the interviewer picked up on that it raised more questions. By quickly thinking on her feet Claire was able to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one.

As PR hopefuls we should remember that being well rehearsed for any situation might not be enough. We should always be prepared to think on our feet to overcome any obstacles that might present themselves.

3. Do your homework.

When Connor Ellis interviewed to be the Underwood’s new press secretary he came prepared. Connor had done his homework, going so far as to fly to a different state in order to watch the Underwood’s first interview together. By doing so he put himself above and beyond other applicants.

Whether it be applying for an internship or job, or doing work for clients, doing your homework will set you apart. By going the extra mile to find pertinent information you are showing a committed work ethic and enhancing your personal brand at the same time. This simple act will put you leagues ahead of colleagues in the eyes of your employer or future employer.

Watch House of Cards on Netflix or check out their Facebook page.

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About ferrisprssa

We speak the truth with compassion. We embrace diversity in all forms. We are innovative, creative, upbeat and engaged. We are the Ferris State University PRSSA Chapter! Our student-run PR firm gives students outstanding hands-on experience and professional training.
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