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PR & Political Lessons From The Interview – Sony’s Latest Satire Movie On North Korean Dictator President


Ready for ‘war’- North Korean leader Kim Jong-UN & President Obama


The Interview, the latest movie from Sony has dominated the news in the last two weeks. It has transcended Showbiz, and it is the buzz conversation in many high powered political circles and Presidential offices, including the White House.

The Interview, a comedy about the assassination of North Korea’s president, has been in the headlines, right from when the movie was being created. The North Korean dictator Kim Jung threatened to go to war with the United States if the movie was released, as he considered it an act of war. He should have known better. That will only make the movie more popular and a must see!

The movie was meant to be premiered in New York this week. BBC and the international media have reported The New York premiere of The Interview, a comedy about the assassination of North Korea’s president, has been cancelled amid threats from hackers.

A spokesman for the cinema chain due to host the screening said it had been shelved.

Hackers targeting Sony Pictures had threatened to attack US cinemas showing the studio’s film.

They belong to the same group which has released emails and data stolen from Sony.

Calling themselves Guardians of Peace, the hackers mentioned the 9/11 attacks in a recent warning, claiming “the world will be full of fear”.

“Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time,” the hacker group wrote in a message on Tuesday.

“If your house is nearby, you’d better leave,” they add. “Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

The Department of Homeland Security said there was “no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot” against cinemas, but noted it was still analysing messages from the group.

The film’s stars, James Franco and Seth Rogen, have also pulled out of several media appearances including appearances on the chat shows Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Sony has just posted a new trailer for The Interview on their official YouTube page. The unusual trailer release comes one day after Sony Studios announced they were canceling the film’s Christmas Day release because of hacking threats that have terrorized the company and specifically condemned The Interview’s release.
The newly posted trailer runs 32 seconds and features stars Seth Rogen and James Franco getting into all sorts of hilarious antics as they invade North Korea to kill dictator Kim Jong-un. The clip also features a patriotic message that reads, “In Franco and Rogen we trust.” Interestingly, the trailer ends by promoting the flick’s Dec. 25 theatrical release.

Also included on the YouTube page is the caption, “Only one movie has the whole world talking…..”

The Obama angle

Hours after the FBI concluded that North Korea was definitely responsible for the hack, President Obama criticized the studio’s decision to pull The Interview from theaters at the hackers’ request.

At his year-end press conference, Obama mentioned that he was sympathetic to Sony’s concerns, but said the studio “made a mistake” in shutting down the film’s entire theatrical release. “We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship on the United States,” he said. “If someone is able to intimidate someone from releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they’ll do if they see a documentary or a news report they don’t like.”

Obama finished by vowing a “proportionate response” to North Korea, but refused to take the symbolic step of watching The Interview himself.

What are the top 3 public relations and political lessons to learn from this Showbiz story?

PR & political lessons to learn.

1. When a publicity scoop lands on your laps, milk it fully!
Sony must be drooling at the free publicity, worth millions of dollars it has received in the last one week and especially in this Christmas period.
Sony will soon be laughing all the way to the bank when the movie is eventually released.

2. PR & politics, Timing is everything
Sony’s Christmas timing of the movie release was fantastic. The immediate response and threat by North Korean leader who was the object of scorn in the movie, was also well timed. It definitely reinforced his image as a tough guy!
President Obama also made a quick response before the Christmas weekend, in line with the image of the US as the ‘policeman

3. Keep your key message crisp and memorable
Sony’s tag line on their latest release was in line with the Keep it Short& Simple (KISS) principle. It simply said- “Only one movie has the whole world talking.”
And it’s true!

Culled from www.printelligent.wordpress.com

Check out Dr. Phil Osagie’s article here

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