The new Game of Thrones season is in full swing and this got us thinking – which character in the HBO series has the best PR? In a world where kings and queens fail if they don't have the love of the people and the other houses, a well thought out communication strategy is key. Here's who we think absolutely nailed their PR in Game of Thrones.
1) Margaery Tyrell
Wife of three kings, daughter of one of the richest houses in Westeros, the people could have easily hated Margaery Tyrell for her privilege and power. But, through a carefully planned PR strategy which saw her embrace charity work and spend time with the poor of King's Landing, she won the hearts and minds of the people as characters such as Joffrey failed to. As she says herself, "I visited their hovels and I fed them soup and I made sure I was seen doing it."
Charity work is an excellent way of getting your company's profile out there, and at the same time supporting a worthwhile cause. Experiential PR and events marry well with philanthropy, and if you manage to create enough hype around it, as Margaery Tyrell did, you'll capture your target audience's attention easily.
2) Daenerys Targaryen
Next on our list is Daenerys Targaryen. This isn't her full name, of course. She's actually called "Daenerys Stomborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chain, and Mother of Dragons." The name itself is an excellent means of communicating a message – she immediately reminds her enemies of all her past accomplishments, while showing those she wants on her side what an excellent ruler she has been – breaking chains and freeing slaves all over the world. She embodies her brand and puts it out there as soon as she first meets someone new.
Daenerys really believes in freeing the world of slavery – her authenticity is rare in a world dominated by Littlefingers, and helps people believe in her far more than other rulers. In fact, this is a tactic Jeremy Corbyn took in the recent general election in the UK. He positioned himself as one of the few genuine candidates – a man of principles – and through this method won himself a lot more votes than expected.
Varys is able to handle any situation, no matter how perilous. He shows how important it is to stay calm in a crisis, and gather as much information as possible before you make your move. In fact, his wide network of spies and informants also teaches communication professionals a lesson – it's important to have as many contacts as possible if you want to make your mark.
4) Who got it wrong? – Joffrey Baratheon
Not only is it important to have empathy as a key part of your image, you also need to ensure you gain respect.
Out of all Game of Thrones' evil characters, none got their PR strategy more wrong than Joffrey Baratheon. Not only was he petulant and cruel, he did all this in public, making enemies wherever people saw him. The people's reaction to Joffrey couldn't have been more different to how they responded to Margaery – one of the few times he appeared in the poorer parts of King's Landing ended up in a riot in which half of the royal household didn't make it back alive.
Not only is it important to have empathy as a key part of your image, you also need to ensure you gain respect – Joffrey had neither, and it cost him.
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