Robin WilliamsMany people (including myself) were shocked and saddened by the passing of Robin Williams last week. As someone that grew up watching reruns of Mork & Mindy on Nick at Night and obsessing over movies like the Dead Poet’s Society, Hook and Mrs. Doubtfire, this comedic genius was one of my all-time favorite actors.

As I’ve been thinking about Robin Williams this past week, I’ve realized there’s a lot we can learn from his characters when it comes to getting the word out about your business. From writing tips to general marketing advice, here are 6 public relations lessons from some of my favorite Robin Williams movies.

6 Public Relations Lessons from Robin Williams’ Movies

From the Dead Poets Society:

“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys!”
Probably one of the most well-known lines in this movie, this exclamation is an inspiring reminder to take action now. When it comes to getting the word out about your business, why wait?

“I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”
When is the last time you really thought about your overall marketing strategy? It’s important to revisit it with a different perspective at least once a year, if not every six months. Don’t be afraid to try a new, creative approach!

“There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.”
Sometimes taking a chance and trying something completely new and creative can be an effective strategy; sometimes it can hurt more than help. If you aren’t sure if your idea is a good one, ask people you trust for their input. When it comes to marketing your business, it’s generally best to stay away from politics and religion.

“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.”
Laziness in your content creation won’t do either. Yes, repurposing content is an efficient way to use what you’ve already put together, but make sure that you’re creating the best website copy, blog posts, social media updates, press releases and pitches that you can.

From Hook:

“All you have to do is think one happy thought, and you’ll fly like me.”
Peter Pan struggles to find his happy thought throughout this Robin Williams movie. In the same way, it can be a struggle to be optimistic as an overwhelmed entrepreneur. This line is a reminder to focus on the positive instead of getting bogged down by the negative.

From Aladdin:

Genie: [as Jack Nicholson] “All right, sparky, here’s the deal. If you wanna court the little lady, you gotta be a straight shooter. Do you got it?”
Aladdin: “What?”
Genie: [pointing to each word on a blackboard] “Tell her the truth!”
When it comes to PR and marketing, honesty is always the best policy. Even if you’re asked a hard question, telling the truth now is better than being caught in a lie later.

What are your favorite Robin Williams movies? Can you think of any other PR, marketing or writing tips we can learn from his characters’ lines? Share them in the comments below!

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