Sometimes, television shows can be educational in a way never intended or imagined. If you were one of the millions watching the second season finale of Game of Thrones last night, I doubt you were looking for lessons in business or public relations. Not many people would turn to a medieval fantasy on HBO for that kind of lesson, but here are three you can apply to your business today.
Do Your Research
Royal spymaster, Lord Varys, knows how to use information to his advantage. Knowing the kingdom’s secrets has kept him alive and in the King’s favor for many years.
Businesses, just like large kingdoms, have many moving parts, and often a lot of characters. Perhaps your business needs to engage clients in a survey, or maybe it’s as simple as reading the news regarding your top competitors. It is impossible to create a successful business, much less a successful public relations campaign, without understanding your audience and competitors.
Know When to Stay Quiet
Queen Cersei’s son, Joffrey, has taken over the throne, though he’s not really the rightful heir. But, despite the rampant rumors about who the new King’s real father is, the Queen never publicly addresses them.
Our own Carol Cookerly is famous for saying: “Sometimes the best interview is the one you don’t give.” In today’s media world, it’s easy to think that responding to a reporter’s request for an interview is required. But we think otherwise. In some situations, especially those with a lot of unanswered questions and pending investigations, sometimes saying nothing is more powerful than denying rumors.
Always Be Prepared
“Winter is Coming” is not only a major theme of the show, but also the Stark family motto. After many quiet years in the kingdom, things have suddenly gone downhill very quickly, and those who were unprepared are at a decided disadvantage.
The truth is you never know when your business may encounter its own crisis. Issues rarely pop up at a convenient time, making it all the more important to have an up-to-date, well-constructed crisis plan. All key stakeholders should have a copy and know how and when to mobilize.
Sometimes great lessons are found in the most unexpected places, so keep an open mind. What are some business lessons you’ve learned in unconventional ways?