Meet Mary: PR Insights from Marvel 

“The story has been yours all along. You just did not know it.” 

Since I was a child, I have always had a love for storytelling. Whether through books, movies, or tales passed down from family members, I loved the journey of learning a new subject. My mother, being a movie buff, and my father, having a lifelong love of Marvel, brought me to the theater at 12 years old to see the premiere of Iron Man. As Marvel continued to develop their cinematic empire throughout the years, I was in awe of how the diverse heroes and storylines fostered a vibrant community, inspiring me to incorporate these elements into my own narrative. Fast forward to 2023, I found my path as a public relations professional — a field where I can foster relationships, use storytelling to shape campaigns, and incorporate my core values into communications tactics and strategies.  

In public relations, core values ensure integrity and transparency with clients, the media, and the target audience. Since I have begun my career as a PR professional, I have found myself reflecting on the core values of my favorite heroes that have shaped my life. 

Guardians of the Galaxy: Teamwork and Collaboration in PR 

The Guardians of the Galaxy are a band of misfit strangers who use their diverse strengths, talents, and perspectives to deliver quality results to the team and the galaxy they serve. The Guardians of the Galaxy team members find themselves in challenging situations where they must collaborate and use their skills, creativity, and quick thinking to resolve issues. Many of these dangerous situations would turn fatal for the team and the galaxy if team members didn’t use out-of-the-box thinking and innovative strategies to escape these threats quickly. Throughout their adventures, some ideas work better than others, but everyone’s contributions leave the team in a stronger place than before.    

PR thrives on teamwork, creativity, and collaboration, with the collective effort of a PR team often shaping the uniqueness of an event or campaign and its results. We leverage our diverse skills and experiences to generate innovative ideas through partnership, stimulating innovative thought, and positive communication.  

Doctor Strange: Mindfulness in Practice   

Doctor Strange, a flawed character, begins his storyline as a highly skilled yet arrogant mortal neurosurgeon at the peak of his career. His ego leads him to view himself as a medical expert, believing his judgment reigns supreme, even in the face of opposing views. We see Strange lose everything when he ultimately decides to throw caution to the wind and recklessly indulge in behaviors and actions that exclusively benefit him while bringing destruction and disappointment to those around him. It is not until tragedy strikes that Strange is forced into greater awareness of both his strengths and weaknesses. This heightened understanding then informs his mindfulness of the community he serves.  

In public relations, awareness is essential. PR professionals must understand their client’s target audiences and be cognizant about themselves, the brands they represent, and current events in related industries. This cognizance is crucial for managing emotions and navigating challenging situations. Mindfulness is equally important, as we must consider a client’s audience and the ecosystem of their industry. Understanding a client’s wants, needs, demographics and values informs us how to deliver the best result to all parties.    

Scarlet Witch: The Power of Enduring Adversity and Tragedy  

Wanda Maximoff, better known as the Scarlet Witch, has confronted numerous hardships. Faced with adversity, Wanda grapples with harnessing her power for good. Her journey instructs us that when life presents challenges, a thoughtful response is key.  

A career in PR inevitably means you’ll encounter the occassional crisis that requires an immediate, thoughtful, and sincere response. A PR pro’s ability to respond calmly and thoughtfully to a crisis and provide sound counsel regarding how to respond can play a pivotal role in navigating an organization’s way through it. Failing to learn from mistakes and rushing to respond on your client’s behalf can worsen the situation. 

Captain America: The Significance of Principles and Moral Values  

Captain America, the first Avenger and the leader of the ensemble, is the epitome of establishing solid principles, values, and morals. Captain America’s story covers adversity, tradition, ethics, and honesty. Throughout his adventures as a superhero, Captain America is tested on whether or not he will honor his values or take the easy way out to save himself. Each time, Captain America holds to his core tenets. Because of his unwavering dedication, he has become one of the most highly respected superheroes in the Marvel universe. He has always fought for his beliefs. Captain America’s dedication to his values and the people he serves is a lesson from which all PR professionals can learn.    

The Lesson From Our Hero’s 

Much like the Marvel superheroes I grew up loving, PR professionals must adhere to a robust set of principles. Often, we are the sounding board for navigating challenging situations between our clients, the media, and their stakeholders. Because of this, PR professionals have to be thoughtful, strategic, and honest when counseling our clients. Establishing an open and honest relationship between the client, the media, and the public is necessary to foster trust between the organization and its public. We help to shape narratives, foster collaboration, remain cognizant, transform adversity into opportunity, and uphold strong moral values—making not only our clients’ stories compelling but also creating a legacy of integrity and trust in the world of PR. 

By infusing the principles, we have learned from Marvel into our work, PR professionals can deliver campaigns with honesty and transparency while cultivating enduring relationships that stand the test of time. 

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