Lessons from Westeros Part 2: A Feast for FlacksKatie O'Neil
*Warning – Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 spoilers ahead.*
In Part 1, we discussed the importance of research and information to the plot of Game of Thrones. Of course, the audience learning the truth was just the start. That knowledge had no impact on the future of the Seven Kingdoms until the characters started to compare notes and decided to act on the implications.
In this case, Bran played a crucial role, with Dany and Jorah unknowingly assisting – finding the right audience and motivating them to action. This is where, in the public affairs world, the communications team steps in.
John (or should we say Aegon?) needed to know his true identity, but he needed the right messenger to tell him. Bran, taking a short break from creepily staring, correctly identified that Sam was the right person to tell John the truth.
That’s often the case in public affairs as well. Reaching a specific group of politicians, company executives, or other primary decision makers may be the final goal, but a direct message may fall on deaf ears. A strategically placed op-ed in the local paper, a compelling digital ad directed at staffers, or a story in a prominent paper may be a far more impactful option.
But, back in Winterfell, Sam was still hesitant to be the messenger until Dany gave him just the right motivation – the knowledge that she had slaughtered his father and brother when they refused to bend the knee.
The combination of Bran’s urging and the right news hook resulted in the key person hearing the news from the best possible influencer.
Having the right information is the first half of the battle. Using it properly is the second. Whether that involves traditional media, digital media, in-person connections, or teleporting ravens, the right communications strategy can be the difference between who wins and who…well, you know the rest.