What Robin Williams taught me about PR

Robin Williams at the 2007 People's Choice Awards
Robin Williams at the 2007 People’s Choice Awards

Sometimes you’ll be reading a book or watching a film and something rings so true with you that you could have written it yourself – or you’ll wish you had.


It’s part of the magic of the creative industries – tapping into the way you feel and, all of a sudden, that emotion you thought was exclusive to you is no longer solely yours. You realise that an idea you had dismissed as ridiculous or irrelevant might actually have some value.


As a lover of language, there’s a particular quote from Robin Williams in the 1989 film ‘Dead Poets Society’ that I rather like –


“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 endeavour, laziness will not do.”


Language is a powerful tool. This quote is about using it to its full advantage. While I can’t agree that language was invented for that one reason, I’d agree with the fact that language used in the right way can not only be insightful, but persuasive and commanding.


Apply this to press releases, articles, pitches and you’re on to a winner. Be particular and selective with your choice of words. Take care with grammar, sweat over syntax.


The time you spend worrying over wording is not wasted. Robin Williams assures us so.






And don’t forget to follow BlueSky PR and BlueSky Education on Twitter for daily updates from BlueSky HQ.

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