7 things PR pros can learn from ‘House of Cards’

The Netflix original was primed to do well at Sunday night’s Emmys. It’s also chock full of reminders of what to do (and what not to do) in PR, making us all winners.

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Following are lessons from D.C.’s manipulator in chief.

Always prepare for an interview.

Rather than prepare for a CNN debate about a contentious teachers strike, Underwood underestimates the opposition and decides to wing it. When things go poorly on live TV, he throws an instinctive Hail Mary pass that misfires badly, setting back his cause and making him a viral video sensation for all the wrong reasons.

Respond quickly to a crisis situation.

When fingers start being pointed following an accident in his home district, Underwood heads home immediately, despite being up to his elbows in alligators in Washington. Back at home, Underwood shows such remarkable responsiveness and caring that he brings the crisis quickly under control, clearing the way for his return to D.C.

Tell your bad news before someone else does.

Peter Russo, a flawed congressman with a checkered past, is Underwood’s pick to run for governor of Pennsylvania. Rather than wait for news of Russo’s past drug use to trickle out, Underwood advises Russo to tackle it head on, framing it as a comeback story.

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