Iron Man 3 was an opportunity to talk mental health

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mental health marketing

Does this guy seem a little...tense?

We spend a lot of time in Media Savvy 101 talking about finding catalysts for media coverage. Catalysts are triggers to approach media. Catalysts make your story more pertinent and topical NOW.

Some catalysts are internal such as your milestones, breakthroughs or fresh data. Some are chronological such as Mother’s Day, the hottest day of the year, exam time. Other catalysts are external including major cultural events.

advice for PR in mental health

3D glasses, on. Check. Begin film.

Iron Man 3 is such an event. Any movie surpassing the $1 billion mark is a big deal. Brett finally took his father to see the latest instalment (in 3D no less) and was left with two clear thoughts: 1. He would very much like to be Iron Man and 2. Tony Stark’s battle with anxiety / PTSD was an opportunity to seek media coverage about the condition.

If this seems far-fetched please rethink: media outlets from Hollywood Reporter to NPR tackled anxiety / PTSD thanks to the movie. Did any local mental health orgs take the opportunity to reach for the phone and say to an afternoon ABC radio producer and say something a little like this:

“Look you probably know that Iron Man 3 is one of the biggest films of all time and one thing we at The Psychology Institute find remarkable is that Tony Stark, the hero inside the Iron  Man suit actually admits to anxiety and PTSD from his previous battles – the battles in The Avengers. We thought this might be an interesting time to explain what PTSD and anxiety are, the causes and how to manage the conditions. We could play some audio and explain what we’d recommend for Tony so he can keep up his super heroing.”

Maybe it is too late for Iron Man 3-related media hits – but what’s next? What big film, musical, song, singer or TV show can you exploit as a catalyst for media coverage. Think broadly.

Note: it’s not just mega films that create catalysts. Quartet was a tiny, simple, sweet film set in an English nursing home for performers and artists. It raised an opportunity for discussion on aged care, relationships in older age and the fate of retired performers in Australia. And for the record Brett’s folks enjoyed it very much.



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