by Elizabeth Robbins
Come late October, it is hard to get away from the shrieks and howls of ubiquitous horror movies. Why fight it? It turns out horror movies can teach important lessons, especially to the public relations professional. Sarah Gibbart points out on PR Daily that the horror genre uses a variety of devises to keep us begging for more blood-curdling screams. Try using these tools of the trade.
1. The double whammy surprise. You know how you feel when the second half of a terrifying one-two punch hits you? The first minor scare comes expectedly, leading you to let down your guard and relax. Then, just when you think that you’re safe – wham! The second surprise brings you screeching out of your seat. We can use this type of devise as marketers to follow up a minor, expected courtesy with a much bigger one.
2. Build suspense. Like the drama that keeps terrified moviegoers glued to their seats, channel Steve Jobs leading up to your next product release.
3. Use abandoned areas. The most memorable and frightening things in horror movies happen in conspicuously abandoned places. You can find some of your best ideas in places that have been under-explored.
4. Create memorable moments. A good horror movie leaves you with memories that keep creeping back through your head. Likewise, a good marketing tool, such as a catchy jingle, will keep your customers thinking of you.
5. Don’t let the end be “The End” A good horror movie ends with a tease that suggests that more might be coming in a sequel. Keep your customers hoping for more as well.