5 PR lessons startups can learn from Hollywood’s most famous rebel – guestpost by Lina Wüller

She is in an intense and wild story and people everywhere are curious. She has spent her entire life believing and following her own way. She was completely wild, but never a bad person. Driving all the attention to her. She stands up for what she believes is right. And most importantly, she allowed herself to fail and  learn from mistakes.

She grew up in the public eye, yet was never afraid to be different: When she married for the first time, she walked down the aisle in black rubber trousers and a white shirt which had the groom’s name scrawled on it in her blood. It didn’t last. She then married a bad boy 20 years older than her – both wearing vials of each other’s blood. When she was young she tried all different kind of drugs, drank too much and checked herself into rehab. She made no secret about her sex life and she loved girls as much as she loved boys. No matter how hard she pushed, she was surrounded by media attention treating the red carpet like it was her living room.

5 PR Lessons

5 PR Lessons

Today, she might be a wife and mother, but she sure as hell hasn’t stopped being a rebel. She fell in love with an A-lister and her now-husband on the set of a film, has adopted three children and had three of her own because that’s what she wanted to do. She has never cared about what people said about her. She is an award winner, a Dame, a human rights advocate, and a UNHCR Goodwill ambassador taking part in field missions around the world. She is one of the highest paid and most recognised celebrities in the world.

We are talking about  Angelina Jolie who believes in bringing attention to the good cause and in promoting humanitarian issues. She has so much energy, and so much goodness. She campaigns loudly, and communicates with fire. She is a rebel, but a rebel with a very good cause. Here are 5 lesson we can learn from her:

1. Don’t be normal. Be different.

How can you make your voice heard if you choose to swim in the same direction as all the other fish in the sea? Be interesting and walk the unbeaten path. Angelina Jolie has made the choice to be strong. She once said that she didn’t want to be a ballerina, she wanted to be a vampire.

2. Initiate action for change.

Change the way your target group thinks, but don’t just talk about it, action it. Angelina Jolie is not afraid to venture into warzones, to care for the sick and speak to the disadvantaged. She fights for their cause. She rolls up her sleeves and gets shit done.

3. Inspire the world with your story.

Translatable. Relatable. Transferable. Your story needs to be able to be told in any language, related to under any circumstance, and spread easily by word-of-mouth. Brangelina inspired the world by adopting children from war-torn countries and poverty. She slept in caves in some of the world’s poorest communities to give it the media attention it needed. She relates the causes to everyone, no matter where they are.

4. Be genuine. Speak from your heart.

No one is going to believe you if you don’t believe yourself. It’s as simple as that. Although hugely private about her family and their lives, Angelina tells her truth, says what she thinks, and stands up for what she believes in regardless of what people will say about her.

5. Have a killer product and a rockin’ design.

Raising awareness only goes so far, and there’s no point in having your voice heard if you have a no-name and no-frills product and design. Angelina Jolie is a show-stopper with rockstar presentation who will always get people’s attention. She fronts up no matter what, and always looks the part.

Angelina Jolie can teach us all a thing or two. At this point in time you might not have the massive media following that she does, or paparazzi hiding in bushes waiting to snap a pic of your top secret new product release, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make them want to. The best start-ups, the best ideas, and the most penetrating people are all defined by exceptions. They are disrupters in their field, they change the rules and believe in making things better. So tell the world why you are changing it up, and make it loud. You are redefining your industry and this is your mantra every single day: I am a rebel with a cause.

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