I have a particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a long career

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There it was, on my Netflix page. Reinforcing a PR lesson too many of us ignore.

Taken.

It wasn’t the original Taken movie, starring the incomparable Liam Neeson. Nor was it either of the two Taken movies that followed. Notice I didn’t call them “sequels.” They aren’t sequels – they are more like reboots. Basically the same exact movie made three times. The only variable is which city Liam Neeson half-destroys while he stops at nothing to rescue his family.

And now this.

Turns out it was Taken, the TV series.

Cue the rant about how unoriginal Hollywood is. How everything is derivative, nothing creative out there. What’s next – Taken lunchboxes?

But here’s the thing: Hollywood knows something that PR pros are resistant to learning:

Successful content keeps succeeding.

Doesn’t matter how many times it’s already been out there.

There’s a reason certain storylines and angles work. Whether you understand why is usually academic – just keep repurposing them, and watch the placements and engagements pile up.

I ran into this again last week at my Secrets of Media Relations Masters workshop. One of the attendees just had a great run with a tried and true travel destination story angle – you post a job listing for someone to live at a resort for a year and enjoy a lavish lifestyle. He got great traction with it.

That angle has been around for decades, most famously for Queensland’s Best Job in the World campaign.

I did an Inner Circle training with the guy who pulled that one off. He got the idea from another campaign that used an off-the-wall job title to get attention. He said humbly, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

Remember that the next time someone tells you that your story idea “has already been out there.”

This article was originally published on Nov 01, 2018.