The Social Network – PR Blog

I wasn’t really interested in The Social Network when I first heard about it.  I didn’t see the draw of a film about Facebook.  But then I learned that David Fincher would be directing the film and I was immediately excited.  He’s directed three of my favourite movies, Fight Club, Se7en, and The Game.  That alone was enough to get me into the movie but then I found out that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails would be composing the soundtrack, along with Atticus Ross, and then I knew then that the Social Network was destined to be one of my new favourite movies.

After seeing the movie, I don’t believe that it put Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a negative light.  On the contrary, I believe it humanized him.  I think many people just heard the name Mark Zuckerberg, and never had a personality to place with it and this movie, I believe, did that.  It showed his ambition, his intelligence, the betrayals, and his journey from student to CEO.  Of course, this is a Hollywood movie, and only based on real events.  So you wonder, how much is true and how much is a screenwriter trying to make the script interesting?  “The real story of Facebook is just that we’ve worked so hard for all this time,” Zuckerberg says in his interview with Diane Sawyer. “I mean, the real story is actually probably pretty boring, right? …We just sat at our computers for six years and coded.”

I don’t really feel that this movie has had any positive or negative effect on the popularity of Facebook.  It was hugely important before the film, and it continues to be hugely important. “We build products that 500 million people see… If 5 million people see a movie, it doesn’t really matter that much,” says Zuckerberg, in a Mashable interview.

Mark Zuckerberg’s handling of the Public Relations end of things had both positives and negatives.  What he did well was downplaying the significance of the film, as in the previous quote.  He also made sure the audiences knew that he felt the film is a fictional representation of real events.  One thing he didn’t do very well concerns his appearance on Oprah.  He donated $100 Million to the Newark school system, as well, he announced the establishment of his foundation “coincidentally” on the same day that The Social Network came out.  I believe that this was a mistake and that he should have chosen to make those announcements at an earlier or later time.  It’s unrealistic and frankly condescending towards viewers for him to think that they would buy the timing being purely coincidental.  Both the donation and the establishment of the foundation are great things, but releasing them on the same date at the film release made him seem as though he had something to hide or that he needed to compensate for something negative in the film, which as I said before I didn’t find was necessary.  I would’ve recommended that he release that information at a later or earlier date.

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2010/10/06/mark-zuckerbergs-take-on-the-social-network-interview/

http://www.blogherald.com/2010/07/22/mark-zuckerberg-diane-sawye/

http://prpost.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/zuckerberg-hearst-and-hollywood-pr-lessons-learned-from-the-past/

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