Making a Murderer

I’ve been umm-ing and ahh-ing about whether or not to post on this topic, but finally decided that I need to share some views on Making a Murderer.

If you’ve not watched this yet, beware, spoilers in this blog post!

For those of you that don’t know, Making a Murderer is a 10-part American documentary series surrounding the story of Steven Avery from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. He spent 18 years in prison for a rape crime that he did no commit, but was exonerated in 2003.

Making a MurdererHe was then arrested in 2005 for the suspected murder of Teresa Halbach, and convicted in 2007.

The series follows the process of deciding whether or not Steven committed the crime, presenting evidence for both sides and creating a lot of debate among viewers. 

The series, streamed on Netflix, has caused a stir for its audience and it seems the whole world has a morbid fascination with the case. The story is heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time, showing the real life horror in a case like this.

But whether he is guilty or not is not what I want to discuss.

I do not want to detract from the seriousness of the case in any way, however there is something we can learn from the production process, the way it has all been presented and what its reception has been like.

So subject matter debates aside, I think it presents many lessons for PR’s. 

Not everyone will take the same view

We’ve all watched the same series but all come to different conclusions. This is applicable to PR campaigns too – some people may take different ideas from the same things, so don’t rely universal agreement to your ideas.

You can paint things a certain way

The show has been criticised by some for being bias towards Avery’s innocence. Producers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos have yet to say what their verdict is on the case (at the time of writing), however it has been said that they have put an angle towards his innocence.

This is something that can be done in many disciplines, including PR – acceptable as long as it is done truthfully and considering ethics.


Manitowoc County Courthouse

Take your time

The series was filmed over a course of 10 years. I’m not saying you have to take quite that long, but don’t be afraid to take a little extra time to get the best results.

Be creative

From the emotive opening credits to the use of childhood pictures, there is a lot of creativity in this documentary aimed to ensure viewers are engaged and emotionally involved. Think about what creative methods you could use.

Be prepared for problems

The whole case is filled with shocking revelations and new evidence that change the case dramatically. Be prepared in your work to have to change and adapt to any crises or equally any unexpected benefits.


What are your views on the series? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.

Until next time…



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