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"Congratulations, you're hired!" Is usually something everyone is happy to hear. Except, the job... You're the local vampire lord's publicist. Well, congratulations.

Your job is quite literally to give a villain undeserved good publicity. Failure? No problem, if you want your new boss to kill you, your friends, family, and that guy you buy those yummy croissants from at the market. And not just any death, no... we're talking about someone that enjoys inflicting suffering on his 'meals', before drinking them dry.

Again, congrats?

There's an upside, though! Your boss likes keeping his... meals and lifestyle as low key as is possible, provided it makes keeping the sheeple tame and compliant. And you can even request a budget to make your job easier(ish).

There are three target audiences you need to deal with: high class, mid class, and low class. Simple enough. Doubly so, given all the inter-class fighting.

High class 'nobles' like being on top, so they're likely to keep the mid class beneath them by any means necessary.

Mid class 'citizens' want the high life, and will do anything to get it.

Low class... well, they're just trying to survive. They're usually too tired from working 12-14 hours a day just to be broke, so there's little risk of them caring so long as they and their family/friends aren't directly affected.

As well, slavery is a thing. So it'll make 'arranging meals' far simpler. Even though... it also doesn't. Your boss has a bad habit of killing the 'blood bag', and he needs to have fresh blood (fresh from the vein, naturally) every three days, at most. This isn't too bad given the population density (the city has in excess of 200 million registered (non-slave) citizens.

So. How are you going to keep your employer alive so you'll get paid?

Things to keep in mind: (this is a late edit, so I'm not going to hold this against already offered answers)

  • Vampires need to eat regular food, to have calories to burn.
  • Your boss has no real preference for blood bags, and he has AB-positive blood, so the bloodtype of the blood bags is not relevant.
  • You cannot choose your boss's meals, and 'helpfully suggesting' might upset him. (read: make him want to kill you on principle alone)
  • You have contacts with local writers, so influencing what is being written (newspapers and the like) is plausible, but difficult.
  • Getting your employer involved will create the exact problems you are trying to avoid. (Though he is more than willing to feed on the 'haters', it's the kind of publicity you want to avoid.)
  • People already know about vampires in general, but no one has had any substantial interaction with them. However, the general consensus is that vampires are evil and vindictive (which you confirm with one meeting with your boss).
  • People go missing all the time, and there are thousands of homeless people. So a few hundred going missing per year won't even be noticed.
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    $\begingroup$ The question is very interesting, but I'm not connecting the dots between the publicity, social classes, and meals. $\endgroup$ – Pedro Aug 8 '16 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ Have you watched True Blood? That's an ongoing theme. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Aug 8 '16 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ 200 million citizen in a city? Where does he dwell? Cyperpunk - Greater Tokyo? You need modern day agriculture to keep the potential "meals" fed after all, but with 12h-14h shifts that sounds a lot like 18th to 19th century. At the other side, modern day society would probably able to shotgun that blooksucker into pieces, no matter what superpowers he wield, as soon as he make enemies with the wrong peoples. $\endgroup$ – Confused Merlin Aug 9 '16 at 10:38
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    $\begingroup$ I always found it strange that these upper class, wealthy, educated (going by the more common myth) and immortal (as in have had many centuries to slowly build their wealth, power and reputation) persons could possibly not have a great reputation. Look at most dictators in history who killed millions - they all had propaganda painting them as saints in their time, and people willingly participating in this out of fear and greed. So why does this vampire have a poor reputation in the first place? $\endgroup$ – Superbest Aug 9 '16 at 12:07
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    $\begingroup$ One person every three days out of 200 million? That is so insignificant nobody would ever notice. He could feast daily and still not raise any issues if he stuck to eating 'undesirables' or even limiting himself to condemned murderers, and still more people would die from falling out of bed than being eaten. Now if he were trying to feed a large number of vampires... $\endgroup$ – pluckedkiwi Aug 9 '16 at 12:41

10 Answers 10

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The first big decision will be if the vampire wants to come out as a vampire. If the vampire doesn't want that, there are two interesting options:

  • Deny that vampires exist. Try to destroy the reputation of anybody who believes in them. Vampires? Do you believe in Santa Claus and Trickle-Down Economics, too? Get real.
  • Claim that vampires do exist, but ascribe the wrong characteristics to them. Vampires only come out of their coffins on the full moon. Everybody knows that. Anybody who is seen on other nights is no vampire, no matter she is never seen in daylight. Hire some good novelists, a few TV producers, and a game designer or two to promote your definition of vampires.

If the vampire does want to come out, things get tricky.

  • Try and promote the idea that vampires are stylish and sexy. Hire those novelists etc. mentioned previously. Try to make sure that your boss only goes into public well groomed.
  • Try and promote the idea that vampires fight another supernatural evil. Sure, they suck blood, but they're keeping the city safe from the werewolves. Can you recall any outbreak of lycanthropism since we have vampires in town? See? Not a single one.
  • If nothing else helps, there are good vampires and bad vampires. Good vampires help against the bad vampires.

You might notice some parallels between my suggestions and the vampire novels and movies in recent decades.

  • Try and make sure that your boss never, ever eats the upper classes. Can he restrain his impulses? If not, you have a problem, and the sane vampires will have to take action against the insane vampires. If your boss is on the wrong side, perhaps you should try and talk with a (more) sane vampire. If you're lucky, you will still be alive when the dust settles. If you're very lucky, your new boss will be a very sexy vampire who doesn't bite too much.
  • Try and make sure that your boss doesn't eat in public. Same reasoning, same consequences. Unless a little bite is quite survivable. Then you need to find dozens of "victims" who live long lives thereafter, with a thick wad of money as a token of gratitude. It would still be possible that the boss is a more messy eater in private, but that's behind closed curtains.
  • Try and discourage systematic looks at serial killers and cold cases, especially if the victims were from the lower classes.
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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting point of view. Thanks ^-^ $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Aug 8 '16 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ I'd be cautious for the "there are good vampires and bad vampires" line of thinking. Just take how well that narrative goes over for radical Muslims and police officers in the US; it's not a very strong emotional argument. $\endgroup$ – Nex Terren Aug 8 '16 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ @NexTerren Good point. Too many would argue that if you 'kill all vampires, there'd be no bad ones for the good ones to fight'. $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Aug 8 '16 at 18:04
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    $\begingroup$ @NexTerren, sure, but if the vampire can at least try to look like Selene or Edward Cullen, that's better than conceding the public relations battle altogether. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Aug 8 '16 at 18:16
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    $\begingroup$ Make sure you pick a supernatural species that doesn't exist! You don't want to find out that there are prideful packs of werewolves after you make your boss the poster child for anti-lycanthorpy! $\endgroup$ – Hurkyl Aug 10 '16 at 11:15
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Cult-Worship/ Tit for Tat

Your main problem is convincing the wealthy/masses of the worth of these Vampires.I don't know what criteria yours follow but I'll assume they have generic Dracula prowess.

1) For the Wealthy, there are many reasons why a less than scrupulous noble would want a Vampire as a friend. As long as the Vampire limits his feedings to slaves, the nobleman would be more than happy to have such a powerful ally. Vampires are excellent spies, saboteurs, and agents of the night - a thing that makes them useful for political espionage, assassination or other things. They could even serve as bodyguards/advisors to the very wealthy Lords, advising them on magical things and world events in general due to their longevity.

2) The Masses,as the primary prey of a Vampire don't see any direct benefit from a Vampire, but could be rallied against them by some populist. In order to counteract this, a veneration system around Vampires could be in place. The public instead of treating them as predators, treats them as the vengeful manifestation of God coming to punish sinners.

If your noble is a 'divine right of kings'-type leader, he would be head over heels for this. Not only does the Vampire's service to him (as the chosen of God vindicate his decision to employ one), but it also means that his political enemies are condemned by a higher power when he sets the Vampire on them. This is absolutely brilliant for control of the masses.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good point. I figured I would need a sort of religious reasoning for that. $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Aug 8 '16 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ The Religious reasoning is for the individuals who do not receive the direct benefit from a Vampire nor have anything to offer them. Lords can treat them as essentially a member of their court. He wouldn't even have to pay him in slaves, he could just give the vampire all the miscreants, low-lifes, and political activists he wants to get rid of. If the Vampire kills 1 blood bag a month, any kingdom has many more prisoners. However, since I imagine Vampires are vastly smaller in population than nobles, they would choose to only serve the most powerful, keeping the political system in check $\endgroup$ – knowads Aug 8 '16 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ My question is why a long-lived, intelligent, and dangerous creature like a vampire isn't a noble or part of the ruling class already? A vampire can make investments and see returns over a much longer range of time than humans, and long-lived vampires would likely be very good businessmen. $\endgroup$ – Dent7777 Aug 9 '16 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ Well the type of Vampire is not specified. I'm avoiding making the Vampire himself a noble because it allieves him of many responsibilities that an effective ruler needs to undertake. Including making public appearances/ rallying the troops $\endgroup$ – knowads Aug 9 '16 at 17:27
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You might play up the living-history angle

Your vampire has seen the ages, human history and innovation (and drama, oh the drama). Ok, well those in power, and interested in getting into power, may be interested in legitimizing their status this way (especially if your vampire can be persuaded to nudge their familial histories in the correct directions). After all, nothing like a good, upstanding history, or an appropriately dramatic one, to serve as leverage and fodder in status games. As for those lower down on the social ladder, well, it can be about entertainment, or appeal to the exoticism or nostalgia of the past, giving life to stories of the exiting, romanticized periods of history - if your vampire has any skill, of course.

Depending on their scholarly inclination and personality, they might also like to play with the idea of the wisdom of past ages, playing up their very long lives and experiences to suggest they are wiser or more knowledgeable than most people. This can play into PR, again, with a good storytelling value. It can also (depending on personality and skill), also play into more substantial power struggles - advisors to the rich and titled, dispensing their hard-earned knowledge for a cost, or for the "betterment of humankind" (this is thee kind of thing a PR person has to spin). They can be chess-masters of human politics, and have people pay for the privilege - since a vampiric advisor might legitimize their social or political status.

Your vampire might wish to cultivate a reputation as an artist, or a patron of the arts - long lives means lots of time for hobbies and interests. And even if they don't happen to want to create artworks, well, some of those disposable people might have talent - give them materials and time, and keep their actual creations for a while after the maker has gone for lunch, and the overall collection might look like the collection of a serial dabbler in art, with plenty of room for artistic eccentricity, and even a source of income if they sell off older works.

And in the other direction, long lives might mean kindnesses or favors get paid forward, too - a favor done now to better their children's lives, or grandchildren's, after the favor-givers are gone. After all, if your vampire forgets, or reneges, the favor's already given, and the person to whom they were promised, already dead. But, your PR person plays up your vampire's "honor" and "loyalty", and occasionally give or seem to give favors, based on "ancestral debts", and people will be willing to offer much for the idea that they might improve their family's lot later on.

As for meals, keep it low key, offer stories about any moral alternatives (like blood donations or such), whether your vampire uses them or not, and work to give an impression that the donors survive - maybe hold blood drives (and advertise, and pay those donors handsomely), and that blood can go to a hospital or down the drain, so people aren't asking if the blood your vampire needs is related to the disappearance rate.

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  • $\begingroup$ That is quite an interesting take. I like it! $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Aug 9 '16 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Fayth85 - glad you like it! $\endgroup$ – Megha Aug 9 '16 at 1:49
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If the vampire's lifestyle is really low key, it means there is not much proof about what he's really doing.

If you have to provide him good publicity, it might mean he is known to be a vampire, but not known what he is doing, so we have to embellish that.

Start by claiming that killing people and sucking their blood is just a myth. Then go from the myth to stereotype. It's just an evil stereotype made up by some evil supremacists who can't tolerate if someone is different from them. Draw parallels about how some groups were accused of doing evil things in the past, and claim all such cases were just pretexts for oppressing them.

"We all live in the 21st century, so can you please stop being prejudicial! We should accept everyone as they are!" - this will go very well with the ideological position of most of today's media.

If you have significant funds, you can start smear campaigns against anyone who tries to bring proof about the vampire's evil deeds. There will still be a small and loud community who will hold strong anti-vampire sentiments, but you can even turn it to your own advantage: you could even post exaggerated and obviously falsifiable stories in their media, which they will eagerly believe and share, but will make them look foolish in the eyes of the rest of the world. They will be reduced to being just a fringe hate group, so no matter what proof they will come up with, they will not be believed.

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    $\begingroup$ Making some actual blood purists exterminate some vampires you don't need would serve a double purpose: removes representatives of some trait, allowing you to skew vampire community to the opposite way, while also giving you grounds to talk about actusl genocide of your people. $\endgroup$ – Daerdemandt Aug 9 '16 at 15:56
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FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLIC RELEASE:

Today, Dr. I. Ping Feng, at a press conference at City Hall, has renewed his call for the Mayor to take action against the scourge of untamed, rabid, infectious werewolves. These beasts are not human, but an uncontrolled danger to society. They have no control over when they change, what damage they cause to the city, nor who they bite and doom to a similar bestial life. Further, their hairy and sweaty nature is a blight on public transportation, and discourages tourists.

In response to questions, Dr. Feng indicated that the Mayor casting aspersions on vampires was understandable but misguided. Vampires, Feng noted, are in complete control of their actions, are wildly popular at night clubs, boost the economic fortunes of the city with their investments from centuries-old wealth reserves. They have the best interests of the city at heart, unlike werewolves who'd rather the whole thing be burned to the ground and reclaimed by the forest.

He closed by suggesting that a modest redistribution of city funds towards wolfsbane would go a long way to cleaning up the werewolf threat, which has in particular been a threat to teens since 1985. "We must think of the children." Feng said. "The worst thing a vampire has done to a teenager is granted them youthful immortality, but werewolves have a tendency to rip them limb from limb - even werewolf survivors are cursed with hairy face acne and unstoppable rage. Can we look at the next generation in the eye if we have done nothing to stop these terrible, awful animals?"

In other news, 9 out of 10 dentists surveyed indicated they would not treat werewolves, citing difficulty and accident-insurance concerns.

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    $\begingroup$ OMG! I nearly peed from laughing so hard!! $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Aug 9 '16 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Fayth85 You must be a filthy werewolf, then. No one has ever heard of a vampire peeing themselves - in fact, it's impossible since they don't have a working digestive system. Now, if I could direct your attention to the skyrocketing budget costs of the city's Park and Recreation department? Apparently cleaning up after public canine urination is yet another burden werewolves are placing on our civic infrastructure. They must be stopped. $\endgroup$ – Nathaniel Ford Aug 9 '16 at 22:41
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Assuming that vampires have already come out of the coffin in this world, get a vampire assigned to every emergency response vehicle in the city. They are there to provide optional death avoidance to any accident victims who cannot be saved any other way. Bringing over the injured and saving them from death, not only fills a vampire's stomach, it turns that vampire into a hero.

It should only take a short time until one of your assigned vamps gets lucky and saves a child or wife of one of the upper class. Now the power brokering can begin; slowly infiltrating the upper class and educating them to your needs either by persuasion or conversion. In no time, you will have new vampires (who share your needs and point of view) or vampire sympathizer (who just wants to stay alive), sitting in every seat of power in the city.

From there, your problems are solved.

The upper class won't be talking about you because they are you.

The middle class won't be trying to become upper class any more because they don't want to be dead.

The lower class is still so busy working that they haven't yet noticed that a change of management has occurred.

Let the feast begin!

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It depends on if your vampire has come out of the coffin, as it were. From the question, it appears that the public at large does know of the existence of vampires, even if they may not know exactly who it is.
In that case, I would suggest Batman. Your vampire acts as a vigilante targeting violent crime in the streets, feeding on the perpetrators. The lower classes will love him, provided he doesn't cause collateral damage, since the police aren't going to make much effort on crimes in slums or among street people. The middle class looks down on the lower class and envy the upper class: a couple of thugs getting killed while committing a crime? Well, they had it coming. You only need to ensure the proper spin on each story as soon as it comes out, and they'll stay quiet.
The upper class will be the biggest threat. These are the people with money to burn, if they want to go after something or someone they dislike. One socialite, whose dog was drained dry a few years ago; one right-wing born-again, religious nut, who believes it his God-given duty to slay the demon, even if he kills more people in the process than the vampire would; a mobster/bureaucrat/Jack D. Ripper type who feels threatened Re: his precious bodily fluids; any one will be a threat to your vampire, especially, as they have the contacts and the money to actually do harm. These are the people you have to neutralize, without your boss paying them a visit.
To counter these people, your vampire needs to project himself as one of them--shouldn't be too hard. Market him as "an eternal champion of the city" maintaining order throughout the ages at personal risk, even though he could live a comfortable (after)life without the effort (and keeping the unwashed masses in their place through the direct application of violence ;)). In any interaction with this class, have him present himself, as a sophisticated, well-read individual, somewhat eccentric but with a proper wardrobe. Think golden age or Batman '66, rather than Burton.
Conversely, when interacting with a lower class, the vampire needs to present himself as the protector of the powerless from those with power. Here, you can go for the scary, unapproachable look, within limits, of course; no reason to terrify the people you're claiming to protect. Like a good politician, he must be all things to all people.
Honestly though, he'd find it a lot easier if he were a she and good looking. People forgive a pretty face more than a monstrous (or even average) one. If your boss is a bit on the negative photogenic side, being a vampire and all, get him a mask. Use the fact that he doesn't show on a mirror (and so, presumably, a camera) to add to his mystique. A touch of the Shadow would probably help, and appeal to your boss' sense of drama at the same time.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting take. I like the dark fantasy references, too ^_^ But a vampiric batman is a bit much :P $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Aug 9 '16 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Fayth85: besides DC has already done vampire Batman. I kid you not. $\endgroup$ – Steve Jessop Aug 9 '16 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveJessop "I'll take factoids I didn't know for 200." $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Aug 9 '16 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Fayth85: More of a Batman-like vampire,actually. $\endgroup$ – nzaman Aug 9 '16 at 13:41
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Teach him to play guitar...

Seriously, he doesn't even need to play particularly well, just enough to give a convincing stage performance. Hire a really talented band to back him up and do the studio recording. Pay off a few radio DJs and promoters and your problem is solved.

In a few easy steps you've taken your boss from monster to rock star. People expect rock stars to be a little dark and eccentric. They put up with their excesses and expect wild behavior.

Not to mention that your boss also gets a steady stream of juvenile delinquent groupies to feed on... "Angsty teenage rock fans run away from home all the time, nothing to worry about, I'm sure they'll turn up."

And a constant touring lifestyle keeps the bodies from piling up in one place.

If anyone gets too suspicious convince him to do a few public service announcements about the "growing problem of teen suicide, pregnancy, drug abuse, or whatever" just a little something to keep the moral outrage directed somewhere else.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is sadly quite true. Never thought of that. Thanks ^_^ $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Jun 3 '17 at 17:32
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There is no need to imagine because that already happened. Stephenie Meyer was hired some time before 2005 to write a series of novels portraying vampires in good light, and even several films were produced after those novels. Undoubtedly, it worked and it's clear that vampires reputation is a lot better than it had been after Nosferatu.

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Vampires as humanity's protectors

Vampires are the one type of supernatural that needs to protect humanity. Without humans vampires can't survive.

If vampires are already known to exist, make it well known that any threat to humanity as a whole is a threat to vampires.

This is a two way publicity job. While producing articles about threats to humanity that could wipe out humanity for the humans, make sure they are presented to the vampires as well. If they weren't long term thinkers, they probably wouldn't still be around. Once the vampires start working on solutions and prevention methods, publicize that.

Is some idiot in New England trying to summon an Old One again? Get a film crew there to watch the vampires end that threat with enthusiasm.

Is there a possible pandemic out there? Show what the vampires are doing to detect and stop it.

Is there an asteroid out there with Earth's name on it? Show how the vampires plan prevent the extinction of humanity.

Once you get vampires to see that it is in there best interest to be on top of these things, they will take it from there. Then it is just a matter of getting press coverage.

Vampirism as an Achievable Goal

You to can become immortal if you qualify!

You have to set some high standards because every vampire created is a burden on the population as a whole.

This can be done using the cult method; the "inner, inner, inner circle" get the bite. Have hoops to jump through and training and tests that people have to pass to reach higher ranks. Only those who are hand picked will, of course, reach that innermost circle. Look at Scientology for a good model of this.

Another method that is a bit more open is to have a truly merit based system. Set it up so that 1 out of 100 nobles can qualify, 1 out of 100,000 middle class people can qualify and 1 out of 1,000,000 lower class people can qualify. The criteria for each class can be different.

Do Vampires need to Kill to feed?

If the answer is yes, my second option will take much more spin to implement. However, there are always people who allow bad things to happen to other people (NAZI Germany, anyone?). So it still might work.

If the answer is no, the first option or a combination of the two becomes really easy. You can probably even get people to compete to become donors.

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