April 26, 2011

Movie Lessons for the CEO

Dear CEO,

You know your business. You have a passion for what you do and a process for how to accomplish it.

The people you have in place are the “right ones on the bus.” You are well read and can work an iPhone or android better than most people half your age. So what’s keeping you up at night? You go to bed early and wake up early. But it isn’t on purpose. Unresolved issues shake you in the night and tire you throughout the day. It is a vicious cycle that can zap the life out of you and your organization.

You want to connect with your customer in a unique way. You not only want them to buy the product, you want them to feel like their organization and world will be a better place as a result of their partnership with your business. The connection with your customer is where the science of deliberate communication occurs. That point of contact says you understand your client and know how they consume information.  It also relays confidence in your product, messaging, team and how the “collective” integrates with the community to make our world a better place to live.

How do you become that company? Have a team come along side your organization that specializes in message development, customer relationship management, and shaping perception. Public relation firms have a proven track record of helping clients generate business results and goodwill in their respective communities.

Since you’ve seen all of the movies that come on in the middle of the night, here are a few “movie lessons” to consider when bringing on a team to help you:

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” (Gone With The Wind) Be Rhett Butler. Know who you are and what you want. Having firm goals will set the course for all of your initiatives.

“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” (The Godfather) Don Corleone can name his own price, can you? Identify a marketing budget. It will ensure nobody is wasting their time “capisce.”

“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.” (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) Take time to research perception about your company. You might be like Jessica Rabbit, looking good for all of the wrong reasons.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” (Jaws) That’s chief Martin Brody’s way of saying know when you are in over your head. In “PR” terms: you don’t need a news release, you need a strategic plan.

“You had me at ‘hello’” (Jerry Maguire). There is paralysis in analysis. Dorothy Boyd went with her gut, so should you.

“In this town I’m the leper with the most fingers.” (The Two Jakes) Jake Gittes’ advice is value integrity and be sure you have an ethical communications partner.

My best to you as you become the company that integrates with your community.



This is an excerpt from the eBook “Dear CEO”, a book edited public relations professional and business owner Gini Dietrich.  Get your copy of “Dear CEO”, some unique “c-suite” perspectives from 32 business leaders at http://www.spinsucks.com/webinars/


  • “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” (The Wizard of Oz) Like Dorothy, you may be entering an unfamiliar environment. Keep in mind cultural differences when communicating the organizational message(s).

  • “Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn” (Better Off Dead). Be prepared to be flexible as a company, should the needs of your industry or your customers change.

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