Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about the movie “Up in the Air” (the one with George Clooney, not the curmudgeon in the floating house). While I don’t necessarily agree with Bruce Wayne’s (aka George Clooney) isolationist and “pre-portioned” lifestyle, I can appreciate the Zen-like tranquility that accompanies a life that fits either under your chair or in an overhead compartment.
In the movie, Up in the Air, Danny Ocean’s character, Ryan Bingham, struggles with the threat of losing his solitary ways for a permanently grounded existence. Opting for a more cost-effective (and environmentally friendly) approach, his corporate downsizing firm decides to implement a new video-conferencing employee termination process that would eliminate the need for air miles, pre-portioned meals, and security checks. The interaction, which can be done from a partitioned square in an Omaha office ranch, forces Seth Gecko to defend the human element his job provides during the indelicate and emotionally tumultuous process.
Well, the same could be said about media tours, kind of. They’re not always easy to line up, nor are they always cheap, but when everything does come together your clients will be rewarded with a much more potent and authentic relationship. See over the last few weeks, I’ve done a bit of traveling (check my @Uppward if you don’t believe me) for our clients, Vivisimo and Dwolla, helping orchestrate and facilitate several media tours. This marathon of interviews and meetings created vital touch points with the media, building credibility with journalists and thought-leaders with each handshake.
As PR practitioners, our job is to ultimately refine those conversations and create added value for both parties in those interactions. We do this by studying the competitive landscape, extracting industry insights, and, most importantly, empowering your client with the knowledge to resonate with a writer or a producer. In doing so, we justify the human element, much like Captain Billy Tyne was trying to do in “Up in the Air.”
Note: $10 Amici Gift card to the first one that can list the corresponding movies of the 4 George Clooney characters mentioned in the post (e.g. George Clooney played Everett in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?).