Have you ever been watching your favorite TV show at home, surrounded by popcorn and wine, squirming on your couch because you want to reach through the TV to shake the main character and help him or her through their latest drama? Well, that’s my typical Thursday night.
Most Thursdays, I want to snap them out of their poor romantic decisions. But lately, I’ve also wanted to call them up and offer FLIRT’s expertise in the corporate communications world.
Find my analysis of some of my favorite TV shows and movies below!
Revenge – Daniel Grayson & Grayson Global
I feel for Daniel Grayson, I do. He’s been cursed with manipulative parents that he can’t escape and a company that’s seconds away from destruction if he upsets the Americon Initiative in any way. I was really rooting for the guy when he took his dad’s CEO position but watching him manage Grayson Global since then has been an absolute nightmare. His hostile acquisition of Nolcorp, alienating Nolan Ross, tech genius and constant comedic relief? His not-so-secret vendetta against Aiden Mathis, adorable crime-fighter-turned-businessman? Not smart to make enemies with these potentially awesome allies in your first year of leadership, Daniel. FLIRT could’ve been a strategic consultant while you transitioned into the fearless leader of a flailing global corporation. I know how hard it is not to think with your emotions, which is why it’s key to recruit an objective perspective with no personal investments in the company.
Oh, Juliette Barnes – talk about another doomed character. She’s fiercely independent due to her family past and unrivaled determination for musical success but goodness, she is awful to her band and crew. This may not be a typical corporate communications example – but in terms of keeping employees happy and loyal, she is failing miserably. She causes her kind-hearted manager to quit; she pushes Deacon away (one of her only friends and Band Leader); and she consistently mistreats her assistant. Juliette is breaking so many rules of good employee engagement, I don’t even know where to start!
SMASH – all Bombshell executives
RIP SMASH. I will truly miss you next fall since ABC didn’t see your potential and cancelled you. However, I will not miss the antics of the executives managing Bombshell. What a trainwreck! You have Producer Eileen Rand with all sorts of financial issues – thanks to lovers, old and new. You have Derek Wills, Director and Choreographer, in love or obsessed with both potential Marilyn Monroe stars. You have Karen Cartwright, the lead of the show, getting recruited by another up-and-coming musical production. You have Julia and Tom, the writing duo behind the catchy songs and storyline, fighting over the rights to their next big hit. And yet, with all of this commotion, I never once saw these musical visionaries communicate with their cast and crew. Big no-no in FLIRT’s eyes. Crises will happen, that’s show business. But we strongly believe that management should always communicate openly and honestly. I would have recommended a daily newsletter to help cast members keep up with all this drama…
Mad Men – Sterling Cooper Draper Price Cutler Gleason & Chaough merger
We felt the need to dedicate an entirely separate blog post to Don Draper and these poor advertising executives.
Sleeping Beauty – King Stefan & his kingdom
This is my favorite Disney movie, hands down – I named my childhood cat after Princess Aurora (aka Briar Rose). But every time I watched the movie, even from a young age, I was all sorts of confused about King Stefan’s choices. First, he bans all spinning wheels from the kingdom. I get it, he’s protecting his daughter, but isn’t there a whole kingdom out there that just may need one of these? Then, he secretly sends his daughter to wooded seclusion, under the protection of three bright-eyed-and-clothed fairies – wouldn’t the kingdom be a little worried about a missing princess? Finally, after Princess Aurora has fallen asleep under the dark spell, the king allows the fairies to put the entire kingdom in a deep sleep until she awakes. What?! I’d really like to have a chat with Mr. Stefan about making decisions on behalf of his “people.” Generally speaking, that is not a great leadership philosophy and he needs to consider his kingdom’s needs and priorities in addition to his and his family’s.
Everyone loves this romantic comedy – guys are no exception. And it’s a traditional tale of a boss whose employees are simultaneously terrified and in awe of her. Sandra Bullock does a great job (no surprise) playing Margaret Tate, an Editor in Chief with a hard exterior protecting a sensitive side. Andrew Paxton (the charming Ryan Reynolds) has been her assistant at her beck and call for years, patiently awaiting a promotion to Editor. I have to ask – where is company leadership instilling policies about promotions? We see them break the news to Margaret of her potential deportation, but I would’ve really liked to see them step up for Andrew for his loyalty and efforts. We’ve found that employees without support or goals are not happy in their jobs and won’t stick around. And what company doesn’t like a high retention rate? As the story goes, Margaret and Andrew fall in love, Andrew gets his promotion and they live happily ever after. But the schmuck had to endure quite a bit to get there.
Do you feel the same about some of your favorite fictional characters? Tell us who could have used corporate communications support that we forgot!
Creative concept inspired by LearnVest’s “7 Fictional Characters Who Could Have Used Life Insurance,” one of my favorite financial resources. Check them out!