Electric Impulse Communications, Inc. Newsletter

April 2006

  1. Who Said It?
  2. Mishmash of Value:
    1. Movie Messages with Clarity
    2. C-Level Communicators with Clarity
  3. April Case Study
  4. Live and On TV
  5. Answer

I. Who Said It?

What lesson did I learn from Macy's this month? (Abswer at bottom of newsletter)

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II. Mishmash of Value:

A. Movie Messages
1. Walk the Line

Though not a big country western fan, I finally acquiesced in see Walk the Line. There was one scene that stood out for me. Johnny Cash sold door-to-door by day, and rehearsed by night. Finally, he cornered a music exec to listen to him and his two mechanic-by-day band members. Halfway into a song, the music exec stopped him. The song he claimed, while original sounded like every other country western crooner. Then he asked him a life-changing question.

If you were hit by a car and had three or four minutes to sing one last song, what would you sing?

Johnny Cash hesitated for a moment. He then sang a song he had written while in the service but had only played for himself. That song got him his first contract, and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Lesson Learned:

We all have a unique contribution to make. Sometimes it gets drowned in political and cultural correctness. If you had three minutes to tell your story, what would you want to say? Would you pass the 3 minute test?

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2. Max

This is a little known movie categorized as a historical drama-a-tale or a historical fable. It is not for the faint of heart or conviction. The story begins in Germany at the end of the First World War. A Jewish art gallery owner befriends an aspiring young artist and fellow war veteran, Adolf Hitler. The Hitler character tries unsuccessfully to be a painter. The art gallery owner says to him in an attempt to encourage him to find his own artist's voice, "It doesn't have to be beautiful and it doesn't have to be good, it just has to be real."

Lesson Learned:

Is your work the real you? Can you unleash the real value you have to offer? What would you say or do if you were not afraid of failure?

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B. Corporate Communicators
1. Air Tran

The CEO of Air Tran spoke at the Akron Roundtable as has been widely reported in the news. From the perspective of a presenter he was effective. Why? Because he was successful in the three broad categories every speaker has to master: organization, substance, and delivery. He organized his speech in a way an audience could both follow and remember. He used both "fat" and "skinny," he told stories, used statistics, connected the dots and made it easy for me to remember his specific message.

He delivered his speech adequately. Would 1000 soldiers have marched after hearing it? Probably not. That was not his mission. His mission in the "fat" of things was to sell Air Tran. And he did.

His last line was, the next time you travel I hope you will consider using Air Tran.

Lesson Learned:

Everyone sells. A speech with a call for action is a sales speech. A CEO standing in front of 500 audience members calling for action is no different from the salesman standing in front of one buyer. When an unorthodox move works it's called gutsy. When it doesn't work it's called stupid.

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2. Chevy Equinox

Through AMA I had the opportunity to hear the woman who directed the marketing campaign to introduce the Chevy Equinox. Although I would have preferred less words on her PowerPoint, the message was loud and clear. We learned about the value of a cultural anthropologist in selecting a name, characteristics Equinox buyers have in common, and the working connection between production and marketing that must take place throughout the whole process to produce a success.

Lesson Learned:

Build it and they will come no longer works. Build it poorly, like the Aztec, and you will market it poorly. Craft the right product and match it to a successful campaign, and you can hit your sales numbers right out of the gate.

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III. April Case Study:

This Month's Case Study
A real life Electric Impulse, Inc. experience. What can you learn?

Situation: Executive receiving award, and was required to speak. Award being given for leadership and vision. Obviously a capable leader. Enlisted my help in crafting and delivering a speech equal to the honor.

Process: I gave the client a framework from which to work. I coaxed the real message the client wanted to deliver. Once we agreed on the outline, client filled in narrative first draft. I edited, polished, twisted the narrative in places to bring it to life. We practiced on location with live microphone.

Results: The client went into the evening feeling prepared and confident. She was positioned to stand out and above her peers when the spotlight of her profession shined on her.

Lesson Learned:

In today's world, our professional ability is often judged by our "public ability" to communicate with clarity. We can't be great at everything. Do you know where to get help for the areas you aren't great?


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IV. Live and On TV

Upcoming Events:

Time/Warner Civic Forum TV Show
Interview with Congressman Sherrod Brown to air in May
Channel 23
Airs: Monday at 7:30 pm
Saturday 6 pm, Sunday 9 am and 6 pm

You are invited to attend:

April 18 Akron Rotary Club
Human Helicopters: Do You Hover or Soar?

April 26 Administrative Professionals
Presence Made Powerful-From Invisible to Influential

May 9 NARI
Find Your Competitive Edge

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V. Answer:

If you ask your client, customer, patient, guest, or member for their on-line opinion, then you better be sure your website has an auto-responder to thank them for their time and effort.
Macy's did not.


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