Posts Tagged ‘Waxing Unlyrical’

Play that funky music

I’ve said it before, but I’m gonna say it again: I’m a bit of a music freak.

Anytime I can take some time away (be it in business or pleasure) to jam out to a good tune or two, I’m a happy camper. It could be Marvin Gaye, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Kid Koala or a studio performance by John Legend & The Roots – I don’t care.

If it’s got a good vibe, I’m there.

There’s a lot you can learn from musicians and their music: they can help express a thought or feeling in 4 minutes or less; the right song can lift your mood on a bad day; and a band has the ability to rally an organization to an important cause with a fitting melody.

They can also help drive home an important point in business.

If you’ve seen Some Kind of Monster, Metallica may not be the first band you think of when you consider “equality,” especially since the film depicts the group in the midst of a huge crisis.

The big thing I get from the film (aside from the drama) is that, like a romantic comedy, the players emerged from that experience much stronger, closer and wiser. And in the case of Metallica, much more democratic.

And even though the funky and powerful Robert Trujillo plays the role of bassist in Metallica, he does not let it define him.

More importantly, the band does not allow Robert to be defined by this role.

As the video shows, James & Kirk didn’t shush him away when Robert started playing a six-stringer. They did quite the opposite: the other members of Metallica not only heard him play, these guys collaborated on how to ‘Metallica-lize’ it for their sound. They threw something heavy n’ hard down together with “the bass player” as partners… kinda like a real band.

Go figure.

Supervisors/Managers/Directors/VPs: we’re still in a bit of a workforce-money pinch. As a result, you’re probably piling on some additional duties to your team; they’re working longer hours and getting paid the same (or less) salary. You’re probably in the same boat: trying to wrangle new business, handle existing clients, mentor, etc. and getting weary just thinking about it. It’s not a great scenario. You know it; I know it.

Consider this: instead of allowing the ‘leader’ role to define you, why not lead with your team?

  • Just because someone works in a different group doesn’t mean that they may not add some value. Chances are, if they are eager, they may actually have something worth exploring. You can’t get fresh ideas from a burnt out team.
  • Those volunteers you’re working with may see something on the street or have a chance conversation with a friend that can shine a light in an area that (for some reason) you and your team have been missing.
  • That “kid” who just graduated from college may blurt out something that could turn the tide for a vital client. I’ve see it happen at various agencies (large and small) way more often than you may think.

Who knows… you may have a flamenco artist in your midst.

When was the last time you were jolted by a fantastic concept from an unusual source? What has been the most “surprising find” in your group?


This post was cross-posted on Waxing Unlyrical – a blog that is owned and operated by the wonderfully savvy and smart Shonali Burke.


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Filmmakers come and go – some have the staying power to make a real career out of it, while most fizzle out after a few films.  As a lead player in cinema, until you’ve earned some street cred in the business, studios and executives look for any kind of upward trend in your work – even though you were well-received in your last feature, you could very well tank (hard) in your next flick.  This is why veterans always tell newcomers that you’re only as good as your last picture. 

One filmmaker that has earned his stripes (and then some) is Martin Scorsese.  He has not only made a career out his cinematic ventures, Mr. Scorsese has made his name synonymous with brilliant movies.  And even though he’s got some interesting eccentricities like never really wanting to go to Central Park and is listed as one of 50 people barred from entering Tibet, Martin Scorsese can teach us a thing or two in PR.

Martin Scorsese is

  • a consummate student – his knowledge of films is encyclopedic and his mastery of various techniques is remarkable…the guy served a tour of duty at NYU and taught the likes of Oliver Stone and Spike Lee.  Moreover, Mr. Scorsese’s love of films has led him to establish The Film Foundation to promote the preservation and appreciation of film history.

Regardless where you may be in your career, there is ALWAYS time to learn something new in PR.  Yes, you have to stick to the basic tenets of public relations…and, yes, you have to be a strong writer…but there will always be a new way to skin that communications cat – it’s our job to find out how we can leverage their power for our company / client(s) and be smart about using these tools…wisely.

Be it from our clients, bosses, colleagues, whatever – working in PR can be a bit stressful.  There’s a lot to handle and it has to be done in a timely manner – now more than ever.  Who the heck has time to breathe…?…YOU DO.  This is not rocket science and it’s not like we’re working on a cure to end world hunger.  Yes, it’s important, and yes, there is a great deal of value that we bring to the table; but the work we do is not so imperative that you can’t take a break or get some perspective by having a laugh or two at your own expense.

  • always trying new things in his work – from directing Michael Jackson’s Bad video, to a film like The Age of Innocence and then onto Casino takes a tremendous amount of stretching…not only from the dynamics of the actors he had to work with, but from a storytelling perspective as well. 

Hold fast to the tried and true methods of communicating your ideas, both internally and externally; but explore these new social media devices that are well within your reach.  Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, CrowdCampaign – they are easy to use, manageable and effective in communicating your client’s / company’s message.


So go out there and be the ‘Good Fella’ in your PR team.  Keep refining your methods & approach… never get ‘too big for your britches’ and keep yourself in ‘sponge mode’ – there’s always more to do in the Scorsese School of PR.


This post was cross-posted on Waxing Unlyrical – a blog that is owned and operated by the very savvy and smart Shonali Burke.  I want to thank Shonali for opening up her readers to some Method + Moxie, as well as sharing some ‘real estate’ online.  I look forward to working with her again (in any capacity) in the very near future.

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