Saturday, February 5, 2011

Basic Principles: The Hitch Factor

Last night I decided to watch one of my favorite movies, Hitch. The 2005 comedy is about matchmaker Alex Hitchens’ (Will Smith) behind the scenes work to help hopeless romantic Albert Brennaman (Kevin James) win the heart of society heiress Allegra Cole. With an energetic storyline, fluid comedic timing and jazzy soundtrack, Hitch is one of the few movies I find worth watching on a yearly basis.

Fun Fact: The opening credits sequence displaying the title for the film inspired the banner for this blog.

But it was not until recently that I was able to appreciate the film for its positive, underlying inspiration for public relations and marketing professionals. So what gives a practitioner the Hitch factor?

Hitch’s own techniques focus on brand management for guys hoping to get the girl of their dreams. And no marketing strategy is successful without comprehensive research of your brand’s target audience.

For Hitch, his research involves understanding important social dating techniques to better connect those audiences and his clients. Depending on the target audience (Allegra in this instance) it is important that PR practitioners should do concentrated research to understand what key messages most interest an audience and will better connect them with a brand (Albert in this instance).

Of course, the fundamental cornerstone of Hitch’s strategy is client confidentiality and trust. Practitioners should always safeguard critical information about their clients and conduct their work in a discrete, professional manner.

“My business is 100 percent referral and thus far untraceable. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned when you orchestrate, coordinate and otherwise mess with fate, it’s best to fly under the radar.” - Hitch

Hitch understands that secrecy is an important part of public relations but he also knows that it should never override ethics and the public interest.

Strong ethical standards are always an important component to being a successful public relations practitioner. Hitch’s own moral compass is showcased often through his sense of compassion and understanding. Early on in the film, he asserts his standards and refuses to work with chauvinist Vance Munson as a client.
“Hit it and quit it is not my game.” -Hitch

Passionate PR professionals care about and protect their brands from misperception and falsehoods. Hitch does this while also emphasizing his ethical principles when he later clarifies his association with Albert to Allegra. My job is not to deceive Ms. Cole. It’s to create opportunities.” - Hitch

Promoting a brand also requires positive energy and confidence. Hitch does so with an air of savoir faire about him. He highlights this quality often through the use of constructive quotes.

“Basic principles: No matter what, no matter when, no matter who, any man has a chance to sweep any woman off her feet. He just needs the right broom.” - Hitch

“Like I always tell my clients - begin each day as if it were on purpose.” - Hitch

“Always remember, life is not the amount of breathes you take. It’s the moments that take your breath away.” - Hitch
“Never lie, steal, cheat, or drink. But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love. If you must steal, steal away from bad company. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away.” - Hitch

Did you happen to notice the recurring theme in the last two quotes? Catch phrases and slogans are an important part of marketing - even when branding your personal self. Do so eloquently and before you know it, you'll achieve the Hitch factor.
Of course, if Hitch isn't your Jerry McGuire, then maybe you and PR pro Mike Schaffer share the same role model. I hear the guy is “Legen - wait for - Dary! Legendary!”


Aisha Nailah said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It is brilliant! I love the way that you contrast the work of a great PR Pro with the creative and witty style of Hitch. Many times, we as PR experts can get stuck inside of a regulations box and often forget that a creative flair can carve miles off of our roads to success and happy clients.

Andrew M. Scott said...

Thanks, Aisha! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. And thank you for the additional words. It's true that knowledge alone will only take you so far in life. It takes a positive/innovative spirit to be successful - especially in a field that is based on communications and building relationships.

jaymiehorak said...

Yay. This was really interesting. :) I love the movie and I love seeing movies dissected. Bravo.

Pastor Bill said...

Thanks for posting this. I was researching for a sermon about how we are not to waste our lives on foolish things and came across your blog. I had forgotten some of the great lines from this movie. Thanks for putting them all in one place.

Alicia Austin said...

Thanks for the awesome post!

Alicia Austin | PR in Worcester PR