Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Dying Business 

Recently, we wrote about PR in a dying business, so it is interesting to note that the current issue of CFO magazine has a discussion of the same thing with a real example -- Blockbuster, the movie rental stores. The magazine states the PR challenge for CFOs succintly:

...finance executives in challenged industries are in a precarious position. Publicly, they must tout their companies' commitment to innovation and long-term goals. Yet instead of investing in new technology, they can become enamored of their current business model—especially if it is successful. And their unrelenting focus on shareholder value can blind them to the fact that they may be facing a Waterloo moment.

The article also examines the collapse of the typewriter business and the imminent demise of the check printing business. The article stresses that no one knows the outcomes of business choices to avoid death.

So how does one do PR in circumstances like this? Every one of these companies had or has PR help. In Blockbuster's case, the CEO and CFO made a decision to let the firm be featured in the story. That was a gutsy move, but the point of the company's presence is to tell shareholders that Blockbuster is aware of its challenges and not sitting back.

I would like to think that PR counsel helped shape their decision. It was a risk to participate but a considered one, and it faces squarely the future of the firm.

That's good PR, it seems to me.


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