Monday, January 14, 2008

Recognition Marketing - Beware The Circular Firing Squad

Think About The Consequences Of Your Actions Before You Act

By David Miranda

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) are in the umpteenth week of their strike against the entertainment establishment. FYI, they are striking for understandable and substantive reasons - getting a piece of the pie for their work that is being sold through new distribution channels, i.e. the internet, podcasts, etc.

No one, on either side of this dispute, could have imagined that this would have gone unresolved for so long. The result? Production of affected television shows have been halted and, most recently, the annual Golden Globes awards show was cancelled. The upcoming Oscars are also threatened. Some shows like David Letterman's, Jay Leno's, Jimmy Kimmel's, and Bill Maher's have come back on the air in recent weeks by either making a special deal with the union or deciding not to use union writers.

Here's the issue.

Audiences for television and film are already harder to get. The distribution marketplace has already changed forever with more and more alternatives available to consumers.

The WGA and the establishment are participating in a circular firing squad, i.e. shooting themselves to make a point. The consumer public could care less about this squabble between the haves and the have mores. They just want entertainment - and will find it elswhere if pushed.

Hasn't anyone learned from the costly lessons learned from the past strikes in professional sports such as the NFL, NHL, and MLB? These respective strikes caused audience resentment on a major scale and it took a long time for these sports to recover.

Such will be the case in the world of entertainment.

The leaders on both sides who let this get to this point should be vilified considering the incredible amounts of money that is being lost across the entertainment ecosystem. They are myopic and ego-centric to surmise that this dispute is worth alienating audiences. The writers produce exploitable intellectual property and should be compensated. The entertainment establishment who capitalize the industry deserve a reasonable return. The public deserves not to be caught in the middle of this resolvable matter.

Hard lesson to be learned here by both sides? Fix it quick or the marketplace will find new ways to invest its leisure time and dollars?

Recognize the problem. Discover a solution.

Remember its "ready, aim, fire", not "fire, ready, aim".