Title: Jerry Maguire
Production Company: Gracie Films
Writer, Producer and Director: Cameron Crowe
Reviewer: Olutayo Irantiola
“Am gonna take my one client and we gonna go all the way”- Jerry Maguire
As a Public Relations Consultant, I have discovered that some agencies have offices for Client Service Consultant, as they are expected to interface directly with the client. This is who Jerry Maguire was in the movie. He was a top shot at a Sport Management International, SMI, where 33 agents were working with most finetuned 1685 athletes across the States. Out of this figure, he personally manages 72 clients and receives not less than 264 calls in a day.
Along the line, he got tired of this drudgery and he decided to take care of other important things which he documented in a memo of about 25 pages and this got him fired. This he had to step up his game in stating up an agency where he can manage sporting talents. The started speaking to his clients, if they would pitch their tent with him, interestingly, he got one, Rod Tidwell, a baseball player, who said-
“I like you,
My wife likes you,
I will stay with you!”
Tidwell is an example of a very demanding client, he believed Jerry was not projecting him so well and this is hindering him from getting the money. Similarly, this has not made him get any endorsement from Reebok; Nike; Pepsi and other sport equipment manufacturers. According to Tidwell, ‘nobody gives a damn about me.”
Over time, their relationship transformed from mere professional associates to family friends. Jerry started seeking his opinion towards his relationship with a single Mom, Dorothy Boyd, a colleague at SMI that believed in his ability and she left SMI with him to start up the new agency. Later on, Jerry too asked Rod if they were friends, when he got an affirmative response, he told him to stop being …a pay cheque player, play with your heart and not your head, play the game from your heart.
There are some cogent lessons to take from the movie as a whole- PR isn’t cheap. This is a message that needs to be passed to all Consultants, we should not price ourselves cheaply because of the economic downturn amongst others.
Pitching is a great skill that needs to be learnt by all PR Consultants, if you can’t pitch, you won’t get anywhere. You pitch your client to other brands and pitch your client to the media. The conviction of Jerry made him say, “I will not rest or sleep until that happens.”
Jerry was also seen prepping his client on what to say to the media; he carried the brand with all sense of gusto, he spoke for his clients, he negotiated well on their behalf and he was a well-behaved agent, despite the fact that he was broke, he worked for free. He mentioned to Rod, “when they call you shrimp, I am the one who defends you.” He is not a lawyer but an adept Public Relations Consultant.
At the end, a challenge was thrown out to PR Consultants either working with an agency or working for self, Bob Sugar worked against Jerry Maguire in order to keep clients for SMI when the latter was also struggling to stay afloat. At the end of the movie, the only client of Jerry won while Bob was asked by his client, “why don’t we have that kind of relationship?”. To buttress this fact, Dicky Fox, in the movie said, “the key to this business is personal relationships.” We need to learn how to build better personal relationships.
Jerry teaches perseverance and commitment to excellent client service which ultimately led him to reap tremendous benefit from just one client who just made 11.2 million dollars.
Enjoy the thriller-