Men wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him – Jerry Maguire had it all: the clients, the respect and (of course) the beautiful woman, but it is not for this reason that he is my PR hero.
Tired of working for a dishonest sports management agency, with a competitive group of arrogant, egocentric colleagues, Maguire writes a memo – sorry, a “mission statement” to improve the future of the business, and the industry as a whole.
The mission: To work with fewer clients, make less money and to become a better person in doing so. For this his colleagues initially admire him, until he is soon shown the door. No one, but his deferential secretary, chose to go with him; Maguire goes from hero to zero quicker than you can say his name.
For me, Jerry Maguire challenges the stereotype of PR and represents everything that a modern-day practitioner should be. He teaches us to be genuine, to act in the interests of our clients and to act with integrity.
As a result of being sacked, Maguire’s reputable image was lost, and he found himself competing with his former company to save his clients from their reign.
Lots of desperate phone calls later, Maguire is left with just one, rather demanding, client – Rod Tidwell. Tidwell is a character all too familiar to those in the PR industry – the “I want fame and I want it now” type, who is ever-hard to please.
Jerry Maguire – working for free – decides to put his mission statement – based upon honesty and transparency with the client – into practice, in an attempt to find his place in the world, and deliver the best service for his client.
For a man that went from everything to nothing, Maguire’s resilience to make it on his own is a lesson we can all learn from.
Through the life of Jerry Maguire, we experience the fierce and fast pace of the industry, we learn how and why we should connect with our clients on a personal level, and we are shown that you can reach the top with drive and determination.
Beyond the jokes, and the occasional crazy moment, Jerry Maguire is the story of a smart, courageous man, who tried to change the industry for the better, and it is for this reason that he is my PR hero.
Article written by Lloyd Mullis, senior account executive at agency Rampart PR
If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our twice weekly event and subscriber alerts.
Currently, every new subscriber will receive three of our favourite reports about the public relations sector.