As we close out this week of President Obama’s first year and its effects on small business I wanted to offer some thoughts on what may happen in the second year. I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but I just watched a segment on CNN about Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton who wants theater owners to offer patrons healthier snacks (though I can’t think of a better movie diet than Milk Duds, red licorice, and popcorn . . . ). He’s not suggesting that we eat tubs of spinach or cauliflower (though I can see that, too), but a press release from Sony did mention baked chips, fruit, yogurt, and other more nutritious options.
What’s interesting to me is that the press release didn’t mention President Obama, but in the CNN interview Lynton was very specific in his reference to what the Obamas are trying to do to improve the health of our kids. There’s an opening right there. If the head of a major Hollywood studio is influenced in some way by what the leader of our country is doing, something that’s really not even political (though I know in some ways, somewhere the health of our children is a very political issue, but I’m talking here about future trends, new products, changing philosophies . . .).
In pubic relations, we’re always trying to read between the lines, right? That’s how disasters are often averted, correct? So take a look at this quote from the March 15, 2010 press release from Sony Pictures:
“In order to turn the tide on the obesity epidemic we are going to need to make soup to nuts changes in the number of calories we take in and the calories we actively use. Because kids are eating and foraging at home, school, sporting events and at the movies, changes are needed everywhere,” said Dr. Neal Halfon, professor of pediatrics, public health and public policy at UCLA and director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities. “We can’t expect kids to make healthy choices if they aren’t given healthy choices to make. And while this is a nationwide problem, and will require support from companies with a national stature like Sony Pictures and large theater chains, it will also depend on the ingenuity and commitment of local theater operators to make the difference in their communities.”
To me, the key phrase here is: “it will also depend on the ingenuity and commitment of local theater operators to make the difference in their communities.” Sounds a lot like an invitation to create something new and if you’ve got something new, it sure makes sense to let everyone know about it. Let’s see who else outside of the traditional political arena makes reference to a lifestyle issue as 2010 runs its course.
Thanks for reading the Obama posts this week.