It’s a Dog’s Life

“When I die, I want to come back as your dog,” is a compliment often paid to dog owners who spoil their dogs with a lavish lifestyle that is anything but a dog’s life. And we humans tend to have more than one dog in our lifetimes. Both reincarnation and the role that dogs play in our lives are the subjects of a recent movie, A Dog’s Purpose that has been met with surprising controversy.

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The movie that intended to display the unique love we share with our dogs was targeted in an excerpt of a German Shepherd appearing to be forced into rushing water despite the dog’s reticence. Members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) the largest animal rights organization in the world and animal lovers alike reacted by dragging A Dog’s Purpose under rushing waters of criticism leaving the filmmakers in a fight to stay afloat. The conveniently-timed video release forced the studio to cancel the press junket and premiere prior to releasing A Dog’s Purpose in more than 3,000 locations following PETA’s urging of a boycott on social media.

In an attempt to regain the trust of the public, Dennis Quaid, the star of the film, expressed on NBC’s “Today” Show that the video was manipulated and spliced to look as if the dog was being abused. The presence of the American Humane Association during the filming of this scene was offered as defense that the dog could not have been abused. The AHA responded by saying that the video was “misleading and edited.”

Both parties, the filmmakers and protesters alike, used the media to advantage in a battle attempting to defend or destroy the film and their points of view.

Despite the activists’ attempts to drown the film and perhaps, unintended publicity,  A Dog’s Purpose was able to tread water and broke the 18.4 million dollar mark as the #2 movie in its debut weekend. Decide for yourself!

Serving Up Good Sportsmanship

The 2014 U.S. Open finished September 8 with Croacia’s Marin Cilic beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori. While the win was a huge feat for both Mr. Cilic and his home country, the big story is that neither #1 ranked Novak Djokovic nor #2 ranked Roger Federer were part of this year’s tennis final. Becoming a top world-ranked athlete is no easy accomplishment, and one that often grows athletes egos as much as their popularity. However, when Mr. Federer was interviewed after losing to #14 ranked Mr. Cilic, he showed impressive sportsmanship in the face of defeat.

    “It’s fairly simple, I think. Marin played great and I maybe didn’t catch my best day. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.”


Mr. Federer could have made excuses as to why he didn’t win, but instead gave a soundbite that didn’t require media training. He kept it positive and to the point. This loss came after an earlier upset where #10-seeded Mr. Nishikori beat Mr. Djokovic. When questioned about the underdogs taking the finals, Mr. Federer looked to the future.

“It’s exciting for the game to have different faces from time to time. It’s definitely refreshing to some extent. It’s big for Croatia; it’s big for Japan.” He continued, “Everybody who gets to this stage of this kind of a competition deserves to be there because they have put in the work and they hoped for the break, and this is it for both of them.”

 Mr. Federer was not given a break from the hard-hitting questions. A passionate anti-doping advocate, he was asked about the doping suspension that barred Mr. Cilic from last year’s U.S. Open. He addressed the difficult question by stating,

“I don’t quite remember what the circumstances were, but I feel more bad for him than anything else. When I see him, it doesn’t cross my mind in any way.”

While he may have felt defeated, Mr. Federer didn’t show it and kept his cool when dealing with tricky questions. He kept the interview positive and bridged from his loss to the future of tennis. It’s not always as easy as it looks, but that’s why tennis begins with Love all!






Bridge Over Troubled Waters

In their classic hit, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Simon and Garfunkel offer a message to Cameron Diaz: Take the high road, not the bait!

Acknowledge the interview question then bridge to the answer you’ve come to give.

Anyone can fall prey to media mistakes if she hasn’t had media coaching, and the typically well-mannered romcom actress, Cameron Diaz, is no exception. Making the rounds to promote her new movie, Sony Pictures’ Sex Tape, the A-list star recently called into the popular Australian radio talk show, hosted by Kyle and Jackie O.


Cameron Diaz

But when Kyle made a snide comment about Drew Barrymore, the actress’ best friend, Ms. Diaz lost sight of her goal. Kyle said, “Let’s hope she (Ms. Diaz’s daughter in the movie) misses out on the Drew Barrymore drug years, because those were a great thing to watch, but not so good to be in, I’d imagine.” Instead of acknowledging the comment with a simple, “I’d imagine” and bridging back to her movie, Ms. Diaz reacted and replied defensively, “I’m sure, Kyle, you’ve never been through a drug phase, have you? Or alcoholism or anything like that? Pretty clean; always did it right? Congratulations.”

When Kyle went on to say, “But I’m friends with Benji,” referring to Benji Madden, the rumored boyfriend of the notoriously-private Ms. Diaz, she decided to cut the radio interview short, hanging up on the broadcasters and their listeners.

With expert media training, stars and executives alike discover the answers to bridge to and practice bridging. Letting the cheeky interviewer bait her to anger, became the story instead of the movie, which was Ms. Diaz’s purpose in accepting the promotional media opportunity.