Dr. Price Pritchett still displays hints of his West Texas roots in the cowboy boots that he wears to his offices on casual Friday. After growing up on a family farm about 80 miles south of Amarillo, Pritchett went on to earn a Ph.D in psychology from Texas Tech University and for years has been a leading authority on mergers and organizational change.
Since founding Dallas-based PRITCHETT LP in 1974, Pritchett has become one of the world’s best-selling business authors while nearly 90 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies have turned to Pritchett’s firm for consulting, training, and publications. He has sold millions of books and handbooks and has served as a consultant on some of the world’s largest mergers.
Nearly 90 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies have turned to Pritchett’s firm for consulting, training, and publications.
Now, at 74, Pritchett is introducing what his firm calls a “breakthrough” messaging concept tailored to the hurry-up world of Twitter and Instagram. Called Clips, the program consists of 60-second coaching videos designed to drive “self-directed change” for businesses and individuals.
The messaging program is being marketed as a new-generation tool for companies to reshape management initiatives, instill core values, launch new products, motivate employees, and deepen leadership skills. Per-person subscriptions for two emailed videos a week are $9.95 monthly or $80 for six months.
We caught up with Pritchett recently as he was preparing to head back out to the family farm for a visit with his 99-year-old dad. Here are some excerpts of what he had to say about his new product and why he introduced it.
Where did the idea come from? Why did you think the concept of Clips was needed?
PRITCHETT: “I’ll give you a little back story. We have had our own publishing company inside my company ever since the mid-1980s. And the way it started, we started a handbook line, if you think CliffsNotes for business, that’s what these handbooks were like. We got over 20 million of our handbooks out there across the planet. Companies would buy these by the hundreds, or by the thousands. They were very, very tightly crafted messages. But in the past 10 or 15 or 20 years, the world has changed so much in terms of the noise level and people’s attention span and people just don’t read like they used to. You’ve got to be more entertaining. They like video and they want it fast, short — funny if possible — and moving. We had to go to today’s audience requirements.”
How would you describe the format?
PRITCHETT: “It’s kind of like a marriage of Facebook and Twitter. This is the hardest writing I’ve ever done … to compress down a message that one, will capture attention, two, will entertain, three, will make a crystal clear point, and be memorable. It’s like 60 seconds, about 12 sentences, and one key takeaway idea that sticks in the brain.”
Are all the videos the same length?
PRITCHETT: “Most of them are right about 60 seconds. We’ll have a few that are shorter now and then — again just to not be predictable — and we’ll occasionally have one that’ll run a few seconds over a minute, but that’s our target zone.”
How will the videos be distributed?
PRITCHETT: “It could be any of your devices. It could be an iPad, it could be a desktop computer, it could be your phone, a tablet, but it will come via an email.“
What can subscribers expect to see when the videos arrive?
PRITCHETT: “The clips vary greatly from one to the next because we want to keep people off balance. We don’t want them to kind of get into an expectation of, ‘Oh well, I know what this is going to be.” And so whether it’s the music, whether it’s the video, or the narrative message, it’s all about self-directed change.”
Do you plan any unusual features, like an occasional celebrity?
PRITCHETT: “We haven’t yet. Now what we have done is develop a custom clip when we’re launching a program with a company. We will launch often times with the CEO delivering a message ideally that we’ve crafted and we’ve produced.“
Who produces these for you?
PRITCHETT: “We produce them here (at his firm’s offices in Campbell Centre in Dallas). We’ve got our own design and production crew. Our expertise is messaging. I got a Ph.D in psychology so we know people, we know human behavior, we know learning theory, we know today’s audience, and we know the noise level that we’re going up against and what it takes to penetrate that.”
At what stage are you in the marketing process?
PRITCHETT: “We are in the launch stage. It’s been in development for the past two years. To our knowledge, there’s nothing quite like it out there on the market. It’s just a different animal.”
Can you hang on to videos and watch them over and over?
PRITCHETT: “Excellent question. You get the clip and it stays there until the next one comes, and then the one prior is gone.
That’s very deliberate because we don’t want people saying I’ll get back to that, binge-watching, or never coming back at all. [As] part of the engineering behind this, say you’ve got an organization of 5,000 people and they’re going through a merger, and there’s all kinds of upheaval. There are some key messages you need to get out to your people. You want everybody getting the same message more or less at the same time. You want it synced because we’re timing this message knowing full well what kind of stress points there are at that point in a time line of the merger. It’s very deliberate.”
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