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When You Wish Upon A Star – A Princess PR Makeover

This weekend I went to see the latest Disney movie “The Princess And The Frog” with my friend and her daughter (I had to tag along with someone with a child so I wouldn’t look odd sitting through a “kiddie” movie, although I’ve been dying to see it !). I absolutely loved it! Not only is it a great story and message, but it’s also a great example of public relations done well.

It’s the story of an African-American young woman who has dreamed about opening a restaurant in New Orleans ever since she was a girl and her journey in making her dream a reality. Although it incorporates classic Disney themes of wishing on stars and kissing frogs with prince potential, this is not your typical Disney movie. Not only is Tiana the first African-American lead character in a Disney movie, she’s also atypical in that her dream isn’t fueled by the “I need a man to complete me” theme, but in the spirit of being her own boss! She’s not passively waiting on things to happen by just wishing on stars – she repeatedly notes that she’s making her own dreams come true through saving her money, hard work, and determination. A great message for all of us, both young and old.

Disney went to great lengths to make sure they got things right with their first African-American lead character. They sought the advice of noted African Americans and organizations such as Oprah and the NAACP.   They also researched New Orleans culture and landmarks and made last minute changes to correct inaccuracies.   http://www.nola.com/movies/index.ssf/2009/12/the_princess_and_the_frog_refl.html  Anyone in business would benefit from this example. When expanding your brand or seeking to reach a new audience, do your research, conduct focus groups and get advice from those who are in that target market. That way you can protect the integrity of your brand as well as make sure your message is received in a positive way. And that background research and work will go a lot further in making your business dreams come true than just wishing on stars!

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