During a time when many in the public eye are letting far too much time pass before addressing rumors (you know who you are), it is refreshing to see someone get it so right. As the New York Times reported today, Conan O'Brien “sat up all night” writing a statement in response to NBC's decision to move the Tonight Show to a 12:05am start (vs the original 11:35pm start). There are three reasons I love this missive:
1) It’s clearly written. People sometimes take a perfectly good sentiment and turn it into a steaming pile of legalese, and lose all credibility (and frankly readability).
2) It’s real. It embodies all of the things we profess to love - it's transparent, accessible and authentic to the core. I especially appreciated the “hair” apology at the end… always nice to surprise a reader who makes it through to the end of your posting. ;)
3) It influenced my thinking. Because of his very clear, thoughtful argument, I came away with a very strong opinion about NBC’s decision. This is shocking mostly because a) I never watch Late Night TV unless a client is appearing and b) I’ve never really watched Conan, aside from the occasional YouTube posting sent my way.
So, to Conan O’Brian, be prepared to see your tale retold in PR and marketing trade rags all year long, as an exemplary citizen of New Media and Transparency. In fact, I also predict you will make it into the little side bar in Vanity Fair that shows whose star has risen and fallen in recent months. Kudos. You did good, and I’m rooting for you from the sidelines. GIVE ‘EM HELL CONAN.