The latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, hit U.S. theaters last weekend, setting box office records among the films in the franchise. Since the first official Bond film was released in 1962, the character has certainly evolved -- for one, he's become less of a cad -- into the version actor Daniel Craig delivers.
Many of the enduring themes of the franchise persist, and they offer some helpful -- if lighthearted -- reminders for how to promote a business.
Nail your elevator pitch, every time. How does 007 introduce himself? That's right: "Bond, James Bond." While it's curious that a spy would so willingly divulge his true identity, it's an iconic calling card for the movie character.
Do you have your calling card at the ready when you're out and about? You'll probably want to avoid simply saying your last name followed by your full name, but you should have your elevator pitch prepared for the next person who asks, "So what do you do?"
Always have the best gadgets. James Bond always has the best toys, whether it's a jet pack (otherwise known as the Bell Rocket Belt) or a deadly cell phone. Similarly, communication professionals are often on the cutting edge of tech with their smartphones, tablets, and everything in between.
If you don't have the British taxpayer (or your boss) footing the bill for your new-fangled gadgets, look to all of the free (or nearly free) social media tools available at your fingertips. Maybe you can't afford the iPhone 5, but a work computer and Internet connection can get you access to any number of useful online platforms.
Don't rely too heavily on those gadgets. Although Bond would use devices (like that deadly cell phone) to his advantage, he didn't rely on them too heavily. Instead, he leaned on his own cunning and guile.
Similarly, social media has fueled public relations and marketing, but it's not all about Twitter followers and Facebook fans. Bedrock communication skills are still important -- maybe more important -- in the digital age.
The clothes make the man (or woman). He's the sharpest dressed spy in the business -- again, prompting the question of why someone involved in the espionage trade wants to be so high-profile -- which impresses his foes and friends, alike. You should dress the part, too. It's not that you need to drop thousands on a designer clothes and accessories, but at least look sharp when you're meeting with a client.
Drink and gamble more. Don't take this the wrong way. We're not advocating vices, but instead urging everyone to get out more. Bond mingles in swanky clubs and casinos, swilling shaken martinis (or in Skyfall, a Heineken) and betting big on roulette.
It needn't be a bar or casino, but you need to step away from the computer and smartphone as often as possible and meet people for coffee, lunch, or drinks, or attend networking events. You can start relationships online, but you build them face-to-face.