Tag Archives: SWOT analysis

If I were the CEO of CNN… (Part 2)

In yesterday’s post (Part 1), I went down a bit of a tangent and really focused on CNN’s potential to become the “go-to” network for fact-checking. Today, I wanted to revisit the idea of being the CEO of CNN and take a closer look at CNN from a strategic standpoint.

Yesterday, I mentioned that one of CNN’s resources was its plethora of international journalists. This is certainly something that needs to be considered when developing a new strategy for CNN. Although, also as I said yesterday, Americans are known for not caring about what’s going on in the world.

Another one of CNN’s resources (intangible, mind you) is their brand. I couldn’t find any hard data, but my guess is that CNN has a better reputation for reporting impartial and accurate news than MSNBC or Fox News. (Aside from some slip-ups, of course.)

As some critics have said, CNN grew in popularity when it was showcasing, “hard-hitting investigative reporting.” One could postulate that this strength grew out of the two resources above. By having lots of international journalists, they’re able to report on the day-to-day news, while still researching/developing investigative reports. Similarly, their brand equity gives them an “in” because people around the world recognize CNN as a news organization that is watched by many people. As a result, someone may be more likely to tell CNN their story.

When examined from this perspective, it certainly seems that this kind of reporting is one of CNN’s core competenciesWhy is it a core competency? It’s certainly a unique strength and it is embedded deep within CNN. It also allows CNN to differentiate itself from its rivals. Unfortunately, it seems that CNN has strayed from this core competency.

So, in addition to yesterday’s conclusion about CNN expanding its “fact-checking” programming, it seems that CNN would be well-served to, as some critics have said, “get back to its roots,” and bring back the hard-hitting investigative reporting that brought it brand awareness.

[Note: I’ve barely scratched the surface on the tools that one can use to analyze/develop strategy. Notably missing are things like a SWOT analysis, Porter’s 5 Forces, the BCG Matrix, McKinsey‘s 7S framework, and the list goes on. This two part-series on CNN’s strategy was meant to provide a taste into some of the things that upper-level management would need to consider when developing strategy.]


If you liked this paper/series, you might want to check out some of the other papers/series I’ve posted.

Your Goals may be SMART, but are they PURE and CLEAR, too?

If you’ve ever been to some sort of personal development seminar (or any seminar where action is called for), there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of SMART goals. That is, “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.” However, have you heard of the less often mentioned PURE and CLEAR acronyms that seem to go hand-in-hand? Maybe it’s part of the “advanced” seminar course [tongue-in-cheek].

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be at a Barnes & Noble. As I was walking through the store, there was a book about decision-making that drew my attention (I’ll have more about this book in future posts). As I thumbed through the book, there were many familiar models/theories (SWOT analysis, etc.) and one of those was SMART goals. However, as my eyes glanced over the section on SMART goals, I noticed that there were two other acronyms: PURE and CLEAR. Intriguing.

I bet your wondering what the acronyms PURE and CLEAR represent? At the time, I certainly was. Without further adieu:

PPositively Stated







EEnvironmentally Sound



Now, one could argue that some of these overlap (ethical and legal or environmentally sound and ethical), but there certainly seems to be value-added in these two additional acronyms. Though, I don’t know how much incremental value is added. If you’re someone who’s never heard of SMART goals, I would certainly stick to that model to start with. However, if you’ve heard of SMART goals (and have used this method!), then I would think about adding PURE and CLEAR to your method of goal-setting.

[Note: I couldn’t find a Wiki article on PURE and CLEAR, but I did find two resources that may prove to be useful. This first one appears to be a PPT slide in the form of a PDF with all the acronyms (including SMART). The second one appears to be a blog post from someone detailing what is meant by the acronyms for PURE and CLEAR.]