Making the 'News'

This article accompanies Shock Therapy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
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Convincing a roomful of high-powered executives about anything is never easy, even with the most state-of-the-art PowerPoint presentation. Convincing them of something that isn't even factually true is nearly impossible.

That's why the folks at INSEAD, the Fontainebleau, France-based international business school, decided to produce television news-style segments to help convince the Western Union executives that their core business was under fire from rivals.

After Western Union Senior Vice President Marcus Cudina wrote down a compelling story line, INSEAD then contacted television veteran Mary Caraccioli to help bring the story to life.

"I think [business simulations are] so important because there are so many threats to businesses every day," she says.

Caraccioli -- a seasoned business reporter and an Emmy Award-winning host and executive producer -- recreated her now-defunct "Money Matters Today" show as the backdrop while she anchored the segments in a rented video-production studio.

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"I knew exactly what to do with it," Caraccioli says. "I knew the programs the executives watch, and when it came to business, I knew what they'd expect to see in a business show. My goal was to make it as authentic and disturbing as possible."

Judging from the reactions the segments got, it's safe to say she hit her target.

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