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Case Studies: T-Mobile US

Challenge

The summer of 2012, I accepted a position with T-Mobile as speechwriter and communications lead for the then-CEO. The plan was to lift the CEO’s visibility and brand—and, by extension, the company’s flagging brand. At the time, T-Mobile was adrift, losing customers and uncertain of its future after AT&T’s bid to acquire the company had been shut down.

I have a peculiar passion for fixing things. Old shoes. Tired brands. So this challenge captured my imagination. Then, days before I was scheduled to begin, I got the call that the CEO had announced he was leaving—and that I’d work with his yet-to-be-named successor.

It was a fitting start to what would turn out to one of the wildest rides of my career.

Solution

If you know something about US wireless, you know what happened next. John Legere was named the new CEO, and − under his leadership − T-Mobile achieved a historic turnaround, ignited a consumer movement and quickly became America’s fastest growing wireless company.

I was lucky enough to land at the center and at the beginning of it all. For the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of giving voice to what we like to call the Un-carrier Revolution.

It started with a document handed to John Legere for use during media interviews his first day at T-Mobile—which included the newly minted word, ‘Un-carrier.’ A little later, I wrote an event script that laid out the case for an Un-carrier in the US wireless industry. In short, Americans loved their smartphones but hated their carriers. Wireless carriers ahd become the stuff of sitcom gags. Carriers ranked right down there with cable companies and insurance agencies. And it was painfully clear why. US wireless customers needed an Un-carrier to listen and make the pain go away.

The arrogant, self-serving practices of the duopoly-driven US telecom industry were as well-documented as they were widely despised. There were the restrictive contracts, usage limits and punitive shock overages, the two-year wait on phone upgrades, the outrageous overseas charges, and on and on. The industry was ripe for disruption and innovation. All that was needed was for someone − anyone − to stand up and say ‘enough.’

In one piece, Time Magazine ran the following quote from a blog I’d ghostwritten, which captured the gist of John’s brand as the US wireless industry’s Rebel-in-Chief:

“With any big change that’s ever led to any lasting good, somebody’s got to first stand up and point out a wrong. And it doesn’t hurt if that ‘somebody’ is loud enough and brash enough that they’re hard to ignore. I can do that.”

In addition to writing blogs, letters and scripts for our now-infamous CEO, I’ve also worked behind the scenes, creating the corporate narrative and messaging strategies for T-Mobile’s Un-carrier brand. I’ve been deeply involved in the development of the company’s communication planning process, including the creation of messaging architectures and the execution of tactical plans to support T-Mobile’s strategic positioning and priorities. Part of the creative execution of this strategy has also involved writing and editing a range of senior leadership blogs, speeches and other communications, including major media events—from the Un-carrier 1.0 press event on.

As I said, it’s been one hell of a ride.

 

 

 

"T-Mobile Just Wrote the Best Press Release Ever"

"T-Mobile Writes The Best Press Release You'll Ever See From A Phone Company"

"Whoever's writing T-Mobile's press releases these days is having a lot of fun with their job...."

Experience includes ...

T-Mobile US
Microsoft | Windows Phone
Microsoft | Worldwide Marketing
Microsoft | Partner Network
The US-Japan Council
Seattle Arts & Lectures
Expedia
Drexel University
George Mason University
PhotoRocket
American College of Cardiology
Comient
Jobfully
Snackdish
Dolby
BroadSoft
American Chamber of
_
Commerce in Japan
Vodafone
The Brookings Institution
Kodak
AARP
Gateway
AIG
Lipton Teas
Mazda
De Beers
Jack Daniels
Shiseido
Ford
Howrey LLP

 


 
 

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