On Top of PR

Going on "Undercover Boss" with Executive Producer Mike Cotton

September 16, 2020 Jason Mudd, Axia Public Relations Episode 11
On Top of PR
Going on "Undercover Boss" with Executive Producer Mike Cotton
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On Top of PR
Going on "Undercover Boss" with Executive Producer Mike Cotton
Sep 16, 2020 Episode 11
Jason Mudd, Axia Public Relations

Learn the production process for Undercover Boss and what it’s like to be on the show with our guest Mike Cotton. Cotton is an executive producer for Undercover Boss on CBS.

Guest:

Our episode guest is Mike Cotton, executive producer of Undercover Boss on CBS. Cotton has 20 years of experience working in British and American broadcast television specializing in Factual Entertainment. 

Topic:

Learn what to expect when you go on Undercover Boss.

 Five things you’ll learn from this episode: 

  1. What is the criteria for a company to appear on Undercover Boss?
  2. What Does it have to be a nationally recognized brand to go undercover?
  3. What can I expect from the upcoming season of Undercover Boss? 
  4. What is the production process for Undercover Boss? 
  5. How likely is it for an employee to recognize the undercover boss? 

Quotables

  • “I’m looking for a boss that wants to do the experience, wants to embrace the undercover opportunity, and has a specific reason they want to go undercover in the first place.” — @MikeCotton1
  • “We want to feature a diverse workforce and feature diverse bosses.” — @MikeCotton1
  • “Undercover Boss is at its best when it’s at its most real.” — @MikeCotton1
  • “What we hope from this is that bosses will learn things that will result in company-wide changes.” — @MikeCotton1
  • “I think the only mistake a boss can make coming on the episode is not giving themselves over to the process.” — @MikeCotton1

About Mike Cotton

Mike Cotton is an executive producer/showrunner with 20 years of experience working in British and American broadcast television specializing in Factual Entertainment. He is best known for his work on Emmy Award-winning Undercover Boss in the UK and the US, and BAFTA winning formats that include the UK version of The Apprentice and The Only Way is Essex. He's been responsible for creating and developing numerous award-winning television formats that have successfully sold to British, American, and international networks.

Contact info and resources:

  • Twitter: @MikeCotton1

 Additional Resources:

Presented by: ReviewMaxer, the platform for monitoring, improving, and promoting online customer reviews.

About your host Jason Mudd

On Top of PR host, Jason Mudd, is the CEO and managing partner of Axia Public Relations. He is a trusted adviser and dynamic strategist for some of America’s most admired brands. Since 1994, he's worked with American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Southern Comfort, and Verizon. He founded Axia in 2002. 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/OnTopofPR)

Show Notes Transcript

Learn the production process for Undercover Boss and what it’s like to be on the show with our guest Mike Cotton. Cotton is an executive producer for Undercover Boss on CBS.

Guest:

Our episode guest is Mike Cotton, executive producer of Undercover Boss on CBS. Cotton has 20 years of experience working in British and American broadcast television specializing in Factual Entertainment. 

Topic:

Learn what to expect when you go on Undercover Boss.

 Five things you’ll learn from this episode: 

  1. What is the criteria for a company to appear on Undercover Boss?
  2. What Does it have to be a nationally recognized brand to go undercover?
  3. What can I expect from the upcoming season of Undercover Boss? 
  4. What is the production process for Undercover Boss? 
  5. How likely is it for an employee to recognize the undercover boss? 

Quotables

  • “I’m looking for a boss that wants to do the experience, wants to embrace the undercover opportunity, and has a specific reason they want to go undercover in the first place.” — @MikeCotton1
  • “We want to feature a diverse workforce and feature diverse bosses.” — @MikeCotton1
  • “Undercover Boss is at its best when it’s at its most real.” — @MikeCotton1
  • “What we hope from this is that bosses will learn things that will result in company-wide changes.” — @MikeCotton1
  • “I think the only mistake a boss can make coming on the episode is not giving themselves over to the process.” — @MikeCotton1

About Mike Cotton

Mike Cotton is an executive producer/showrunner with 20 years of experience working in British and American broadcast television specializing in Factual Entertainment. He is best known for his work on Emmy Award-winning Undercover Boss in the UK and the US, and BAFTA winning formats that include the UK version of The Apprentice and The Only Way is Essex. He's been responsible for creating and developing numerous award-winning television formats that have successfully sold to British, American, and international networks.

Contact info and resources:

  • Twitter: @MikeCotton1

 Additional Resources:

Presented by: ReviewMaxer, the platform for monitoring, improving, and promoting online customer reviews.

About your host Jason Mudd

On Top of PR host, Jason Mudd, is the CEO and managing partner of Axia Public Relations. He is a trusted adviser and dynamic strategist for some of America’s most admired brands. Since 1994, he's worked with American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Southern Comfort, and Verizon. He founded Axia in 2002. 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/OnTopofPR)

- Hi, this is Jackson Mudd with Axia Public Relations. And on this episode of On Top Of PR, we are talking about Undercover Boss and we've got one of their executive producers and head of creative sharing inside information as to what it takes to be on Undercover Boss and what that experience is like. This is gonna be a great show, especially if you're a fan of Undercover Boss. If you're thinking about getting your boss, on Undercover Boss. If you're the boss and you wanna be on Undercover Boss, or if you're an employee working in the trenches who just senses that there needs to be some change in the organization, but you don't know how and where to start. We're gonna give all that information away in this episode of On Top of PR. So stay with us.

- [Announcer] Welcome to On Top Of PR with Jason Mudd, presented by ReviewMaxer.

- Hello, and welcome to On Top Of PR, I'm your host, Jason Mudd, and today I'm joined by Mike from Undercover Boss. Mike, welcome to the show.

- Thank you for having me.

- Mike, why don't you give us your full name, title, and your role on Undercover Boss?

- Sure, my name is Mike Cotton, I'm one of the executive producers on Undercover Boss, which we make for various different countries around the world. I'm currently based in London, but I'm an executive producer on the US version that we'll see as on CBS.

- Very nice, very nice. And so we have had the great pleasure of working with your organization for years, helping bosses get on the show, Undercover Boss, and I think our audience would be very interested in learning about the show, and the criteria, and what makes a good boss and all that good stuff. So why don't we start there? So at a high level, what is it that you're looking for on the show for a company? What's a good fit for a company? What are you looking for in a company?

- Sure. Well, I'm assuming everyone knows the show, obviously Undercover Boss, the whole idea of the show is that we take a high level executive from a well-named business and we send them incognito within their own company to discover what's really going on within their business to work alongside employees on the frontline, speak to them, hear from them, work alongside them and find out what's going on. So it's like a back to the floor experience. In terms of the businesses that we are looking for, we are looking for companies that are ideally nationally recognized brands that have million dollar plus turnovers that are companies that the viewers that watch the on CBS might recognize. But above and beyond that, I'm sort of personally, for me, I'm really looking for a boss that wants to do the experience, that wants to embrace the undercover opportunity and have a specific kind off heart for reasons for why they want to go on to cover in the first place.

- Very nice, yes. And I also know that it's important to your organization, that the boss be somebody who represents diversity. Is that still the case?

- Absolutely. I mean, hey look, yeah in the current time, of course it's very in particular, it always has been, but we want to kind of feature a diverse workforce and also feature diverse . I think, you know, as trying to find diversity within a C suite of a business. Isn't always necessarily always easiest thing, i think it should be. There should be more diversity in executive suites 

- Yes

- But yes, if we could feature a diet, you know, if it's there's diversity within our casting and I think that's brilliant.

- Yeah. Yeah. I know that that's been, as you've kind of expressed, sometimes the challenge is finding somebody who's high ranking in the organization, who meets that profile, especially when, you know, I know a season or two ago you guys were looking to find even more kind of younger and entrepreneurial bosses to go on the show and I think it's hard to find all of that criteria also with the size company that you're looking for.

- Yeah, absolutely. I think we're well aware of that or I think we're sort of the last couple of seasons where that's sort of changing. I think initially on Undercover Boss, our kind of costume , it was always companies that had got X a hundred million dollar turnover where they had X number of outlets, in X number of locations. And I think for us, we are in season 10 now of the show we've made over a hundred episodes. I think what we're looking for now is kind of, yes, we absolutely want recognizable brands and yes, we want big businesses, but more above and beyond that, what we want, I think we can forego some of those things. If we've got a boss that's a brilliant character or a boss that has a really interesting reason for why they want to go on undercover or, and has an interesting story.

- Yeah. Great, great. And you know, you're hitting on all the points, that we talk about with our clients also is, you know, you've got to have a reason that you want to go on the show and it can't just be because you want more visibility for the company and the brand.

- Yeah

- Right?

- Yeah. And ideally it's that you want to connect with the field and get in the trenches with the employees and specifically maybe, and correct me if any of this is wrong, but you also want to connect with, any changes that may have been made and you want to see them live in the field. Is that right? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think Undercover Boss, is at its best when it's at its most real. And by that, I mean, when a boss really embraces the whole experience, Undercover Boss isn't a promotional video. That's not what it was set up for, we want people who are willing to go in there and sort of see what's really happening. And yet I'm sure they will undoubtedly always meet people that they'll connect with and the people that have amazing heartfelt stories, but sometimes they do also undercut, you know, see issues and see problems firsthand that needs to be fixed. But sort of for us, that's sort of one of the best things about it. I think if you ask anyone, everyone, nobody believes that their workplace is completely perfect, but it's to have some of my authority come in, discover that problem, address it and fix it, is a brilliant thing. So absolutely, for Undercover Boss to work well, you need to have a boss that will hardly throw themselves into the process and work with us on us, work with us on it and sort of trust us, trust us that it will all sort of all work out in the end.

- Right,Yeah. That's good. That's good. Well, and speaking of the end, that's probably everybody's favorite part, is the reward segment.

- Yeah And, you know, we write occasionally on our blog about Undercover Boss and why you should go on and, you know, questions to ask yourself and things like that. And we get almost an overwhelming response from people who say you should come to this location, or they should say, you know, my loved one works at this store and they feel underappreciated. And, we want to acknowledge those responses and we wanna empathize with those individuals, but at the same time, my explanation to them is like you have as good of a chance or better of winning the lottery than you do happening to be one of the shadowed employees on Undercover Boss, because it just doesn't work that way, right?

- Yeah You have to have one, a willing boss, right. And two, they have to go to you that location and then happened to pick you to be the person that the boss is shadowing for the day.

- Yeah What would you say to those same people that they want someone to come to their location and or they want someone, a boss to shadow them so they can, kind of be exposed to what's going on at their location.

- What would I say to these people? I guess, Undercover Boss, it is about the boss means they do work and they kind of worked on site and shadow individual employees and quite often, and you know, these people often get rewarded, but from above and beyond that bosses do learn that what we hope from this is that bosses will learn things that make company wide changes could affect these people. I think, you know, if your boss is gonna go on the show, you'd hope that regardless of whether they met you or not, that they would learn stuff that mean that your work life will change. And that has happened in the past. We've had bosses have set up employee relief funds or have raised the minimum wage, across their entire organization. And I get that, you know, it's like winning the lottery, isn't it? If you're picked to, I guess if you're employee and you picked to a appear on the show in some ways, but like I said, you'd hope the bosses would learn and would make changes in the organization as a whole. I mean, that's the dream

- Yeah. Well, and to credit to your show, I think a lot of bosses do go on the show and they get exposed to things that he or she was not aware of that was going on in the organization. I also really like, I've seen every episode, I like where the boss comes in and has an agenda. Like I want to see how this plan that we devise is rolling out how this policy is working. We rolled out new IT equipment. One of our clients rolled out a new point of sale system in their retail stores. And they wanted to see how well it was working, since they spent so much money on it. And then, to no surprise, every boss goes undercover and they probably have pages worth of notes of things that, you know, they picked up on, but they have to kind of focus on the high level stuff to be able to remember it all. But absolutely, I remember, our clients said, they made this huge investment in infrastructure for IT, and then come to find out that either wasn't working or the company or the local management opted to not even turn it on, not even enable it cause it didn't work well.

- Yeah

- So, you know, that by itself is priceless information, to gain from the field like that,on top of the exposure that you would get from being on the show. So tell us, tell us what's going on right now. Meaning you're currently kind of doing some casting calls or requests for bosses to come on the, on the show, right?

- Yeah, we absolutely. We ready to start the production of our new season of Undercover Boss. So we are casting for more episodes. We're looking for businesses to take apart. We put a casting, we've got like a team that are reaching out to various different organizations to talk to bosses, to see who wants to take part. And yeah, we're going for a new season. I think this season above all, I think it could be one of our best, most exciting seasons. I think now is the better time for bosses sort of go into organizations, see how they want to change. You know, there's so much happening in the world. There's, COVID, there's the black lives matters movement, the same things that semi issues and conversation topics that workplaces need to address to say how they can kind of move their company forward. So I think this is kind of like a really exciting opportunity for bosses to be able to go in and find out how they can prove their company and how they can change. It's quite interesting the show's made. There's two things, I think of a interesting this, when this show was first launched, it was launched off the back of it, many years ago. From the back of a huge global recession 

- I can remember that. 

- And it was huge. And the reason why I think it was huge is because lots of the workforce felt that the bosses were out of touch with their lives and that they sat up in their ivory towers and make decisions and didn't really know what was going on. And I kind of feel that's, cause it's such a huge period of change, that kind of thing. We're in a huge period of change right now as well, businesses that haven't changed and adapt from whether it's the travel industry to the hospitality industry, to the manufacturing everything's changing. So I think if you wanna get a grip of your company at the moment and what's fun and what's going on, this is like a brilliant opportunity to do that. And not only do that, but also show the general public that as a business you're talking about these things and making changes.

- Brilliant. Yes. So I totally agree. It is a great opportunity. The climate is ripe again. I remember when the show first launched, it was kinda in the middle or coming out of the recession and it was important for, I think, Americans to feel more connected to bosses or bosses, more importantly, to begin to sense the issues that are being faced in the field by, by the average worker. So yeah, this is a good time us to take a quick break Mike in the show. And so we'll be right back with more questions after this quick break.

- Okay. And we're back. Thank you for that break. Mike, I wanted to also kinda ask you, how many episodes did you get renewed for this season?

- We are making nine more episodes this season.

- Nine episodes, okay. And what would be kind of the timeline You know, we're recording this in early September, what's the timeline in which you wanna have the guests are the bosses all confirmed by ?

- There are kind of odd, the way our production process works is that we are looking for bosses at the moment. What's a funded organization that we want to work with and wants to work with us. And we think would work for the show. We sort of do the deals with them signed contracts and then send some people within their organization to sort of look for employees and areas in which we might be able to film, but our kind of our current production schedule is that we would start to sign up organizations in the coming months. We would start to do that research within the organizations just before Christmas and then start shooting in the new year.

- Okay, so that's very similar to what we've experienced with our clients in the past as well. So, and then, so you shoot into the new year and then kind of what's the timeline for post production and the episodes to go live?

- Hey, so if you imagine, if you were a company that signed up that sort of casting and research processes in your organization takes, I'd say about anything three to five weeks, we then do it with the filming period itself is up to 10 days. It normally takes slightly less the boss's time, but we'll say to allow 10 days for it. And then post that, we have the whole editing process that takes about two months usually. And then after that we deliver it to the network. When the network shows, it is kind of a matter that's out of our control. I think they share it in, it can vary. I think their schedules have been changing because of COVID at the moment, but, you know, we would hate that we would deliver this season sorts of summer next year. And it would either go out in kind of end of summer 21 or in the fall schedule at some point.

- Okay okay, excellent All right.

- Sorry. If I say we're just about to start airing five of the episodes that well hopefully five of the episodes that we made did have a this year, which should start, yes. I think you're on a Friday evening.

- So does that mean you're currently only in the market for four additional bosses?

- No, no. We are in the market for nine bosses at the moment.

- Okay okay.

- From a previous season that we delivered.

- Yeah. Well, speaking of bosses, obviously, you know, without getting too specific, can you talk about maybe some mistakes that people make coming in as the boss on the show.

- Mistakes, but things that they learn or mistakes that they make?

- Mistakes they make coming into the show, coming into the episode?

 - I think the only mistake of boss can make coming into the episodes where they don't give themselves over to the process. And by that, I mean, I think it's very hard when you're a part of a bigger organizations kind of relinquish or power and control. Hey, I'm used to running the show on the programs that I worked on and you know, if you're someone that's used to running your own organization and know exactly where you're going to be at what time and where, and having to be in control of the situation, coming on to Undercover Bosses, is a difficult process, but actually can sometimes be the most rewarding for them. But you know, if you come onto this process, you've got to be prepared to not knowing every detail about the journey, you are about to go on. You don't always know where you're going or what department you're gonna work in or what employee you're gonna meet or work with. Because if you knew that, then it wouldn't be a genuine surprise and wouldn't be seeing your reactions for the first time on TV, which can be a learning process for some of them. I think they only enjoy at the end that that can be quite tricky to start with.

 - Yeah. Yeah, I imagine. I know when, when the show first started, one of the priorities were to have the boss experience, the lifestyle of the person that is in that actual position. So it used to be that, you would fly them to the new city or the new destination. My understanding was that they sometimes wouldn't know where they're going next until, the night immediately, the night before or that morning. And, I know some of the bosses just from, being connected to some of them said, they tried to put me up at the red roof Inn and I'm not used to staying there. So I quickly checked into the hotel, did my little, recap interview and then scooted over the street to the Ritz Carlton or whatever that they're used to. And I know you guys don't want to hear that, but is that still the case? Like you want them to experience kind of economy accommodations.

 - Wheatley, La, yes. Did is say wheatley? What I mean is that in an ideal world, yes. And we sort of last season, we sort want to changed things a little bit. Last season we tried to be a bit more grown authentic than we have on past seasons. And by that, I mean, Undercover Boss is such a well organization, such a well named brand. And I think, if you look at the feedback from viewers and lots of people say this can't be real, the employees must know that they were on the show. This is all a set up and it's not, it's absolutely rare. And it's absolutely authentic. I mean, let's try to enhance that last season. So last season we did go back to them not staying in. The bosses weren't staying in five star hotels. They would stay in the types of hotels that kind of blue collar workers, might stay in. And so we try to do that as much as possible. And hey, look, we've featured things on the show. I remember we did an episode once a postcode, I think it's feedback, student feedback around diamond resorts. And we filmed it, made a part of the show where he checked into one hotel, dint wanna stay there and got right back in his car and then checked into a five star hotel. So, and that, you know, say, and I kind of liked him when we featured that. I sort of felt like we can break the mold now and then.

 - Yeah, great. Well, especially, I mean, I've had people say, I own hotel chain or multiple hotels. If I'm in a city where there's one of my hotels, I'm gonna stay there as opposed to wherever, they might want me to stay. So I can completely understand that. Let's, let's talk a little bit about you guys did one or two seasons where you focused on celebrities. And I know initially that was very successful. How did that go overall? And what does the future look like for doing more celebrity Undercover Boss?

 - I think it was something that we tried and I think it went really well. I wouldn't ever, I don't think we'd ever rule out doing it again. I think it's a slightly different thing. Isn't it? I think it's sort of under undercover celebrities sort of more of like a talent search in a way, and I think they did well, I think is not . Cause the boss, his heart is, is within businesses and organizations that are much kind of, which are relatable to the more relatable to the viewers at home. But I mean, it was fun. It was fun to try out. I think it was a fun experiment.

 - Yeah. You mentioned this earlier, you know, people have their own opinions and it's often hard to change people's minds, especially, it seems like in the current era, but a lot of people, have told me that they think the show is fake and it's a promotional video. From working with you and others at your organization. I certainly know that it's not. But what would you say to those viewers or maybe even non viewers, who say I don't watch because you know, clearly it's not, as it appears, can you kind of walk them through, exactly how it's a surprise to the boss and what they could even look for on the show and even examples of that.

 - I can, without giving away too much in case anyone who ever is filmed with watches.

 - Yeah, right. Absolutely, we go to great lengths to ensure that this is a real authentic experience for the boss and all the people that take part. And by that, I mean, we're very closely with the organization or the business that we sign up and make sure that sort of everything that we do is kind of kept inside a distance from the boss. So everything's new and surprising for them. Like you said, we don't reveal to the bosses where they're going until just before. So they can't kind of research and prep for it themselves. And then in terms of the employees that we film with, we go to great length and not think it's Undercover Boss. In early seasons, that used to be very easy, . Now after we kind of have a cover company that is, you know, we've got a separate, a couple of company that looks for all those people and does all that research. We have a ruse like say that everyone who is filming thinks, we're making an entirely different show. We can have sort of decoy people or decoy crew members pretend to distract people. We'll do everything that's needed to kind of keep it a surprise.

 - Right.

 - I genuinely thing, you know, even watch the point where everyone thinks all, when they get to the bit at the end where they're giving their rewards, they must know that it's Undercover Boss and they don't, because we're constantly confusing them. We're constantly changing things to sort of mix it up. And I, you know, sometimes the boss's cover does get blown, but we actually feature that. Cause I think it's a good thing and it shows that it is real. And yeah, it's one of those things. I sometimes think, I wish we could make a behind the scenes program of how the show was really made. because it would really show you that how genuine it is obviously then that was sort of ruin lots of our trade secrets and wrap how we make it.

 - Yeah.

 - But yeah, you know, those rewards, when we filmed them sort of pay out almost as large and then what you're seeing is sort of what happens.

 - Yeah. Yeah. I think it would be very interesting to do kind of a real, like you're describing where you show kind of some of that behind the scenes of what goes on and what happens. And I would say also that anybody I know that's been on the show, their feedback is always very positive about just how creative, you and your team were to pull off those ruses and make it so there's so much going on or so many distractions that they don't have the opportunity to see that. Also I've had clients, who I think would be great for the show, but they don't want to go on the show because they say, everybody knows who I am. I have a strong, big personality. I'm always in front of our team members. I'm, traveling and candidly, some of them have very unique voices or unique mannerisms, or maybe even unique, shape or size that they think would really give them away. But I tell them all the time, I'm like, have you ever seen a movie, where there's a character who you just don't, recognize because of their attire and their hair and their makeup and maybe even a voice changer involved. And so there is a story that you guys have shared with me. And I think I know what episode it is, but I don't wanna assume, but there's one where the boss is having lunch during a lunch break at a picnic table, sitting right across from his own son and his own son doesn't even recognize them because the hair and makeup, et cetera, is so good.

 - Absolutely. That's absolutely yeah, And that's true story, yes. We had that and I can't remember which episode was that. It's been so many of them, but yes, we had one moment. I can remember the boss was in disguise and the son was sat a table next to him, in fact, walk straight past him. And when the boss sort of grabbed his hand as he walked past that picture of his face was priceless, because he had no idea that it was his father. But I think if that was one reason, holding up someone back from taking part, I would say that they should talk to us because we can, we did that whole season, Undercover Celebrities where celebrities were disguised and had no idea who they were. Last season we did film with a company called Walk-Ons. And one of the business partners within that company was Three Breeze. The obviously the famous and we successfully disguised him and in his hometown where he said, it'd be impossible to do it and we managed to do it And his cover wasn't blown. So there's prosthetics, there's various things that we can do to kind of help with that.

 - Well you all get a lot of credit for doing a great job with those bosses. And in those situations to be able to pull that off is not an easy task, but again, you're professionals, you're experts. You have the experience, you know, what to do to make that happen. So yeah, that's great.

 - I think we've done 120 episodes now of Undercover Boss in the US alone, many more hundreds around the world. This show is made obviously in the UK, all around Europe, in Japan and Canada. So yeah, we know what we're doing now.

 - Speaking of Canada, we have a company who is interested in coming on the show who is both in Canada and in the United States and so I'm talking to one of your casting people about them right now and I think that could be, that could be very interesting to kind of see if there would be a good fit for that. So speaking of, let's just kind of run through for the audience one more time. So the size company you're typically looking for is what to, what, as far as number of employees and annual revenue?

 - I would say like, we are sort of stop putting a cap on in terms of the revenue itself. Everyone that's half a million dollar plus revenue, obviously in terms of the number of locations as well. I'm looking for organizations that have enough locations that we can successfully send someone undercover. We've had had some business in the past that dont have lots of vacations, but they're well-named brand name.

 - Right

 - If they've still got enough that we can send someone undercover successfully, then we'll look at doing it. I think it's, for me, it's about the brand recognition more than the, the number of locations.

 - Right. Okay. Cause I've seen many episodes where you'll go into consumer houses to provide a consumer service with the bonds where you've gone to warehousing and manufacturing and distribution containers So, you know, I tell companies all the time, think creatively about where that might be. I think there was one episode where some kind of a retail chain, they went to the farm or to the dairy that they use. And obviously that dairy was known by the company, but it was important for the boss to understand the process, the people and who he's doing business with.

 - Yeah, absolutely and there's all those secondary suppliers often still supplied materials or services that affect the quality of their product

 - Absolutely.

 - For them to check it out. And I actually love it when we do that, because it sort of provides more variety within the episodes.

 - Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree. Okay, good. Well, I'm so pleased to have you on the show today and you know, certainly, if there's people out there who want to learn more about Undercover Boss, they can certainly check out the website. We also, have some content on our website, where we help to explain how the process works and why companies should explore it. And, you know, hopefully somebody watching or listening today says, you know what? I want to explore this for my company and so if that's somebody out there and they're interested, they can certainly contact our organization. We can help them with that. I guess, I've been asked this a lot. So let me ask you this question. Let's say, you're somebody in an organization where you think this is a great opportunity for the boss to come under cover and experience, being under-covered at our company, but you don't have the CEO's ear or the org structure is not such that you have the ability to reach out to the CEO. If you're that worker within the organization, what do you recommend you do? Because one thing I obviously advise is, hey, the fewer people who know that the company is exploring this the better, right?

 - Yeah.

 - The easier it is to keep it under cover. So if you put your mind around, person X that works for the company, we would really like to see the boss go undercover. Should they write a letter to the boss? What do you think they should do?

 - That was a very good question. I think, yes. I would say, we try and talk directly to the boss. Have that method of communication is if it's, if they can email them, if they can write the letter, if they can contact them in one way or another, I think that would be the best thing to do. Or whoever that boss his right hand man or woman is, can get direct contact to them. I think what often I think apart from when we can talk to the bosses direct, we can get a company on board because I think once they watch the episodes and they understand the process. If it's something that even slightly appeals to them, we can sort of, you know, we can talk with them or work with them on the project. Our best episodes when we sort of collaborate with the boss. Yeah try and contact them direct.

 - Yeah, that's what I recommend also. The boss obviously has to be interested. I think that's a popular misconception too, is that it's like a gotcha. You know, like somehow your show is undercover and the boss doesn't even know it.

 - Yeah. And I wonder people have ever seen the show when they think that's what's happening, right?

 - Yeah. So it's not, hey boss, we're undercover and you're busted, right? Its the boss goes undercover to see what's happening. And I think people confuse that all the time.

 - Yeah. I think there's like a nervousness somewhere, yes. I'd say anything. You know, this isn't a candid camera show. Like you said, own the bosses eventually own their journeys. They're the ones that change things at the end. I can't really think of any organizations that we've ever made a show with on Undercover Boss, then end up unhappy at the end. I would say the bosses, if this was an action movie, you're the hero. And an action movie never ends with the hero looking bad at the end. They succeed and they change things and they win. And so that's the whole idea of this show as well.

 - Yeah, and I've learned from what your organization has told me and what I've observed as a viewer, as well as guiding clients to the process is that it's an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience. And I tell people, there was the reason you decide to go on the show, which was nine times out of 10, because you're a CEO. You wanted either to improve your systems and see what's going on in the field. You wanted the visibility for your company so that you were more visible in the marketplace, but what comes out of it is that you see that you've got great people working for you. You have a ton of impact and influence on their life. And you can give back to the people who give to your company every day in a meaningful way. And you know, it just blows me away. I mean, some of the programs that have been created through a boss, just getting in those trenches unfiltered and seeing what's really happening. And I think everybody wants to improve their company and make their company better for the customer, better for the employee. And so, you know, I've even told clients, look, if you don't qualify to be on Undercover Boss, you still might want to figure out a way that you can be in the trenches and maybe even go undercover yourself. And with modern technology, it's not unreasonable for a successful company to be able to put their CEO undercover with prosthetics and other things, although that's a little extreme, but there are ways to go undercover and mystery shop and shadow your employees and things like that. That could be extremely valuable for any company. You don't just have to go on national television to be able to do that.

 - Yeah.

 - Mike, anything else you want to share with our audience before we wrap up today?

 - No I dont think so. I think that's it. I mean, it's been great talking with you.

 - Yeah. Well, and it sounds like we've got a few different companies to be talking about. So I'm excited about that and hopefully we can secure a few of those nine spots you have available for bosses. So it's been a real pleasure. I'm glad you were here and able to share a little bit more and again, many thanks to you and thanks to our audience for participating today.

 - [Announcer] This is Ben on top of PR with Jason mud presented by ReviewMaxer.