Who actually watches the whole news today?
That’s right. Hardly anyone.
Even among savvy young executives, the kind I meet for media training, people in senior leadership roles, there are many who simply don’t feel the need. I’ve even trained people who haven’t heard of, never mind listen to the ‘Today‘ programme, the must-hear agenda setting event of the day.
Strange really, given that at the very least corporate woman and man needs to know what’s happening around them and how events might shape company policy.
For those selected or with aspirations for a media role, it must be something of a struggle to make the grade if nothing is known about the real media out there.
Yes, I know there’s never the time, a twelve hour day buried in corporate slog with partners and kids furious that once again you are late home doesn’t make it any simpler. It’s much easier for us news junkies. Nevertheless, it seems to me that media exposure without any understanding of who the media are, how they work and what their particular disciplines are, is a bit like going into a car show room, putting a few thousand pounds on the table and saying “get me a nice car”. You can’t then complain if you finish up with a souped up Robin Reliant.
Some knowledge and understanding might just help avoid the car crash interview. The osmotic effect of just a few minutes a day will at worst give you the knowledge on which side of the road to drive, and what a speed limit is.
I’m delighted to be invited to train people to understand the media and manage corporate good news or the three o’clock Friday afternoon crisis. But not to know the difference between Graham Norton and John Humphrys or ‘Strictly‘ and ‘Newsnight‘ is surely weighing the odds against success on camera or on mic.
Knowledge really is power.