Gary D's Take

Who owns the channel?

I heard someone the other day ask…”The fiscal cliff…what is that? All I know about it is what people are saying on Facebook.” It would be easy to be dismissive about a comment like that and relegate that person to the ranks of the uninformed and ignorant but I know this to not be true. How many of my right wing conservative friends only know about the cliff from Rush Limbaugh or Todd Schnitt? What’s the difference between getting your info from Rush or Facebook? Rush has an obvious agenda and he makes a living by promoting that agenda. Facebook……not so much.

The fact is that people listen to things that are important to them. They listen in the places that they trust and to the people they trust. How do you get people to understand that something IS important? You tell them why in ways that are meaningful to them.

During the first Reagan campaign , the Democrats were pushing their philosophy for raising taxes on the wealthy or “soak the rich”. (This is not a new idea) Reagan explained why that was a bad idea very simply. He said, “Have you ever gotten a job from a poor person?” You don’t beat on the people who succeed because they are the ones who fuel the engine. If you beat them down and punish them, they quit  hiring people. If you beat on them enough they leave…ala Great Britain. Reagan was able to make a compelling case very simply…in a way that was meaningful to everybody. He did this in the place where the majority of people spent their time and got most of their information in the 80s , ON TELEVISION.

Today the channels have changed. Facebook is a place where lots of people spend their time and get information they trust. Twitter is where breaking news is released. The major television networks now report stories based on Tweets and blog posts!

During the recent campaign , I watched what both campaigns were doing in the social media arena. From the Republican side , it was lackluster at best with only sporadic messages . The Democrats had a much more comprehensive strategy. To paraphrase someone else , “Obama OWNED social media!”.

In 1980 , the average American watched about 6 hours of television per day. In 2012 that number is much smaller , around 4 with younger Americans watching even less.

If you are going to talk to me , you have to be where I am. If you don’t come to me , you obviously don’t care if I am listening.

Remember Romney’s 47 percent remark? Perhaps that really did sum up a philosophy. There is a saying in the business world , “I want to do business with someone who wants to do business with me. Someone who shows they really WANT my business.” Mitt Romney , the self proclaimed “businessman” may have forgotten a fundamental business principle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *