How to control media herd?Turn around the lead steer.

How to control media herd?
Turn around the lead steer.

You’re inundated by it every day. A flood of words, empty of meaning but designed to arouse emotions.

Think talking heads on TV and radio. Institutionalized shoutfests that make no pretense of trying to inform. Or politicians. How many words can they use without actually saying anything? Or the chatter you hear in a patio outside Starbucks or Peet’s. Most humorous are the conversations composed of high-pitched squeals in which every other phrase is “OMG” and “like you know.”

It’s amazing there’s room left for serious reflection. Maybe that’s the point. It’s not a new concept.

Two 20th century British novelists foresaw dangers. George Orwell feared independent ideas would be banished because thought would be controlled. Aldous Huxley feared the opposite — that there would be no need to suppress thoughts because people wouldn’t have any. They’d be mesmerized and rendered submissive by a life of pleasure and a trivial culture.

The challenge is breaking through the noise and making people pay attention.

People take their news in small bites. When you’re thrust into a negative spotlight, people will remember the accusations — and there’s a bias in favor of the accuser. Seldom will they pay attention long enough to hear your version. Even if they do, they’ll distrust it.

So what are your options?

The media is your conduit to the public. Use it to your advantage. Identify the most prominent media outlet covering the story, and bring it inside.

Let the journalist know you understand her needs and want to want to help her provide a deeper and more accurate perspective. Journalists love having an edge over their competition. When you provide that edge, they’re grateful — and that’s your prize.

It’s called finding the lead steer. When the media herd is rushing in one direction, identify the leader, turn it around, and the rest will follow.


“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”

Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm. We’re Fixers. Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Preparation & Training. You can reach Roger Gillott directly at 310-826-8696.

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For a deeper glimpse into our world, see our book on Amazon, “A Lawyer’s Guide to Crisis PR: Protecting Your Clients In & From the Media.”

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


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