Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Studying "talking heads" - how can you become a media star?

I find it interesting to Google many of the "talking heads" on new programs. Frequently I find that they have no qualifications whatsoever to be experts. Malcolm Gladwell points out that you need 10,000 hours to be expert in anything - about 5 years of uninterrupted study and practice. Yet many of the experts on TV have barely achieved 100 hours. This also applies to politicians talking about business, or business people talking about social policy. It also suggests that someone with, say 15 years total experience cannot have the breadth to be a CEO, General or other leader. Yet we too readily anoint individuals as experts whose opinions we value.

1 comment:

Mary Conley Eggert said...

Hah!... Great observation, Rich.

If everyone waited until they achieved 15 years of experience to share their vision/passion, we'd see very few books published, and have extremely thin magazines and newspapers. Imagine if no one thought Jesus could be mentioned because he failed to meet the 15-year criterion? And, what if we applied that 15-year requirement to Barack Obama?

The power of the media (and now public voting through social media) should not be underestimated. According to Al Reis, author of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, PR creates brands. Advertising defends brands. The rise of Starbuck's, Google, Apple, Ikea, and many more famous brands and luminaries owe their success to PR vs. Advertising. I obviously share your passion for the topic, and your valid concern that we be discriminating consumers of the media.

The beauty of PR, and now social media channels such as YouTube, is that it serves as a litmus test, allowing for us to validate or invalidate the worth of whomever elects to use it. With the right message and packaging (not necessarily high quality anymore), an unknown computer programmer can become a globally recognized phenomenon!... Check out Gary Brolsma on YouTube, who's attracted more than 22 Million viewers and immense coverage in other media. :-)