Sep 25, 2009
Sorry old school journalists, savvy advertising experts and prickly control-freak publicists but it’s time to realize something. To survive you can no longer be storytellers – you have to be information managers. Here are some examples:
Rachel Maddow is an information manager. She takes the current news trends, analyzes them and offers up her opinion. She translates and disseminates information using a liberal, celesbian lens. We know it, we’re fine with it, we’ll watch her if we like that slant – and her numbers are through the roof.
Katie Couric is a storyteller. She takes the current news, tells the story she thinks we will find most interesting (called a HOOK or ANGLE) and puts a pretty package together hoping no one else has that same ANGLE. Boring, yawn, her numbers are in the toilet.
Jon Stewart is also an information manager. He takes the current news, translates and gives it to us with using the funny lens. His numbers are great. Even Perez Hilton, as much as we love to hate him, is an information manager. Perez takes the celebrity news and translates it with a snarky, ‘I used to be a geek and now I’m more powerful than you’ lens. His traffic numbers are still incredible.
Just try to ‘package’ a story or launch a brand these days with a clever message and a nice dose of spin. What happens? The public’s immediate attitude is that ‘WE WILL TAKE YOU DOWN, MOTHERF*&#ER’. (Remember Motrin Moms?) Today’s social media/citizen journalists love nothing better than to debunk a story, expose an exclusive, steal a headline from a print paper, or do whatever else it takes to prove they can get there faster and more provocatively than traditional media. And guess what? They’re winning the race.
It’s time to admit what we haven’t wanted to admit for a long time – information is too real-time and too accessible for us to believe the ‘stories’ any more. We want to pick our chosen lens and get our information there.
Who’s your favorite information manager?