Skip to content

Is Attention Worth Dishonesty?

  • by

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 2.42.21 PM

The headlines this morning were: Travel Bans Lifting, Big Storm Not As Big As Forecasted.

Really? The biggest storm in the history of the universe did not come to fruition? Snowageddon didn’t actually occur? I am, in the words of Kramer’s ever poignant lawyer Jackie Chiles, “Shocked and Chagrined. Stupefied and Mortified!” Actually I am not.

In a world where the media will do anything to capture the public’s attention, over exaggeration, fabrication, and downright dishonesty have become the norm. This is easiest to observe in business of television programming, news and sports. So called “reality” shows have become anything but reality. The news has become a slanted interpretation of things we’re assumed to be too stupid to interpret ourselves and sports (SPORTS, for crying out loud) has become just like the news. And then there is the weather.

The weather used to be a “we call it as we see it” sort of report as to the climatic conditions of the day. Daring and astute weather folk would occasionally take a risk and predict tomorrow. That has changed. With new predictors and the latest satellite models, we are led to believe that mortal man (and woman) is able to accurately foresee the movements of nature. We are not.

To get attention, however (because attention is ratings), we humans and our media must act as if WE are in control of the universe and its changes. Every storm is the biggest ever, every cold front is the coldest ever, and every hurricane is going to place us into the depths of historical and biblical torment unseen in human times.

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” Well Chicken Little, I don’t believe you. You’ve lost credibility. You (and the news channels, and the sports channels, and even the Property Brothers for crying out loud) have become self serving, attention grabbing, agenda driven scripted liars.

What does all this have to do with us: you and me? Simple. The best marketing, the best presentations, the best reporting, is honest, authentic and real. Interestingly, the two most cited characteristics sellers look for in a real estate agent are reputation and honesty. Not lead generation technology, not a fancy car, not drama: reputation and honesty.

Don’t believe what you see on the tube, that’s “entertainment.” (and I put quotes around that word because frankly I find little of this television foolishness entertaining). Good agents, good salespeople, don’t act like what you see on HGTV or on CNN, or Fox News, or ESPN. Good agents, good salespeople, are honest, authentic, and trustworthy. You can see it in their marketing. You can see it in the way they run their business. You can see it every day.

Marsha Friedman at Business Superstar in her article entitled The Best Marketing Tool Is Honesty, gives three easy steps to achieving honesty in your marketing (and thus your business): full article here

1). Be honest about what you can and cannot do, 2). Keep Your Word, 3). Remember, there’s a fine line between attention getting and trickery.

Doesn’t seem that difficult.

SO, Back to the “bigger” world. The solution for honest, authentic people to alleviate our twisted television (as well as those more twisted inhabitants of Washington DC) is by demanding better, not taking BS as the norm. Not wanting to appear to be someone from the 60’s, I believe we actually can change things; make them better.