Media And The Leader
“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” Jim Morrison
"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18
The power of media
Leadership carries power and position, and because of this, we are given a platform to inspire others to action. A leader of character knows that this comes with a heavy responsibility to effectively engage media - a skill that must be cultivated. Media venues are at our fingertips today (blogs, videos, social platforms, and audio forms) used to communicate a message that will be heard by many audiences. If we ignore the influence of media, the tool of media, or our emotional response to media then we end up leaving a lot of our leadership potential on the table. At the other end of the spectrum, the overuse and improper use of media can generate annoyances with our audience. So we must find ways to use it successfully leverage this tool.
Five ways to engage media
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One | Produce compelling content
Too often in using the media, we think to produce "content" when we need to be thinking produce "compelling content." There is always a difference between what we believe is valuable to communicate and what our audience thinks is valuable. If we don't deliver what's compelling to our audience the messages will be ignored. Understanding what motivates and compels our audience is vital to compellingly messaging content. Here's a quick tip - grab your audience emotionally by reaching out to their hopes and dreams, not yours. Keep them the center of the story, and they will be more engaged.
Two | Properly disseminate
It's good always to consider how you will spread your message. The key is to adopt a method that will work for the target audience and for the type of content you have to deliver. Is it a memo or a meeting? Is it a webinar or a training event? Should you say in on social media or should it be delivered in person? Do you give it away for free or do you charge? Is it satire or serious? Do you need to be professional or funny? Consider your options and disseminate accurately.
Three | Pace appropriately
Sometimes business goals will have us working at a pace that outperforms our messaging. But our message doesn't have to keep up the pace. We live in a world today inundated by content and messages; therefore, people can only tolerate so much. We have to moderate the pace. If all we ever talk about is one thing, then people will stop listening. And if we don't talk about it enough, then people won't remember. We have to find a good pace for our message, one that is paced at the speed of consumption (not over or under consumption). Consider a pace that is consumable by your audience, and be systematic about revealing the message one phase at a time.
Four | Social media engagement
Social media creates and invites the opportunity for interaction. It is not just for posting ideas, pictures, and thoughts we have, but for encouraging discussion and engagement with others. Most ignore the power of the social media conversation, therefore post in a way that shuts down a dialogue than giving way to messages that invite discussion. The best use of social media invites dialogue that lets others become the center of the conversation. Also, as we use social media for personal engagement, we need to realize not everything needs to be posted. While we might think it only represents us, it might adversely affect our business, character, relationships, and witness to the world.
Five | Enable freedom
As a leader, we need to help people understand how to use media. Today we need to give people a reliable understanding of what is appropriate and inappropriate. Media can be powerful in both a positive and negative way - so don't just tell people what you don't want them to do. Show them what to do. In media today, with new forms, and growing platforms teach people how to do it and leverage it to make life easier. If you show them how they will learn healthy patterns of engagement.
Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.