SOCIAL MEDIA IS A BRAND MANAGEMENT KILLER….JUST ASK KD!​

Wow, really KD.  You’ve got multiple MVP awards, you finally got your “chip” (championship for the uninitiated!) and you’ve got more money than you could ever possibly spend.  And no we know that you’ve to multiple phony twitter accounts that you use to talk smack to folks who come at you online.  OK, couple questions here, and number one is, “Why the hell do you even care what some whack job on a twitter account has to say?”  And here’s why I say that! “You’re a gosh darned millionaire!”  Nothing people say should matter at your level of success, and you are doing irreparable harm to your brand fooling around with twitter.  Trying to defend yourself against folks that no matter what you say will still have a crazy opinion ready to fire off at you anyway.  You’re a superstar of the highest order.  You are literally one of the top two players on the planet. Not the country, the dang planet.  I can’t even imagine why this would even be on your radar.  There are tons of the companies that would have wanted to do business with you because of who you are and the success you’ve attained. Car, shoe, soft drink & clothing, I know you already know about the 4 jewels of the celebrity dollar.  And maybe because of your incredible riches already achieved by you, you feel like you don’t need to make any more “power moves”! But here’s the deal, this twitter scandal will likely resonate throughout the rest of your career.  And for all those following along and keeping score, let this be a lesson to you.  The only way twitter works in your favor and all social media for that fact is if you are always and I mean always, every single post is all about nothing but positivity. End of sentence. But by nature, we just aren’t built that way.  And what KD failed to understand and his handlers failed to ever convey to him, is that he simply cares too much.  Why, because it’s a battle you just can’t win.  There’s always going to be some nut job with an anonymous profile coming at you with some craziness.  You’re never ever going to be able to satisfy all the cynics and critics that float through the Twitter-verse and every other social media platform.  So take some advice, from a former journalist, who was always forced to bite his tongue, just point your 17 million followers toward your next shoe release date.  I mean good lawd, son—follow the money.  We all know that the one thing that really matters to athletes, on any level, is not going viral. LOL, that’s right they don’t wanna be the butt of any jokes, they don’t want to be on Not Top 10 on SportsCenter and they damn sure don’t want to be a crying Jordan meme.  The trash talk KD will be subjected to from fans and opposing players this season will relentless and brutal.  That can be good or bad. Back in the day the rumor was that you didn’t want to trash talk his Airness! If you didn’t piss him off he might only drop 25 on you.  But if you pissed him off, he might put a 50 spot on ya and make you an everlasting highlight for all to marvel at for generations to come.  Let’s see how KD responds.  The only way to shake this Twitter crisis is to have a season of record-breaking proportions – which is probably next to impossible since he’s coming off the ole Championship hangover! We shall see and we can only hope he plays his way out of this self imposed exile.  Maybe then we can get back to talking about what KD does best, that is shoot the rock!​

Tips To Help You Get Broadcast Ready!​

If you’re getting ready for your TV appearance the morning of—well my friends its too late, you may have already blown the opportunity.  And that’s how you need to approach it—it’s a golden opportunity to promote your widget and get yourself some very valuable air-time.  If you get a 3:30 second interview, just do the math and think about what a what 3:30 spot would cost in advertise dollars. Oh yea, it aint cheap. First things first.  You need to know what you want to say, and why it matters.You need to be succinct and compelling. The average TV soundbite is around seven seconds long. To get ready for your interview, practice being interviewed with a stopwatch to get a feel for the length of your answers. You don’t have to keep your answers to 7 seconds, but you do want to make sure you have some good words and phrases that can easily be extracted by reporters and editors.Have three main points that you want to get across, and feel free to keep a 5x7 card on the desk or in your lap, just to help remind you of those points.  Remember this is critical and might mean the difference between success and failure for the interview. One thing that won’t happen before the interview is a look at the questions.  It is perfectly natural to want to know the exact questions you’ll be asked in order to prepare accordingly. What I’ve found over the years is when you provide exact questions in advance, you get stiff, stale, canned answers, which does a disservice actually to the interview. The goal of the interview, from both sides is for it to look as natural as possible.   That helps you come across as more genuine, and when you are genuine you become a likeable and credible character.What you might want to do is ask for is a list of topics to be covered in the interview. That allows you to gather your thoughts beforehand, but leaves room for the spontaneity that will make you and your brand resonate with the audience.Most times reporters will do sort of a pre interview and that will normally give you a good idea as to where they are going with the story.  That will also give you a chance to work your rehearsed answers into the questions posed to you. Remember this is the digital age so treat the interview as if it were live, even if it isn’t.  Many News outlets will often run unedited versions of your interview on the Internet, because that’s an opportunity for the news outlet to extend the story and gauge the viewer interest.  If there is considerable interest that will determine what keeps the story moving in the outlets’ eyes.Another key point to always remember is that television is a visual medium andTV reporters need good visuals to back up your story. The more ideas you give them, the more certain you can be that the visual elements match what you are saying.  Say dog, see dog.  That’s a reporters montra to help elevate and move a story along that’s well told and visually appealing.  It’s quite frankly the most important element of the story and what helps make the story, your story, memorable.  And that’s the goal.​

Living with purpose​

It really is the bottom line as we approach middle age and the golden era of our lives.  I woke up not too long ago and that’s what mattered to me.  For the longest time I was defining success like many of us have done.  We based success on the size our salary, the size of our home, the size of our cars, not just one car but also the collective and the collection of them.  But our obsession with stuff quickly loses steam when it all starts to disappear and when you are dealing with so many variables and counting on others for your maintenance of this kind of lifestyle, well then you know that at any time things can all come crashing down.  Just look at the news on any given evening and we see people being downsized, right sized and minimized on a regular basis.  “We’re going in a different direction!”  Who hasn’t heard that phrase at some point?  And if you haven’t heard it you’re either a lottery winner or you soon will be.  I made up mind about five years ago that there was a bigger purpose to what I was doing and that there was much more to me than being the guy who gets passed around from city to city trying to please a crowd of managers, that for the most part were all one in the same, and all provided a moving target that you were constantly trying to figure out how to smash.  And invariably just when you think you’ve nailed, they swipe the rug out from under you.  I’d be crazy to sit here and tell you I didn’t enjoy my run on local TV news.  My time in Dallas was rewarding, and my time especially in the A…aka the Southern Jewel…aka Atlanta.  I met some of the most amazing people and had some of the best times of my professional life.  But, at the end of the day while we picked up a nice monetary reward, most of what we do was pretty much promoting someone else, or the station or some other interest, and there is often times very little personal reward at the end of a hard days work. But when personal tragedy struck and we saw up close and personal how the media affects our own lives, you get an entirely different perspective.  And in our case the opioid epidemic hit our home like a ton of bricks and we still haven’t really recovered.  But when I shared that story for the first time, it was so cathartic.  I felt like I had hit a home run and done it so that others might avoid that pain.  But, I was also helping many in the crowd release and let go of that lonely feeling of suffering and despair and all of the sudden the realized they were not alone.  It’s not me.  I’m not on an island.  Because quite frankly, while you’re going through the nightmare you can’t help but feel all alone, that's just the harsh reality.  So living with purpose, takes on many different meanings and many different forms. For me it’s simply about using God’s gift to me, the art of storytelling, to spread the word about the harmful effects of opioids, social media and the communication process of millennials and how Moms and Dads can overcome the barriers.  That’s my goal in a nutshell.  Use my gift to help others, and now that I’ve seen how impactful it really is, I’m even more secure in my decision to pursue this line of work , ahh  excuse me it’s not work, it’s pursuing passion.  That one performance helped reaffirm my feeling that my platform is one that needs to be shared and heard and repeated on a regular basis. I’m on a mission to help save my family and yours too.  I consider it a blessing to be able to advocate for those who cannot advocate and raise awareness themselves.  Fortunately, through the years I’ve made some amazing connections that have allowed me to even connect with an amazing company that has made some incredible strides in regards to CTE and opioid addiction.  Pro Iv Drip Fusion has developed an IV formulation that may have incredible effectiveness in helping manage chronic pain and help wean folks off of their opioid addiction.  One hundred former NFL players are currently undergoing a study to see just how well the formulation works. Working with them, spreading the message and sharing my story is my purpose and it feels so good to be pursuing a passion that’s making a difference.  Connecting with people on a much more meaningful level than I could have ever imagined.  It’s been a blessing, that’s the only way I can describe it.  As a believer, I’m always aware of the bigger plan from the man above and how he will always lead us to where he wants us to be.  Stay faithful my friends and find your purpose.​

WE’RE BACK LIVE, YOUR TURN TO SHINE….​

So the red light is back on and you are live in the studio.  First thing that comes to your mind is, “Oh Lord what are they going to ask me about!”  Well I’ve got news for you, at that point you’re a deer in the headlights.  Your goose is cooked, especially if you haven’t prepared and done with the work to get ready for any and every situation.  But there is one thing that you can carry with you for next television or radio appearance that  no one can take from you, and that is your original you.  Your genuine self is the best asset you will always have in any interview. The best interviews are those that quite frankly don’t feel like interviews.  Those watching are just kind of peaking in on a wonderful conversation infused with great information energy and authenticity.  You don’t have to possess the kind of charisma and presence of George Clooney or Will Smith as long as you are authentic and the audience looks at you as genuine.  Authenticity is the one characteristic that people will always respect.  People will always look passed the warts and shortcomings if they believe you are genuine.  They may not agree with your position, but they will respect your position.  This is especially critical for media appearances, because it will often times help shape the conversation.  After interviewing people for nearly 30 years I promise you , it’s really hard to ask someone difficult and prickly questions when they come across as sincere and well meaning.  And remember most folks are asking for media exposure I’m not talking about ambush interviews and those situations.  But even in crisis situations, appearing honest and forthright are always going to be your best bet and best approach to connecting with your audience. So why does one interviewee come off as completely phony and another absolutely authentic? And what does it really mean to be authentic, anyway?  Almost every interviewer can recognize phony and the effort to be evasive when being pressed or asked a tough question.  The best practice is to remain honest and humble and remember that you have my permission to be vulnerable.  It will carry you through tough situations and remember the mob is fickle and in the era of “Fake News” your authenticity in a crisis situation might just turn you into a sympathetic figure, and that’s a plus when it comes to winning in crisis communications.   ​

WHY DYNAMIC COMMUNICATION MATTERS…

One of my brand new clients had me in for a presentation on dynamic leadership.  That’s what I titled my presentation.  It’s my first gig since leaving the crazy world of television news and going out on my own.  Entrepreneurship quite frankly has always scared the hell out of me.  Quite simply because I had never seen it flourish in an up close and personal fashion.  I’ve seen and heard what look and sound like great ideas but they never panned out.   And to me, some of those ideas seemed like great ideas.  In other eyewitness accounts, I just saw folks who were too smart for their own good, and didn’t understand “HOW” to bring their ideas to full blossom.  You don’t know what you don’t know until you ask someone who knows! So I arrive on location and get ready to get things cranked up, and I’m jacked up. I mean really jacked up.  I’m not nervous per se from a performance standpoint, I’m nervous because I want to be well received and give the client exactly what they want from a customer service standpoint.  The other unknown for me, was whether I would feel the same exhilaration and get that same rush you feel from a live broadcast.   But I gotta tell ya, I felt even more of a rush and after knocking down that first major corporate client—it was an amazing feeling.  What a sense of gratification.  I was so excited just knowing that I can pursue my passion, with zeal and vigor and have that kind of rush flowing through the veins.   I haven’t dealt with performance anxiety or stage fright in forever.  My issue is and has always been how well will the audience receive me.  After all that determines your success in television.  Do you connect with your audience, that’s always the goal.  That’s how you get your message to stick. In keeping with my presentation.  I felt like I had a great grasp of who my audience was going to be.  And I was prepared to engage them and keep them dialed in.  I’m a face reader too, which just made me laugh out loud, but because I had some good and timely news items to discuss to illustrate Why Dynamic Communication Matters, I was able to keep them dialed in and engaged. Mission accomplished.  What a day!  The other huge plus was getting feedback that “overwhelmingly positive” from a group of incredibly accomplished people working within a global enterprise. Word of mouth is so powerful especially in today’s global marketplace and a climate ripened with social media.  Your skills can quickly gain a loyal following by letting people know that you stand by your values, that you are genuine and that you exceed your customers’ expectations every single time out.  That’s how you win at this game.Needless to say, I feel like I found my calling.  Media Training and good solid Communications practices can never been over emphasized.  It’s so critical to a company’s success and any media exposure is a chance to advance the company’s condition and you have to take advantage of that, and what I always found amazing when I was interviewing folks on a daily basis, is just how woefully unprepared people would be for their appearances.  Good grief man, you’re getting three and a half minutes of free tv, make it count. That’s why during my media coaching sessions I remind my clients to prepare, prepare and then prepare some more.​

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