The Media Didn’t Change

Two questions for you…

#1 – How often do you hear business professionals blast the media for the gloom-and-doom news and criticize how the media is killing markets, such as real estate, automotive, and stocks?

#2 – How often did you hear these same professionals give media praise and all the credit for helping fuel the prior boom in business?

I have long suggested that everyone, business professionals and consumers, should remember that the news headlines and even many stories are not really about the news story… it is about using news as a medium to attract attention. There is a difference.  A BIG difference.

I suggest that if you, as a professional, focus your blame on the media and the economy as the reason your business deals and projects are failing, does that mean the media and economy are the primary reasons you had prior success?   What about your skills and experience as a business professional?   Do they only work in “the good times?”   Do you adapt, learn, adjust?  Or just complain that the bad times are not your fault and act powerless?

NewscasterDoes the economy and public perception effect consumer behavior?  Absolutely!   But they do not control all business.

There are deals and sales being made every day.  New projects are starting, often driven by changes in the economy.  The economy has slowed… not stopped.  The smart business people adapt, adjust and expect the economic cycles.  They are painful at times but completely normal.

You and I cannot change basic economics and the normal cycles.  But we can work professionally within these cycles.  And we can relate these changes as we communicate to others to improve our career, our businesses and our relationships.

I contend that professionals should be professionals in any economy.  But not everyone embraces this.

For those that are upset at the media, I submit that the media is doing what they have always done… they use headlines and bits of news to attract attention.  Most media is not about the news, it is about the attention.  And if you often complain about it, it shows the media is doing their job… you paid attention.

What is interesting is that the same approach by the media was actively used by many professionals as “proof” during the boom for customers or management to buy and spend.  Not many complaints about the media then!

If you want to now complain about the media, keep this in mind…  The media didn’t change.  You did.

Tell me I’m wrong.


Glenn S. Phillips is the author of Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself. His website,, will lead you to more information about effective communication training, risk assessments and genuinely helpful tips. You can email Glenn directly at

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About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.