Our Media is Creating Panic

I was on the treadmill today with the TV on around the time of our stock market’s opening bell. As I flipped from one news channel to another, here are photos from my phone:

The media loves a train wreck.

The media loves to scare us.

It brings eyeballs. And clicks. And it’s all about the clicks.

When things are good, the media’s job is to scare us.

When things are actually difficult, the media’s job is to analyze and enhance all that is awful.

All awful, all the time.

There is hopeful news out there — South Korea’s new diagnoses of coronavirus, for example, have receded quickly. The Disney resort in Shanghai has started reopening. But we’re not going to hear much about this in the media.

So what are the takeaways?

If you’re looking for a balanced assessment or nuance, you won’t find it in the media. You’re unlikely to hear that on Black Monday, in October 1987, the S&P 500 index fell by more than 20% in a single day. And we’ve had five other days with drops of more than 9%. And even with the Great Depression and all the recessions and bear markets, our market has still averaged an annual return of about 10% since its inception in 1926.

If you don’t want to be frightened, minimize your consumption of news. To ascertain the facts, but don’t spend too long immersed in the relatively unintelligent and breathless analyses of the facts.

As such, I think the American media’s net effect on us — the citizenry trying to stay healthy and protect our families — has been quite negative in this crisis. The media is creating panic at a time when people need to think calmly and clearly.

And finally, remember that your customers and suppliers are consuming the same panicked coverage.

They are uncomfortable.

They are frightened.

Understand this, and bring them comfort.

Communicate more, not less.

Tell them you are there for them. Ask what else they need. Follow up.

Do these things which your competition is not doing.

Bring them comfort in this difficult time.

And they will bring you business.

To add 10-20% new sales annually, as my clients average, give me a call at 847-459-6322.

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About Alex

My clients add 10 to 20% annually to their sales -- every year -- by taking simple action repeatedly and systematically. My clients are manufacturers, distributors and service companies in mature industries like lumber, pipes and valves, chemicals, and steel. If you would like to add 10-20% to your sales quickly and easily, call me directly at 847-459-6322.