It’s easy to lose them, and hard to get them back…

I was listening to a report this morning on The Today Show about GM, really shaking it up(and shaking up their employees), to try and get their customers back. It used to be that one of every two cars sold in the U.S. was made by GM….wow, it couldn’t get any better!! True that, but what they learned is that it could get worse…much worse. Now their market share has fallen into the cellar…now below 20%. That’s the lowest it’s been since the company started in 1908. They started a few years back really trying to get a handle on quality control…I mean, after all, if you can buy a better made and more dependable car, and often for less from Toyota…most people are gonna buy it. The people like my Dad and yours are gone…the people who buy GM…they buy American. Gone.  An expert on Today said even though GM had gotten a grip on  quality, the perception is still there that quality is bad. Perception is reality. And once you’ve lost people’s loyalty, it is very very very hard to get it back.

TV is much the same. I tell youngsters coming along in the business …”it’s all in the details”. And really, no detail is too small. The stories have to be well written, well edited, well shot, the graphics have to be right, the right buttons have to be pushed at the right time…oh, there are sooooooo many things that can go wrong, even with the best intentions, including an anchor messup.  Yeah, it happens. But there’s no room in our business for sloppiness, and once you lose a viewer they are tough to get back. And if I can brag  just a little bit , we are the news leaders in town, and the only station to show growth in each newscast from year to year. And good old commercial tv took back some market share from cable in the last book. But you have to keep doing it every day, not just when you feel like it. Or perhaps I should say, you better feel like doing your best every single day, because that’s what viewers deserve and what they expect.

Now the Olympics juggernaut is rolling into town…and we think most of you will want to watch it, or at least parts of it. NBC is offering a record 3600 hoursof coverage from Beijing starting this Friday.  (And if you didn’t get to see Matt Lauer’s look inside the Imperial City, watch it here. Made me wish I was gonna be in Beijing, but alas…..I was in China in 1995…not in Beijing, but in the more cosmopolitan city of Shanghai. Even then, the construction that was going on was AMAZING….and it was clear that China was about to explode growth wise…I wondered if they had any idea…but I loved my trip there. I remember walking down a street by a sidewalk restaurant with a giant wok where your dinner was stir fried. Someone had evidently ordered eel…one was taken from a tank, and beheaded it with a machete right there on the curb…yes, blood spurted out. Talk about fresh.

  If you want to get an idea of the crazy building going on in China, take a look at this video from Danwei tv, on youtube, of course. Gives you a pretty good idea of what’s going on.

See how cute I am? Sweet too?

See how cute I am? Sweet too?

And before I go….I still have a kitty that needs a home (please?). Oh, and I know most of you probably don’t read comments posted to my blog, and if you don’t, you missed one of the funniest videos I’ve ever seen on youtube…all about…yes, cats. Thanks to Kit for that. Hilarious. So watch it now, if your boss isn’t watching you. Be careful you don’t laugh out loud.


One Response

  1. Definitely, the key to keeping customers/viewers is the details. Especially with the local news, I find that I stay with stations whose anchors inject some personality into the newscast. Not opinion, but personality. If I wanted the news read to me, I’d just go online. It takes great talent to deliver the news like you’re delivering to each viewer personally. The anchors at Channel 11 do a good job of that.

    I’m probably far in the minority here, but I haven’t watched much Olympic coverage in years. The Olympics used to be about the great stories of the amateur finally winning what they’ve been training for years to accomplish in their one shot at the gold! Now, there’s too many professionals and returning athletes to the Olympics. I may watch a little here and there, but I generally don’t tune in. Sorry, NBC, but Netflix will be happy with me! 🙂

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