(By Lee Abrams) If a news “service” is successful, ok, but if not-yet-launched or struggling here are 8 reasons we can be positioned to succeed AND 8 ways we can blow it. It’s just as important to know what can derail you as it is to know what you need to succeed
NEW FORMATS THAT DO NOT EXIST: On the programming side, that is what it’s all about. NEW formats presented in a NEW way. New architectures and new playbooks. New visions un distracted by the past or assumptions about What is supposed to work.
How we could screw it up: Reverting to the “old way” or reverting to ‘already being done well’ formats and styles which is sadly easy to do–you have to fight the urge. Equally critical is not listening to the pundits who will bash anything different.
CENTERED: I mean REALLY centered. But not vanilla centered, aggressively taking on all POVs…the good, bad and ugly. Every time CNN smirks when mentioning Trump or Fox delivers wrong information is an opportunity to deliver reality on EVERYthing No one is immune to reality. Common sense for a reality starved planet.
How we could screw it up: By wimping out or reverting to some dated journalistic code that is rooted in PC…by self editorializing rather than letting the sheer reality tell the story.
WHACKED SENSE OF HUMOR: We don’t need comedy writers, the shit that’s going on in the world is often funny enough in a ridiculous way. We need brilliant observers who can transform reality into a new storytelling style.
How we could screw it up: Hiring people who may be good, but don’t see the world through a new lens, and revert to The dated TV mentality.
IN SYNC WITH THE STREET NOT SILICON VALLEY, HOLLYWOOD OR MADISON AVENUE: That’s who we are fighting! The arrogance. The streets are where its at. Enough people are fed up with the traditional cultural drivers today. The action is on THE STREET. Street reality vs. corporatization is where it’s all going. People are fed up with the bullshit. Perhaps the most disturbing trend is Young people utilizing the old playbook. An generational train wreck.
How we could screw it up: Get caught up in the business, read too many trade papers and blindly believe what’s being said, and allowing those cultures to interfere with ours.
COMPLETENESS: EVERYthing we touch has the New vibe attached. Big companies tend to put out a perception they want people to think…ala slogans. But when you dig deep, it’s all fake. We need to LIVE the culture — from the janitor to the marketing. Even the logo needs to explode with 2021 vision.
How we could screw it up: Lack of attention to detail. EVERYthing must have the vibe. Letting “average” or vanilla creep in while we aren’t paying attention.
HUMAN: Not human anchors or cute Millennials talking about make-up and dating. But, a SOUL…a sense of humanity. The technology is backstage. Tech is CRITICAL (!), but what the public “feels” is humanity not machines, the public face is about Art. Modern Media Art.
How we could screw it up: Easily, again by letting ourselves devolve to traditional thinking or rotating from intelligence to junk culture.
RESEARCH: It’s great. AFTER THE FACT. On the creative/programming side, you can not research before creation. Certainly you can identify trends, but the creative process needs to be free from data.
How we could screw it up: Start “testing” programming or anything dealing with eye, ear, brain before the public sees it and lives with it. It’s called DEATH BY DATA. Kinda like Star Trek. In 1966 it tested poorly and took awhile to grab on….but once it did….the rest is history. Star Trek would never make it on the air today because of DEATH BY DATA. It would be researched too early.
FEARLESS: Easier said than done. 2021 is not a place for the creatively meek.
How we could screw it up: Easily. Usually by introducing over-thinking, committees, corporate type political decision making—all that breed the fear of REALLY new thinking. And having incompleteness where you “sorta” do it or Try to mix the new generation with old generation techniques.
We need new formats for this new era. Times are radically changing and formats gotta change in harmony with the times A 1980’s rooted playbook in 2021 makes no sense, yet media is dominated by that era’s thinking. Just like in science, there’s never been a time better than now to get in sync with the day via new ideas, formats and visions.
Lee Abrams can be reached at [email protected]