Earlier this week I stood on the other side of a perspex screen, mere inches from one of Britain’s most notorious men…Piers Morgan.
Whilst the safety glass evoked “Silence of the Lambs”, Piers was predictably anything but quiet. However, like Mr Lecter, he was also incredibly polite.
This, along with much he had to say to me and the global audience I was part of was a surprise.
I was actually up on the stage just before Piers, giving a talk on how to generate media coverage by using your expertise to position yourself and add value to the media and your customer at the same time.
It technically made me the warm-up act!
For 2 hours!
However, the interesting thing is that with over 100 people in the audience on the day and well over 1250 online, there were a few folks who were less keen.
Spoiler alert, it wasn’t about me!
It turns out Piers is something of a divisive figure.
I’ve just discovered that 5 members of the group (which has thousands across the globe) have actually terminated their membership purely because Piers was on the bill.
They refuse to be associated with him.
That’s their call, I’ve no problem with that. I’m not his biggest fan either but I did know that I might learn something from him that I can apply to my business or my clients’ businesses.
I suspected the division might happen when I accepted the opportunity to speak on the same bill as Piers. In fact, I used this to promote the fact that I was speaking.
Using a simple poll on social media, I asked a simple question:
“Piers Morgan, love him, loath him or leave him?”
On Facebook, the comments were pretty evenly split but there was very little apathy, i.e. very few said “leave”. However, on Linkedin, the split was very much in one direction and it surprised me…
Over 1000 were floating around on the poll and I had hundreds of replies, The vast majority say they LOVE Piers.
I dug a little deeper and the main reason was because he appears to say what he thinks.
Now, I tend not to agree with what he thinks and says but it seems he is respected for that. This might suggest that the fence-sitters, typically broadcasters and let’s face it, politicians, are actually getting nowhere fast.
There’s a phrase I heard the other day:
“There’s no money in the middle.”
There’s also another around the idea that if you remain in the middle of the road, you’’ll get run over.
But it has got me thinking.
You don’t have to be liked by everyone. You don’t need everyone to buy from you.
You need the right people to like you and your product or service. That is where your focus should be, not on trying to be all things to all people.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should start to antagonise people, (I’m looking at you Piers) but you can begin to stand FOR something and AGAINST something else.
I want to break PR. I want to level the playing field so that any business can play the media game. Will that annoy people? Yep, mainly other PR consultants and agencies but I’m cool with that, I know who I want to help.