Paul Cooper argues that we need to get over this constant flow of bad news.
Are you feeling “up” today, or “down”?
How much do you think this has been influenced by what you’ve heard on the radio or TV this morning, or read in your national or local newspapers?
My point for today is “How much does the media dictate your mood?” I’m especially interested in this at the moment, as there seems to be more doom and gloom around than normal.
Now, ever since I’ve had anything to do with the media in general, I have known that they tend to like the bad-news stories more than the good. Fair enough. It’s always a case of who came bottom in your survey rather than who came top, or “well, just tell us who really does it badly” and the like. TV “Reality” shows are all about trying to improve, correct, highlight and ridicule those who have failed in something, from cooking to staying thin, from driving a car to running a hotel/restaurant. Again, fair enough.
Bad news so strongly outweighs the good
However, I’d just like to see the line drawn when the bad news so strongly outweighs the good, especially at a time when we could perhaps use a boost.
Job losses and contact centre closures
Let’s take job losses. Headlines scream out at us daily of the job losses and corporate closures that have been happening in our high streets and the like due to the recession. Of course, we do need to know this, and feel genuinely sorry about it, especially for all of those people who will need to seek another job.
News of job increases
However, when there is good news as well, as has been the case several times in the last few weeks, of organisations who have announced job increases or have opened new stores, like Tesco and John Lewis, are they given the same prominence of coverage? I don’t think so.
Whilst putting this article together, I trawled the internet for news: for job losses that was easily found, for the good news, however, I had to go to each organisation’s own site, and even then it wasn’t easy to confirm.
Let’s compare two headlines
And it’s not just in the world of jobs and service, is it? Contrast these two headlines:
“Sixteen die in tragic helicopter crash in North Sea.”
“Sixteen rescued from crashed helicopter in heroic drama in North Sea.”
Both equally likely major headlines in the media, I’m sure you’d agree. Now, the excellent news is that, at least in this particular case, last year, the first one was luckily not true and the second one was. My point is, however, that if the first one had been true it would have been on the front page of pretty much every newspaper.
As, in fact, it was the second one that was true, it made page 8 in the Times and similar positions in the other papers. It was covered a bit on TV as there were some dramatic pictures, but if they had not been around…?
Now, I’m not calling for rose-tinted glasses, or any form of spin – we’ve had enough of that in the last years – but good news IS as newsworthy as bad.
Telling people about good customer service is important
Receiving great customer service, and telling others about it, IS as important as letting people know when it’s poor. They used to say that if you have a good experience in service you may tell up to 5 people, and if you have a bad one it’s 10-12. With today’s social media, of course, you can tell hundreds.
So let’s all try to at least make this more equal and tell a few more people when things have gone right, especially those who have just served you well. You’ll make their day, and hopefully they will have made yours.
With thanks to Paul A Cooper, a Director at Customer Plus.