I've received some interesting comments regarding a couple of my recent posts about television and the Prez Bush press conference interrupting shows.
It started on Monday a little something like this...
And it continued on Tuesday's post like this:
Tracy Lynn: "That stupid man forced me to miss most of the ball game so that I could watch my shows last night. Bastard. Why can't he prioritize appropriately?! ;-) He did NOT need twenty minutes to say what needed to be said. He could have just dropped it into a commercial space, that would have been way more considerate, and would have allowed me to Tivo AND fast forward through it."
Me: "MIM, I agree he should be doing something far more regularly than just once a year. He's a media troll. Just don't interrupt us and our shows."
Yes, I agree with MIM that our President is truly lax about press conferences and getting information out in a timely manner. And there's a simple reason for that, he's an idiot in the press. He comes off as a slack-jawed yokel. Your cousin Jethro in a suit.
But I'm not here to pick on the President. I do that enough already. I'm here to offer up some simple ideas. I realize it's late in his second term and the likelihood of these helping, or even being implemented for that matter, are slim to none. But I will try anyway.
Never pre-empt nightly television schedules with your press conferences and announcements. Never, ever, ever, never. You anger networks who suddenly need to either push their shows back and run them later into the night or they need to find open time slots to reschedule them to air later.
Fans get pissed, too. This either messes with their viewing patterns or the timers set on their VCRs/DVRs. Don't anger your voters. I know you don't need
to care about them anymore seeing as how you're in your second term,
but this is a recommendation for future politicians that may have
executive leanings as well.
Instead, set up a "commercial interruption." This is something that would air during a commercial break in a show and last nothing more than one or two minutes. In it, you would give a preview of your press conference, announcement, etc., and maybe one or two quick points about it to whet the appetites of those who might be interested in more information. Call it your teaser or cliffhanger.
At the end of the commercial interruption, a list of places to go for more information and to view the actual press conference would be made available.
This list should include a Web site with video feeds so people can watch them. Have an archive of past video feeds so we can reference them down the road a bit or even remind us of what you've said in the past (granted, with Bush, this could be a dangerous thing).
It can also include information about an alternate television channel, one that is not owned or operated by any of the networks or affiliates, but stands completely independent of them so none of them would have a problem putting up this information (no fear of giving viewers to competitors). This channel would serve up these media events as they happen as well as in an on-demand format. Now viewers have the ability watch the current event live or go back and watch it, and others, later. You have control over the FCC, you can make it happen.
Also, make the video and audio as well as transcripts for these events readily available in one place. Provide RSS feeds for these files so we can subscribe to them in our RSS aggregators or with our MP3 player software. We can then watch or listen to them on our iPods. I know not everyone would be interested in this, but some would. And it would also be available to be used as teaching material in schools and universities. I'm sure much of this is already available, but in one place? That's easy to find? With feeds? I doubt that entirely.
I would also recommend a Presidential blog, but even I don't see
that being all that great an idea. Talk about your comment and
trackback spam. Geez.
With these suggestions in place, you do not risk alienating
television programmers or viewers. You can get on the air more often
and let people see and hear you and get the information that is
"important." You cater to both traditional media fans and those who
prefer more cutting-edge technology. You no longer are perceived as the
cowardly Wizard hiding behind the protective curtain in his Emerald
City White House.
It's a win-win situation, Mr. President.
So what do you say?
Got an opening for a Press Secretary? Media Collaborator?