Katie Couric, iPhones and Dealing With Change
Or because her skirts were too short.
The abysmal failure of the perky Katie Couric has a lot to do with how people deal with change.
Sit back and pay attention.
There is no question that the daily broadcast news business is in trouble. It’s competing with not only cable news, the internet, but even regular folks. It’s ripe for change.
But if people were ready and willing to hurl Dan Rather into the arms of a NBA owner, why were they reluctant for Katie C. to have the reins?
Everyone digs change in the abstract but on a day to day level it scares them to death.
We are creatures of habit and few people like their routines disturbed.
Katie wasn’t just a new face in the old newschair. She promised to change nightly broadcast news.
Remember the “Free Speech” segment? The new sets.
Here’s a tip: preach change and reform all you want but wrap it in tradition if you want to survive.
No revolution happens without backlash. Even if it’s for the best.
When Katie showed up she bought too much change too fast. “Free Speech”? A new set? Softer news?
Smart tech companies (smart companies in general) realize you have to take change boldly but slowly.
You don’t just show up with a new can and a new taste.
You show up with brand extensions.
You shout your improvements but have respect for the old way,product or taste.
Totally killing the old way makes consumers think that they were wrong in first place for their belief in you.
Sometimes you can make it through the rough patch of change by the goodwill you have developed in the past. Apple’s iPhone is an example. They have had high profile negative reactions to certain aspects of the phone but the goodwill and rabid devotion of fans keep it from being considered what it really is. A disaster.
When you introduce change you must also move boldly.
The worst thing you can do is change and then have to change again. You look incompetent at best and stupid at worse.
Katie introduced a Free Speech where regular people can give there views on the news. Early on it was questioned when Bill Maher was not allowed to talk about what he wanted. Even though CBS denied the allegations it raised questions of credibility and had Katie and company scrambling to explain there lack of convictions.
Credibility is the most important factor of a legitimate newscast. Without that, you are just some chick with a broadcast license.
So in review:
Change is good but never completely destroy the ties with the past (unless the past was horrid!) Ease into it.
Act boldly. Don’t keep changing trying to get it right. Act as if it is rightand most people will assume that it’s just how you want it. If you do have to tweak it (which you probably will) do it quietly without any fanfair. Stick to your guns.
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