It isn’t the first day that matters, it’s the second…
I used to have a program director in radio that told me “anyone can talk for 4 minutes, it is the really special ones that are interesting for 5.”
In our town a new radio show launched and it was fascinating to see how much interest there was either digitally (social, web, etc), conversationally at the actual water cooler, or on our local TV stations for this one show on a week when there was no shortage of large news stories, which got me thinking…
When you interview a candidate for a job, you get them on their best day. They are wearing their best clothes, answering the smartest questions, smiling, and caring about this job more than anything else in the world, and then you hire them. This is when you get to see who they really are and in most cases it turns out alright, but sometimes you hire a really good interviewer and not a really good employee.
Your first date is usually when you have the best stories, you are at your funniest, spend the most money, resist the urge to fart, and have a vested interest in seeing if you can this to a second date. Then you get married, and in some cases this level of caring disappears, but in 100% of the cases it dips dramatically.
When you buy a new car it smells like nothing you have ever smelled before, everything feels tight and responsive, you promise yourself you won’t eat, smoke, or drink in it ever. Then the next day comes and you are eating a Big Mac on your second pack of cigarettes after you spilled a cup of coffee between the seats. It is hard to always be at a faux-best, right?
So when you launch a new show, a new product, host a grand opening, or start anything new you can get the benefit of attention. Your pageviews go up, your likes increase, your followers skyrocket, your earned and owned media mirror that of Donald Trump, but then you actually have to do the work. You see, getting attention is easy — keeping attention is the game here.
How does your brand keep the lights on when you don’t have balloons in the window and the TV station isn’t doing a live shot? What is your company doing to innovate when that “new car smell” has worn off your product? What does the 100th podcast sound like vs. the first one? What do you have to say in that 5th minute?
At our core we are all storytellers but very few of us put in the work to keep the audience interested after they saw what all the fuss is about.