The Life of a Story ? The 3s

I started this blog more than 4 years ago because I wanted to respond to a story that I felt misrepresented the email exchange I had with the reporter. My concern then, was that reporters in the traditional news media, in this case the Dallas Morning News had sufficient power to create whatever perception they wanted to about whoever they wrote about. This blog was a way to combat that.

That was during a time when newspapers and televisions perceived themselves to have more impact than the internet, and they were right. The topics they wrote and reported about, and the perceptions they left had a far longer shelf life and messaging impact than they do today. To this day, my day of making blizzards at Dairy Queen is referenced frequently, as if it happened recently, although it happened more than 7 years ago. To this day, it seems that every mention of me, whether it relates to basketball or not has to mention my being fined by the NBA in some manner, although the only time I have been fined in the last 5 years was during the 2006 playoffs. There have been multiple other stories about me that have drawn headlines, but few people are going to remember them.

Today’s media presumes that our memories are short, and that we need continuous shots of adrenaline generating headlines in order to get our attention. Whether its the paparazzi following a starlet doing the exact same thing over and over again, or the search for the latest rehab relapse, no story is expected to remembered past dinner the next day.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It’s a reflection of the significant increase in competition for subscriber, viewer/reader and advertiser attention and dollars. If thats the best way you can come up with to compete, go for it.

Of course, the constant chase of headlines can create misery for those people being chased, but it has lead to a rule of thumb that offers a light at the end of the tunnel for anyone under media scrutiny. The life of a story in this media world is 3 weeks. Not 2 weeks and 6 days, and not 3 weeks and 1 day. 3 Weeks. For anyone who is getting attention they would not like, if you can just deal with it, and not generate any new news or stories about yourself, than all the attention will go away in 3 weeks.

In 3 weeks, unless you do something new, even the media gets bored with the story. They run out of ridiculous headlines. They cant get even the smallest blogs to reference them. The juice runs dry and by then someone else has is the story. More importantly, if you can stay out of the news for a while, your 3 week run will have been completely forgotten.

Its also important to recognize that the 3 weeks rule does not apply to good news. If you cure the common cold, save a person from drowning, feed the poor, or do something nice that does get a headline, it will not be carried forward for 3 weeks. You will get 1 day in the news, and then 10 blogs will write about it, and then after 3 days, it will be forgotten by all by those involved in the story and your friends and relatives.

Whats the point of all of this ? Planning and understanding. If you find yourself in the media for any reason, just remember the rule of 3s, 3 days or 3 weeks. Then it all goes away

2 thoughts on “The Life of a Story ? The 3s

  1. It\’s nice to see that the internet is giving some power back to people to combat negative press. I also have compared the internet to a bathroom wall, because any doofus can write anything about anyone. good post.

    Comment by self esteem king -

  2. Ha. Yes. I will remember always the 3s. Let it rain!

    Comment by Kelmar Associates -

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