Beware the expert who says, “People want…”  There is no more “people”.

The web is the great equalizer.  You want to learn basket weaving, it’s on YouTube (I looked).  Scuba diving, no problem (I looked).

I had a broadcast executive tell me, “People want more detail and depth and context to their weather forecast.”  No “they” don’t.  As I listened further I realized that “he” wanted it, but “he” was projecting his desire on “everyone”.  In his model I get basket weaving along with my forecast.  I’m not really interested in basket weaving.

Do this.  Every time someone says “people want…”, put “some” in front of “people”.  Every time you say “people want…” but “some” in front of it.  It will change your perspective dramatically.  After you ad “some”, then ask yourself if you can afford the time in motion to service that group.

“People” will appreciate it.  (Yes, all of them.)


About Kevin Selle

Chief Meteorologist, KFDX-TV. Co-host, WeatherBrains.
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4 Responses to Some

  1. Nate Johnson says:

    On a related line of thinking, I bristle whenever anyone who works in a TV station says, “as a viewer, I want…”. On the one hand, at least they’re not projecting their opinions on anyone else by saying “people want…”.

    On the other hand, I would argue that people who have been “in the business” for any length of time aren’t a representative sample of typical TV viewers. That doesn’t mean their input isn’t valuable — far from it! —  but that doesn’t absolve anyone from needing to bring support to the table: ratings, research, etc.

  2. Kevin Selle says:

    Perfect points, Nate. I’ve said a number of times that in some ways we are the least qualified to make decisions about what people want because we are too close to the product. I’ve joked in the past that I sometimes wonder if my presentation was better during my first year, when I didn’t know as much as I know now. At least for “some” people. 🙂

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