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Mentor your way to media

I have been working with media for over twenty years and some of my mentors include some of the most outspoken and reserved people out there. There are lessons to be learned from them all as we have so much at stake every time we engage media.

If you have ever listened to my podcast Brand Newsroom I subscribe to the theory if they aren’t talking about you then you have failed. Good or Bad. I know right it is something that as professional communicators that we challenge with every day. How can we take a risk or even allow us to enter any domain that we might be off message or not comfortable with?

If they are not talking about you they are talking about your competitor and that would be the greatest tragedy for most business owners is what I have always professed.

Yes; we all love the lovely commentary about our personal and business brand but we all know that it takes a special occasion for you to get this type of response. To be truthful you are going to see these pinnacles of brand love from others rarely. It is just the nature of this modern communication world the good news is always going to be second to a scandal, an injustice or a negative comment.

It’s this that puts off a lot of experts that should be recognised for their greatness in what they do. To explain it in military terms if you put your head above the parapet you are more likely to get shot than you would be if you stay safe in that bunker that you have dug.

Greatness was never achieved in the bunker. Sure, you will stay safe and you will be counting down the clock to watch others fight it out but by the time you put your head up the battle will not on only be lost but so might the war.

As a young sales executive working for a media monitoring company that worked with some of Australia’s leading accounts and have the Managing Director make commentary that was against the company message with his professional opinion was always going to be difficult to defend.

The next week he defended the personal and business reputation of someone that was being crucified in Australian media with such vigour without any regard for his own or business reputation. His loyalty, his passion and demeanor was admirable.

It is this mindset and passion that you need to embrace as a leader and authority of your space that you will want to employ to make a difference. Granted all the decisions you must make should be made strategically and with some vision for the future. Just don’t let this be the shackle that holds you back from making a difference.

There is no doubt or question that we are being let down by our modern-day leaders in politics as they are scared witless that they might stand out. They are lacking the personality and individuality of the leaders of past. It is almost that they are rewarded for uniformity and not for visionary behaviour. This is a sad leadership-less world we are living in.

It is any wonder that the likes of a Pauline Hanson gets traction and a following. Her ability to speak her mind resonates with a lot of people. People are attracted to views and an opinion not political rhetoric or slogan lines from once the dominant parties.

As an expert, as an authority, as someone with an opinion don’t hold back and make sure that you are heard. Who knows? Backed with some facts, some evidence and reputation you will do what many out there are incapable of. You will be able to make a difference.

My greatest mentor was my father Michael Hayes. It’s his values, his love of life and business disciplines that I adore. He is the reason I do what I do.

Nicholas Hayes is the MD of Media Stable and co-host of communications podcast Brand Newsroom.

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