Without bothering with further commentary on the theatre-of-the-absurd “Balloon Boy” fiasco that also left the media bamboozled and humiliated over its national coverage of the hoax, there is a worthwhile lesson here for personal branders.
In this instant media age, it is more possible than ever to gain immediate attention. The question is, what are we going to do with that attention? Gaining attention for the mere sake of gaining attention is, in effect, the spectacle-seeker’s oddball way to merely say, “I’ve got nothing.”
The “Balloon Boy” fiasco reminded me of a fitting commentary, made some years ago by Ron Crossland, Chairman of Crosspoint Leadership Development, from one of the first editions of Crosspoint Leadership’s The Point e-newsletter:
I believe that each person is able and wants to add a verse to human history…The question is whether you will use your voice to make an addition to truth and wisdom, or simply to gain attention. (emphasis added).
Here’s to all of us opting for the former and avoiding the latter like the plague!