Thursday, January 30, 2014
President Obama might have wanted the nation to focus on his State of the Union speech but for at least 100,000 Americans it wasn't important. They are more concerned about the immigration status of a Canadian-born pop singer. It is a lesson to communicators and others that what we consider urgent may have no significance to the people we address. Admittedly, 100,000 citizens are a tiny fraction of the American population, but these individuals had to be concerned enough to go to the White House web site and to sign a petition calling for the singer's ouster. Most people probably didn't spend even that much energy in ignoring the President's speech. They pressed a button on a TV remote. The matters that motivate them are close to home and their individual needs be it jobs, schooling or paying a mortgage. It is one more example of how difficult it is to communicate to a mass audience.