Credibility in the Lobby

I typically visit over a dozen businesses a week. Only a few have media articles about themselves in the lobby. When I ask the others, they typically answer “Oh sure. We were written up a few years ago. I have it around here somewhere.”

Attention from the print media is infrequent, but it can have a very long shelf life. I have a front page article about my business in our lobby. It is ten years old. No visitor has ever mentioned the age of the article, although many have read it. Regardless of how long it hangs there, it is an indication that a journalist thought we were newsworthy.

In a university study a few years ago, students were asked to read a script to another student. After they were done, the listeners rated their believability. Then the test was repeated. The scripts were the same. The students were the same (although in different pairings). The only difference was that the readers put an empty television cabinet over their heads (OK- this WAS before flat screens). The believability rating of the listeners increased by an average of 60%.

The fact is, we believe what the media tells us. How many people agree with the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial? The jury was screened for bias, and they rendered a verdict. Because of the media coverage, millions think they were wrong.

When you get some media recognition, give it a long life. Put a pdf of the article on your website. Frame it for your entryway. If it was in broadcast media, put up a link to the story.

Your employees are proud to belong to an organization that was noticed. Visitors know that they are entering a legitimate business. If nothing else, it tells a newcomer what your company is about. I know that I appreciate reading about the business I’m having a first appointment with.

Media coverage is difficult to get, and is gone from the public eye in a flash. Keeping it in front of people isn’t ego, it’s just good business.

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