Ask an undecided voter who Dan Quayle is and more than half have no clue. Ask them who Zell Miller is and the number drops into the single digits. (think about this for a second… how out of the loop do you need to be to be an undecided voter anyway?)
Yet, if the pundits on television are to be believed, what Zell Miller has to say is vitally important. Same with Dick Gephardt or John Edwards’ wife.
The pundits are there to spin for the people already in the echo chamber. They stick to their talking points and they busily keep score, just like the baseball fanatics with their box scores. But it really doesn’t matter and the networks are doing us a disservice by not featuring someone who can talk about the way the ideas spread, as opposed to what the ideas themselves mean to the insiders.
Howard Dean caused millions of words to be spilled while most people still had no idea who he was. Then, the moment with the very least amount of content (his famous scream) leaked out through the chamber and reached the public. And the rest didn’t matter one bit. What mattered was the idea that ultimately spread.
So, what does this have to do with you? Well, instead of worrying about the finest details of your competiton and our offering and your media buys, what really matters is this: who’s going to talk about you? What are they going to say?
Your prospects are just like the undecided voters. They are woefully uninformed, extremely difficult to contact and very prone to quick judgments and first impressions.
We don’t need Mary Matalin. We need Malcolm Gladwell.