Unfortunately, Don Lemon was roasted on Twitter once again last night. He opened up a CNN newscast with two large cards in front of him; one with me Confederate flag the other with a sign that spelled “Nigger.” He asked if each one was offensive. He was trying to create shock value, based on a podcast that President Obama had done where he said the word “Nigger’ and the current controversy over the Confederate flag and what it means. Truth be told, the two are not synonymous in this instance. The segment was poorly executed and received. What was his point? A firestorm erupted but not in Don’s favor. The general consensus, was it is too soon after the Charleston shootings to play this game, this was just not the time.
It seems that Don is constantly trying to find himself on the worst possible platform, national TV. I feel bad for him, it makes one curious as to who is behind the curtain at CNN directing him, or worse is he directing himself? He seems to take pride in knowing that he offends people on both sides but one is left to wonder if that is just a response to yet another futile effort instead.
It’s very easy to feel sorry for Don, because underneath it all, it appears he is desperately seeking acceptance and attention. Worst yet, from places he may never get it. Television news is getting more and more dated as millennial’s rely on online methods to get their news and information. Times have drastically changed and you can see how commercial TV news is trying desperately to capture the audience by becoming more and more like Entertainment Tonight, or like Entertainment Tonight was, which is also dated. More and more people are tired of being depressed and sparked by sensationalism. The audience prefers comedy or opinion based news coming from the people who are actually passionate about it. Passion cannot be faked. I, like Don L Lemon, am a last generation baby boomer and even I hate watching TV for the same reasons.
Desperation is ugly and if once you become desperate it is best to pull out and rethink your strategy instead of humiliating yourself in front of everyone. How does this relate to entrepreneurs? Because it’s about passion, sales and marketing. There are some very valuable lessons to be learned from Don Lemon starting with…
Know your target
Knowing your target means that you’re not afraid to speak to them, eat with them, live with them, spend time with them, accept them, love them and get to know more of them. One of the worst things that you can do is tell people how to behave when you rarely have anything to do with them. (Click “NEXT” above or below)
Don’t fake the funk
Don is constantly talking about black issues and black people, but when you look at his social networks he is often surrounded by white and Latin men and women. Recently he’s been called “Uncle Tom” a lot. When this happens, it is always when a black person is playing both sides of the coin. It is painfully evident that Don is not connected to the black community but at the same time he’s making a futile effort to act like he is. You don’t make a sale this way because it does not go over well with the customer. It is no different than when an entrepreneur thinks of money first when starting a business. He or she will almost always fail. Passion wins, Money follows! When you are passionate about something people know it, when you are only trying to make money or fulfill an agenda people also know that.
Surround yourself with the right people
Without even being sure, I can almost guarantee you that Don Lemon is not surrounded by black people at CNN. It is evident with his on air delivery and antics. The best candidates win elections when they’re surrounded with the right team and understands the target! If CNN is asking him to go out and represent himself as a spokesperson for the black community, it would behoove him at best to ask for the right team?