My audience loves me

Published 7:21 am Saturday, June 17, 2017

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


We all love an audience. I believe it is why dogs and cats are loved as they are. A dog is just made to give you attention. No matter what time of day or night, no matter what the weather, your dog wants your attention. Cats show their love in a much different way. Some may lure you in with their purr as they try to trip you, while many just sit and flip their tail at you, as if you are not there and they don’t care.

Children know how to get attention. We want to hear them cry when they are born. It is their only form of communication. But five years later, when they have learned to communicate in a little more sophisticated manner, when they cry instead, they often end up in trouble.

Performers love the attention of their audience. Think about it. You pay to be entertained by your favorite performer in a live performance. He or she sings, dances, hits a ball, catches a pass or tells a joke and then what do they want, your applause, your adoration, your attention. You pay to see them so they can provoke you to adore them.

Politicians are a whole class of audience seekers of their own. They only need a little more than half of their audience to side with them to be elected. At the end of their cycle, as long as their little more than half of their audience still adores them, they are set for reelection. By design, almost half of every politician’s audience rejected him or her.

Groceries stores attract their audience with displays of delicious produce, fresh cut meats, weekly sales, coupons, clean floors and fast checkout lines.

Auto dealers attract us with the latest innovations, payment options, safety features, economy or eco-friendly upgrades.

News can be informative and beneficial to an orderly society. But often news is as much about entertainment and attracting a large audience. Watching a news show is a lot like watching your favorite crime solving series. Everything about the hour-long show is designed to keep you planted in your chair, for the whole hour, then leave you hanging at the end so you will come back next time for more.

Sometimes we do things to drive our audience away. One politician tackled a reporter. That did not turn out well for either. Comedians have been known to tell a joke that offends rather than make their audience chuckle.

Social media has made a big impact on how we interact with our audience. A good social media expert can snap, tweet, chat, tag, follow, like and emote in a few strokes of their fingers and let the whole world know they are eating their first chili dog from Wiernerschnitzel since it reopened.

Maintaining an audience is difficult over time. Generations come and go and so do preferences. Reaching today’s audience may mean using their preferred method. Tomorrow’s audience may have a whole new set of tools to communicate with.

Working to gain the love our audience is worth the effort. We all want to be loved by our audience.

Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at