Taking it all into context….
Yesterday evening, I read a Facebook post about a segment of an interview of Martha Stewart with Stephanie Ruhle where Martha responded to the question posed, “Is there an argument to be made that Social Media is a little bit in poor taste?” to which Martha replied, “I do have a minor gripe about that too, because who are these bloggers? They’re not trained Editors at Vogue Magazine. I mean there are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested, that aren’t necessarily very good or are copies of everything that really good Editors have created and done “. This resulted in a flurry of knee-jerk reactions. To which I too posted and commented on Facebook. (what did she mean by too? What was left out of this interview?)
Then this morning over a wonderful cup of coffee in the clear light of a somewhat overcast day…pink morning…rain is on the way, yay! I wanted to actually watch the whole video of this interview – knowing that a lot of things can be taken out of context. What was the interview about, were there things left off to create this sort of idea of what she said. You know, it’s all about getting a reaction. And it most certainly did.
So I Googled then visited the Bloomberg site and searched for Martha Stewart. I found not the whole interview but eight segments of this interview. And there was evidence of a lot of editing, especially in the maligned segment mentioning Bloggers.
What is the context of the interview….
Martha Stewart is a survivor.
Martha Stewart has become a household name having launched her career and formed, as Interviewer Stephanie Ruhle stated in one of the segments, ‘an empire’. Martha’s story is that she was a Model, a Stockbroker, a Caterer, Author, Television Personality, Producer of household items, SEO of a Company that has great influence. She’s worked hard over the many years - having begun all this late in life and now at 72 – is still pursuing excellence in her field.
As with most fields of business or industry, achieving position and status takes a lot of education, hard work and ‘climbing that ladder of success’. Martha Stewart has fought a lot of battles over the years, forging a way as others have done, for many of us to take advantage of.
And wouldn’t you agree with these assessments:
‘Martha Stewart is the definition of domesticity for millions of people who want a happy, homemade life. She started out a working class Jersey Girl whose hard work and media savvy made her the curator of great things’, (Stephanie Ruhle)
Attributes sited that made Martha Stewart a success:
♦ Modelling allowed her to be a ‘natural in the spotlight’.
♦ Stockbroker allowed her to ‘hone business acumen
♦ Caterer, her entrepreneurial efforts there garnered a business worth over 1 Million dollars in the ’70′s.
♦ Her business became the foundation for Martha Stewart Living to which she later took this company public becoming enormously successful.
A short three years later, Martha Stewart was charged in insider trading and was found guilty of lying to prosecutors. She spent time in prison, all this is quite well known. Then she bounced back after her five month stint with as Stephanie Ruhle noted, ‘not one but two tv deals waiting for her after her release’.
The Martha Stewart brand appeared everywhere…
from Macys to KMart…
Martha Stewart and Social Media…
She has a tremendous influence on all major Social Medias from Pinterest, Facebook to Twitter. She is particularly fond of Twitter for the instant impact of surveys, questions and our opinion.
One segment emphasized a comment by Martha, Pinterest has a copyright issue. True. She noted that they fobbed it off as it is us the Pinners who are sharing and resharing these images and some may have copyright status…Martha has a tremendous presence on Pinterest so she was not dissing Pinterest, she was just noting, having been involved in a number of legal cases herself, that Pinterest and we have to take great care about such things.
Stephanie Ruhle stated that through her interview it was Martha’s drive her ‘animal spirit’ that intrigued her to as the question, ‘Martha, what is it that drives you, what inspires you?”
‘I want my customer’s approval; I want to be where my customer needs and wants me; I want to be liked by my customer. Because if the customer starts to dislike your product, something that you are writing, your magazines, your television shows, forget it.”
To which Stephanie Ruhle replied, “Your name is on everything that you do. You have a lot more skin in the game than anyone around you. Do you have an example of a business story, a war story where you fought to say, ‘No. This is how Martha Stewart Living is going to do it because I’m Martha Stewart’”.
‘Yeah…oh, yeah. That happens each and every day’. Martha answered.
She said ‘hopefully it’s not a war’. But relayed that when talking with designers of products that she will be putting her name on, “Do you want this? Do you really want this? Do you want this teacup that you can’t put your finger in the handle? Why would you make a cup like this? Do you really want this sheet on your bed? And if the answer is ‘I don’t know or now’ well guess what I try very hard not to make that sheet”.
Martha Stewart is a force, she’s a perfectionist…
Stephanie Ruhle shareds, “you can tell she’s a perfectionist in everything they do. It could be a reason her company has had so many CEO’s running that company. She’s a tough cookie. But as I said, you know a year ago I interviewed Diane Von Ferstenberg, obviously another iconic woman at the top of her field in fashion and with the both of them, the same thing resonated. They have this survival quality. As I said, an animal instinct. It is my belief whatever field either of them was going to enter into they were going to end up on top…these women were going to be winners”.
Martha Stewart’s name is on everything…it is her brand…it has to be true to ‘Martha’.
Stephanie Ruhle notes that Martha does stay true to her brand. ‘She wants things to be affordable, and many of us look toward a Martha Stewart Living or a Martha Stewart Weddings and they want what she’s coined as ‘A Good Thing’.
Here’s the thing…
Stephanie Ruhle pointed out. The question is how long can that last…she’s 72 and in the age of Social Media, while she does have 2.9 million Twitter followers what do young people and what do ‘Millennials’ follow? With all of these bloggers, they become ‘tastemakers’
Stephanie Ruhle quotes Martha as saying she respects the Editors of Vogue, they’ve spent decades curating great stuff, being the Editors, Martha is a ‘tastemaker’ being that she’s done it for decades. ‘How about 24 year-old fashion bloggers, they become in charge. Martha doesn’t like that” - to which Stephanie Ruhle gives a big smile to Pimm Fox, to whom she’s relating details of her interview with Martha. She knew she had something that would gain comment and attention. She was a good reporter – getting the scoop.
As with a lot in media and with journalism, it’s getting the reaction, getting the scoop and setting a train of thought. They’ve most certainly done this by emphasizing this portion of the interview with Martha in her statement about Bloggers.
What was the nerve struck by Martha Stewart…it is shown in the use of hash-tags, the quote, ‘who are these bloggers?’ Which is also intended to garner a reaction...’what? She said what?’ We want to be taken seriously as I am sure she has/had wanted to over the years.
Do you get the point? For the very same reasons we have and look toward Martha Stewart for inspiration and influence – she’s set a standard, she’s worked very hard, she’s forged a path – she has as she put it – created the interest in LIFESTYLE – she did make being a housewife, cook, crafter, gardener ‘A Good Thing’. We all have benefited from her drive, her perfectionism…
I have even seen a glimmer of this personality and attitude in Bloggers. This drive.
Some who have worked hard and achieved a following, a status, an influence have reprimanded those not yet ‘there‘ for taking baby steps with advertisers, for taking less than what they’re asking for their ‘opinion’. Bloggers have been and are influenctial. It is a marvelous community where we do share, lift one another up. As Martha said about Ralph Lauren’s influence and success, he’s taken his name and industry and inspired many to think, ‘I want to be…’ So did Martha. I mean really, haven’t you wished, perhaps in your pursuits dreamed of becoming a “Martha”. So, be careful of what you say and write, it can be taken out of context.
Because I would like to know what was left out of the interview…the latter half of what Martha said after her much maligned statement about Bloggers. Wouldn’t you? Let’s continue to do what we do best – support, create and inspire. And in my humble opinion, give Martha a break. We may need one some day ourselves.