The most-watched TV show in . . .?


What was the most-watched TV show in 1998?

What about 2008? (Don’t cheat – take a guess . . .)

And 2018?

No soup for you if you didn’t get Seinfeld, American Idol and Big Bang Theory.

That was just for fun. Here’s what’s important about this exercise:

The average number of viewers for those shows was 38 million, 27.8 million, and 18.6 million.

That’s right – viewership for the top-rated show has dropped by half over 20 years, even though the number of potential viewers increased 19 percent.

Don’t get me wrong – more people than ever are watching more “episodic video,” when you consider all the streaming and cable options we have now.

People are more reachable than ever – it’s just harder than ever to reach them through a few large platforms. Same thing has happened with newspapers. And network TV news. Obviously. More people than ever consume news. They just consume it across more varied platforms.

That means the credibility boost that comes from third-party media placements is more important than ever. But you can’t rely on these dwindling “reach” numbers to get your message to your audiences. You often have to help the media do that.

Content marketers and social media managers are experiencing the same fragmentation of audiences. The average number of shares for a given piece of content dropped by half from 2015 to 2017, according to a Buzzsumo analysis of a million posts.

That’s why this year in the Inner Circle our focus is this:

How to better integrate your earned media strategy with paid, shared and owned outreach.

We’ve already covered, and will soon, the following best practices:

– how to educate your leadership about these changes and recalibrate their expectations about what really matters

– new types of non-media platforms that will eagerly share your message . . . for free

– how to identify influencers, both paid and non-paid

– using paid tools to boost engagement with your earned media

– better connecting your hard-won media placements with the value they bring to your SEO team

And lots more. If you’d like to be a part of this and magnify your media relations expertise across other disciplines, apply today or tomorrow. Because we’re closing enrollment indefinitely Friday at 5 pm PT.

Check out all the details and apply here.

And check out the message below I just got yesterday – it’s from an Inner Circle member who just accepted his dream job.

Hope to see you on the inside,



I have learned an incredible amount by being part of the Inner Circle and from the coaching Michael has generously offered over the years. It has been an instrumental part of my professional development.

I recently landed my dream job as a Press Secretary at the Danish Department of Education. I am mindful that many people have contributed to positioning me for that. But I feel comfortable saying that the experiences, lessons, and member feedback from the Inner Circle played as big of a role as anything in getting me to where I am today. 

I couldn’t recommend the program highly enough. The value is second to none. And on a personal note, you will rarely find a person as thoughtful and friendly as Michael. I hope that I can repay him with Danish treats and a tour of Copenhagen soon. 

Soren Dal Rasmussen

Departing as Media Relations Manager, Voices of Justice

This article was originally published on Feb 13, 2019.