“I had to lie because I had too much pressure from media and my sponsors!”
Lately there´s been a lot of movement in the media of adventurers who will do anything to gain fame.Lie and cheat about what they claim to have done. In this new world of Big Brother, where you can become famous for doing nothing, of course, even the adventure business is teeming with people who will claim anything for fame. Not that it is anything new to the genre, one of the most famous cheats, if it is true, because you never know this, is Frederick Cook. He claims to be the first to reach the North pole and the first to climb Mount McKinley (Denali). My great Russian friend, Dmitry Shparo says he could well have been. He has done research lately on the subject, something which as always, when it is Russian, goes un-noticed by the west.
I just want to touch the subject of the sponsors and media. I have during 25 years of professional adventuring dealt with a lot of sponsors and media, I have never, ever felt that pressure. Either they, the cheats and liers, have chosen the wrong sponsors or media, or they´re just moving the blame to anyone except themselves. I just want to say, people do mistakes, I know that if any, and if they take what ever punishment and get on with life, and get to be better human beings, let them. But one should than not blame others. However, I see that all of these unfortunate modern cheaters, they have all worked together with agents and PR companies, and I think that could well be the problem. People who are just not involved in the business and want to make it is big and profitable as possible for both themselves and their client. I wish all explorers could do the PR work themselves without involving people who have no idea about what it means doing adventurers. That said, I have worked with a PR-company myself, but the bloke who ran it, was into adventure himself. And did a great job. He also became a personal friend. Than of course, you have these adventurers who are really good at marketing and using PR-agents and who get a lot of fame for nothing. They could work at any farmers market on earth and become successful.
Than again, there are those explorers who have done amazing things, and just doesn´t have the marketing skills, they should use help. But take their time to find the right ones, who fits their image that they want to sell to the world. The best solution though, is for the explorer to do his own PR.work. Who better than her or him knows everything about the subject?
I also am a firm believer that most humans want to make themselves look much better than reality. I am definitely one of those who have done these mistakes, but this will not happen again. With age, I know who I am. A human full of mistakes.
© Copyright 2014 Mikael Strandberg | Photos and texts Copyright Explorer Mikael Strandberg