With a gentle fall rain falling outside my office and after taking the dogs for a walk in the park (before the rain started), there’s a few things on my mind:
You know its a slow news week in NASCAR when news of a spotter not returning to his gig next season gets published on what some rely on as a legitimate NASCAR news site. I’m all for reminding people that this is a team sport, but come on…
It’s frustrating how few “professional” public relations people in auto racing don’t understand the changing landscape of journalism. With the rapid availability of tools now available to journalists (along with an explosion of writers that appear on the Internet and who call themselves journalists), it has become a real art to reach out to the genuine media sources with a message you deem valuable. Few of today’s college grads who majored in communications really “get it.” It used to be you could make a call to a journalist friend, schmooze over lunch and then rely on their help. That still works, to some extent. However, news staffing is at an all time low and many writers have little time to either develop or maintain a working relationship with a PR professional. Instead, there are valuable alternatives that include a wide variety of new tools available to the PR professional that offers journalists, even those they’re not close friends with, a nearly non-stop pipeline with which to relay interesting and valuable information that a good journalist requires in his or her endless quest for news.
Unfortunately, it appears that there is only a small group of PR professionals that know how to use these tools to their advantage. There are missed opportunities for a driver, the team and more importantly the team’s financial partners, who are always expecting to see their name in the media, even when the on track results aren’t great.
Of course, the result of this inability to communicate is that it turns a multi-dimensional sport like NASCAR into a narrow-focused and consequently unexciting sport in the eyes of both the casual fan and the mainstream sports fan alike. NASCAR news often presents itself as how many different ways can you write a story using the same manufacturer-supplied quotes.
And worse still, is when you’re inbox is filled with releases written by someone calling themselves a PR professional (usually a former journalist) that is a finished, written piece. No real journalist uses these releases and anyone or any website that does, is lazy, prone to plagiarism and not to be considered an important source of news.
This isn’t just true in NASCAR, but IndyCars, NHRA drag racing and most definitely, sports cars.
We often quote racing fans as being the most loyal and knowledgeable in sports, yet somehow there appears to be a critical lack of real information being offered to those whose job it is to supply a 24-hour stream of news.
The rollout of the Affordable Care Act is regrettably another example of the inability of the current administration to deliver. I voted for President Obama (twice) because my politics closely mirror the party he represents. But time and time again, he and his administration have shown me that despite my loyalties, they’re obviously a group that is not ready for prime time. The country needs this health care program and I agree its not perfect. But, if I were in charge of things, I would have contracted the folks at Amazon or Google to build the website and not some hack of a company that overspent, under delivered and made the hallmark piece of legislation of my presidency look like the joke that so many say it is.
How can everybody in the room get it, except the guys who are supposed to be the smartest guys in the room?
It’s been said that the source of disappointment is when you enter into a situation with a pre-determined outcome already set in your mind. We’re all guilty of letting that happen. Often it’s our reaction to the failure of life to live up to some pre-determined outcome that drives us crazy and affects everything we do. In my battles with cancer, I’ve had to struggle with plenty of disappointment, especially after having been diagnosed with the disease for a third time earlier this year. And now, as I continue to deal with the disease, that sense of disappointment in what life often delivers has become less and less of an issue to me as I understand that there are so few factors in life that we truly can control.
Think about it.
Thanks for stopping by.