AS I SEE IT 2/14: Promoting your indy online...
AS I SEE IT
In what seems an almost perverse coincidence after last week's column about promoting your independent online, one of America's major indies did exactly what my column would have suggested they NOT do.
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
It only took 6 hours after I posted the column, too.
Since this reporter has asked not to have his situation made public...I'll at least not use his name. But this stupidity is just too obvious not to get mentioned.
So... one of North America's major indies...one that has TV and PPV (this should make it lots easier for you to figure out) decided that an noted online reporter wasn't entitled to press credentials, credentials allowing him to both attend the promotion's TV tapings and their PPV events.
This reporter has given positive press to the event, some arguing even more so than it sometimes deserves; giving literally hundreds of thousands of page views weekly to news relating to this promotion's TV shows and PPVs that it would not otherwise get.
The reason: a claim by the person handling press for the company is that he has "a policy not to provide press credentials". One which apparently doesn't prevent all sorts of free passes from being issued for these events to seemingly everyone from girlfriends to circus clowns.
So let me get this straight....you're a promotion. You're going to ask people to watch your TV shows. You're going to ask people to buy your merchandise. You're going to ask people to fork over money to buy your PPV events. But someone who has helped publicize these events for you, and give news to people that don't happen to go to your company's well-known website, this reporter gets blown off?
Judging by the fact that I've seen this reporter's stuff appear again, it appears that he found another way into these shows...but it is just another example of the fundamental stupidity of some promotions regarding promoting their events online using the many responsible online reporters that are out there just waiting to help them.
Look...we all know there are all too many "newz" sites....the ones with garbage designed to get hits with such "newz" about "Ric Flair debuting in TNA" or "nude pictures of Stephanie....we have them HERE".
We all know that they exist, and that promoters know they exist.
But all too many promoters seem willing to treat any responsible website or message board they can't control as as the kinds of sites described above. These promoters do this when they can't control the content, when real news about those promotions gets reported, or when fans are critical in a reasonable way about the company's product. WWE itself has played the game that "the only real WWE news can be found on our website".
As I told you in last week's reprint of the column on using the Net to promote your indy....Devin Cutting cited the example of a promoter who told him to take his indy event off of the list Devin puts out, with the brilliant statement "I don't need your help".
No one suggests that promotions can't or shouldn't respond to deliberate spreading of rumors or stories by those with an agenda. Ring of Honor felt obligated to do this recently when rival promoters attempted to suggest that one of their regular venues was in jeopardy (it wasn't) and when an independent manager that the promotion wouldn't use spread stories regarding the company's alleged lack of financial health (also untrue).
Speaking of responding to things, if you're a wrestling fan and you think the fact that WWE was allowed last night to stage a match that is STILL illegal in Pennsylvania, where a promotion like CZW is forced to go through the charade of the "Ultraviolent Underground", where they either taping matches for airing on a video screen, or hold them backstage and show them via video screen; rather than being allowed to stage events openly and in front of their live crowds... contact the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission at ST-SAC@state.pa.us, by phone at (717) 787-5720, or by fax at (717) 783-0824.
If you don't get a response there, try the Governor's page at this link and ask why a State governing agency is blatantly allowing one company operating within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to undertake an action that a competing company is prohibited from doing as part of a performance.
Ask your Pennsylvania State legislators the same questions. The e-mail addresses of the members of the Pennsylvania State House available here and the members of the Pennsylvania State Senate available here.
If the State Athletic Commission refuses to enforce regulations equally, perhaps it's time to ask the Pennsylvania Governor's office if the State Athletic Commission's jurisdiction over wrestling is really necessary anymore;, given the trend toward reducing government, and the many other needs of the Commonwealth, including funding of mass transit in the two major cities within Pennsylvania.
Let another agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania collect the 5% taxes. Let another agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regulate the bonding of promotions.
But end the double standard...and let wrestling promotions do what they do best...put on wrestling shows.
Finally...here's one more reminder about a method by which you can use those keyboards, telephones, and brains as a wrestling fan in a constructive way:
On December 26th, at 7:59 am local time, a 9.0 magnitude underwater earthquake struck northern Sumatra, the planet's most powerful in over 40 years. The earthquake in turn generated a major Indian Ocean-wide tsunami which devastated Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Bangladesh, as well as parts of Australia, Africa, and the Arabian peninsula.
Nearly two months after the catastrophe, the tsunami has killed as many as 295,000, with 242,347 killed in Indonesia alone, with thousands of others presumed dead.
One person can't often do much in this world.
But we can do whatever we can do.
As a result, I put this cube banner on PWBTS.com that will directly link to the tsunami efforts of UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Fund), which you can see besides this text. American Jewish World Service
I selected UNICEF's graphic/link to post on my site, because of UNICEF's longterm role in helping those most affected by famine, war, poverty and natural disasters throughout the world...and because of the international readership of my flagship site, PWBTS.com. I also did so because I've felt haunted by the picture of the children, both tourist and native, who have been killed...or survived...but who lost one or more parents...and whose lives will thus be changed forever.
Please...as many of you as will do so, please feel free to use the code from the above graphic...and place that cube banner on your own company's website, your own fansite, or as a signature on any message board that will allow it.
For those readers that are concerned that their donations go to the victims of the disaster, and not to charity bureaucrats; here is a list of other organizations reviewed by the group Charity Navigator for their efficiency in delivering service to those they serve, with links to the websites of the organizations in question:
American Red Cross
Catholic Medical Mission Board
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
Feed the Children
Lutheran World Relief
Save the Children
Please take some time to find it in your heart to send UNICEF (or another charity of your choice) some money to help those hundreds affected by this catastrophe; and find it in your heart to post the above link to the UNICEF site on your own website (or, again, another charity of your own choice) and help those hundreds of thousands affected by this catastrophe.
Until next time...
(Graphics courtesy of BBC and UNICEF)
If you have comments/questions, or if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT
column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)