This morning, I was shut down in the middle of a podcast recording at Baltimore Ravens training camp. During the video, my camera was pointed at me with a tree in the background. There were no fans, players, Ravens likeness, etc. There was no reason for a shutdown. But I was because I didn’t have a press pass – something that I had requested.
I escalated the issue to the Ravens Media Relations VP today who simply stated, “we do not credential websites unless they are National sites such as ESPN.com or CBSSportsline.com”.
This is an example of an organization who still doesn’t “get it”. It’s controlled by PR folks protecting their brand. They have not received the memo that the value of the brand is controlled not by the front office but by every fan, ticket holder and other type of customer. It’s a trust thing.
Just like CBS believes they can control their ratings if people don’t use TiVo or HP believing they were protecting their brand when they treated a customer stupidly.
Ironically, the Ravens are hiring for a New Media Manager position. Do they realize the irony? If you alienate bloggers, you alienate your base. You alienate powerful people who can make or break you.
In the end, it’s not so important that I be awarded press credentials for training camp. It’s that companies learn their base, the dynamic of trust in protecting brands and figure out how to navigate social media deftly and not deafly.
Besides, thanks to my hundreds of thousands of readers, Technosailor is not only a national website but a global one. :-)