This will come as little surprise to anyone, but the New York Yankees media relations department is far too important to be bothered by these new-fangled webblogs that all of the kiddies are talking about these days.
With the offseason upon us, I decided to take a proactive approach for story ideas to post on the blog. My genius idea was to call the media relations office of the New York Yankees, explain that I have a Yankees blog and see if I could get some questions answered.
Before I go any further, let me state that I work in public relations for a brand within a Fortune 500 company. That is about as much personal information as I will divulge. Currently "blogger outreach" is a HUGE part of the company's strategic goals going forward. Of course, I don't work for a sports franchise, but a consumer goods company, so I can see how the Yankees wouldn't have the same enthusiastic approach with bloggers. However, I never thought I would be met with the cold response that an unnamed member of the Yankees media relations staff provided.
The phone conversation
Me: "Hello, I calling to ask a couple of questions. First, is there any information about the Yankee Stadium closing ceremony on November 9th
Male Yankee Stadium media relations employee [cuts me off]: No, we have not released any information on that yet.
Me: "When this news is released, will the information be found at the press release section of Yankees.com"
Male Yankee Stadium media relations employee: yes
Me: "I have another question - when will Yankee Stadium tours start in the new Yankee Stadium - has that information been released yet.
Male Yankee Stadium media relations employee: no
Me: "I'm sorry if I'm bothering you, I own and operate a mid-size Yankees blog. I wouldn't say I am at the top line of the Yankee blogs out there, but I would consider my site up and coming. Am I wasting my time calling the Yankees media relations office for information? Do the Yankees have any interest in communicating with the blogosphere?
Male Yankee Stadium media relations employee: I don't want to say you are wasting your time, but the Yankees don't talk to blogs. We are never going to give you any information that is not readily available.
Me: "Ok, I had gathered as much. I work in public relations for a company with a completely different outlook on bloggers, so I thought I would reach out to you guys.
Male Yankee Stadium media relations employee: Yea, we are never going to have that approach.
Me: "Thanks for your time, goodbye.
(The above is all paraphrasing the actual conversation)
I don't know what I was thinking calling up the Yankees for firsthand information. God forbid someone other than the mainstream media writes and reports on the team. I have no interest in actively pursuing offseason stories, but the two items I called about pertain to Yankee Stadium. From analyzing the web traffic that NYYSI receives, it appears that many people find this site when looking for an answer to a Yankee Stadium question. For most of these google searches, this site indexes higher than Yankees.com for their answer. It behooves the Yankees to ensure that I have up to date and accurate information.
Sadly, as soon as I said the word "blog" I was looked upon as a mere fan, instead of the purveyor of information that this website has become.
It seems that my passion and loyalty are only appreciated when I am forking down thousands of dollars on season tickets.
Are all sports franchises this rigid toward bloggers, or is it just because the Yankees perceive the franchise to be at the top of the Sports World?
Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
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