10/10/07

Jason Blake, Blogs and Forced PR

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/10/2007 10:53:00 AM
The more things change the worse they seem to become at times.

Today I'm going to take a few shots at the Islanders and feel they are merited.

This morning I looked at the Toronto papers and they are posting letters from fans supporting Jason Blake after Blake revealed his illness on the Leafs official website. Greg Logan posted support for Blake in his blog at Newsday and several Islander players commented and expressed support for Blake in the paper.

My problem here is where is the organization he was with for over six years to rally
public fan support for Blake? We saw this in the past with Kevin Colley and Islanders who sustained major injuries. What are they waiting for with Jason Blake who deserves thousands of letters of support from Islander fans thought the club's website?

If I recall we even saw public support from the club in Blake's first year when his wife had thyroid cancer and he left the club so where is that same management today?

Where is the Islanders pr department?

You guessed it, selling their new blogger box at the game Saturday and today force feeding us selective messages from some low grade message board selling how well the club looked in the games against Buffalo. To top that off the club's website is advertising tickets at discounts for tonight's game so they can get another sellout.

This makes me think back to my moderation days at HF or my days owning Islanders
Sound Tigers and laughing. What would have happened, Botta would contact me and ask me to pick out ten glowing reviews among the posts so he could put them on the website?

Forgot. At HF Buffaloed or Holly Gunning would be pushing the moderators who do all the work aside here so they could take over for something like this and so the Islanders would give HF a plug or two?

I know the Islanders are working and fighting hard behind the scenes to reach out to fans and I know the club is forced to do these things because the hockey media in New York is terrible and they had to lower their standards and reach out to fans any way possible these days for coverage and support.

That written what happened with Jason Blake comes first in my view and the minute the Leafs website announced this the Islanders website should have been asking fans for letters or support for Blake and expressing their public support as an organization.

Even though Mr Botta and Mr Witt have blogs I do not consider that the Islanders website. That is for own province of what they wish to discuss but for those curious
neither mentioned Blake to this point and have written since Blake's announcement.

Botta did hit the nail on the head in discussing Post Dan Martin's attendance comments against Washington with his very limited Islander space.
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As for bloggers:

Islanders have already added a rumor blogger from a low grade website and made that another official part of the site.

My thoughts on the Islanders selecting fan bloggers to go to games I think is interesting but also puts fan/blogger and management in a tough spot. For the reasons I gave above I understand why the club is doing this but being a veteran fan of the club in cyberspace I found some things curious.

Seems like no long-time Islander fans with established blogs or long time fans were selected outside of Tom Liodice were picked and even his blog is new. It's like they wanted fans bloggers like they want that kid element at games now to bolster fan support.

Personally, I would never go sit with other fan writers myself and then feel obligated to give the organization something positive in return whether it be merited or not. The hockey should always be the story, not a writers reaction.

Feels like a restaurant giving Zagat a free meal back when they were starting up restaurant guides.

How a writer blogs has to be strictly decided on how the club plays and their personal interpretation of the game.

Opening night at home they earned praise for their play so even there for these people it’s a fine line to walk.

If they wanted to pick my blog that’s fine but I would not go sit with anyone or interview players, I would simply cover the game as I see it from a fan perspective without any access.

Let's not kid ourselves, most of the established professional writers are fans of the
team they cover but hide it well in public but many publications have a vested financial interest in how a team does. Just ask the Yankee and Met media in New York the last week who now have to find something else besides the game to write about but you can bet hockey will not be it.

Bottom line this is again just a lowering of standards out of necessity.

SI wanted to do a real story it should watch established hockey writers and see if they are caught cheer leading for their clubs behind the scenes.

That's my blog for today. You can call it many things, but one thing it will always be is my own perspective and more honest then some may care for.

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