Now before I get too far into this let me first say that I'm not one to hold a grudge and it doesn't take much to get my feathers ruffled but the actions of a new media source that moved into my community over the past year and change is really starting to get under my skin.
For those that don't know I make my home with my family in the Thousand Islands Region of Ontario. The heart of this region is Brockville and we are lucky enough to have several great media companies covering the region. The most senior, of course, is the Brockville Recorder and Times followed by the EMC St. Lawrence both of which are, for the most part, old media. Just over 5 years ago now a new media source came to town in BNTV/Brocknews. BNTV/Brocknews is a web-based newspaper and television news source. About a year ago SNAP Brockville came to town with it's paper and website that feature only the good news in the area, something that in a region struggling with unemployment and going through an identity crisis as it's manufacturing industry slowly shuts down, is a welcome change. Around the same time another new comer came to town, KnowBrockville. KB brought it's own magazine and website to the table which offered yet another point of view as well as some excellent columns and contests for it's readers.
Now as someone who is very involved in the community and sits on numerous community groups I know that there is no such thing as too much media. Each source has it's own following and each can bring it's own perks to the table when it comes to promoting community events etc...
I'm not going to name names but one of the above has decided that there is no room for the others and will stop at nothing to eliminate the competition. Even to the point that they have started to block anyone from their Facebook page who has any ties to the others.
Long before I moved to this area I took part in the weekly #followfriday ritual on Twitter, several months ago one of the local new media companies started their own Follow Friday on Facebook, giving their followers a chance to share their businesses etc...(on a side note this isn't a new practice, it's something that has been going on on Facebook in the social media circles for quite some time, giving page admins a chance to share their latest client's pages with others). The Follow Friday idea, regardless of who thought of it, was brilliant. Naturally the idea gained steam and others (including other media) quickly started to follow suit. As the social media admin for the Athens District Chamber of Commerce I also started running the Follow Friday program to give our members a chance to showcase their Facebook pages. To be honest I don't even know for certain which page had the Follow Friday first but honestly WHO CARES!!! There is so much hostility everywhere else in this world is it really worth squabbling over who did the Follow Friday thing first?
Interestingly enough is that I don't even know how I ended up as a casualty of this media war. Sure one of the new media has published a blog or two of mine, but I'm not employed or even directly affiliated with them. My blog is also published in the Ottawa Citizen, I'm also not employed or affiliated with them. The only reason the local group publishes my blog is because they asked me if they could. I'm assuming it's because of that affiliation that I'm now too blocked from their Facebook page. To me this means I can't promote Facebook pages on the page not to mention that many are potential advertising clients to this organization. The whole thing just doesn't make sense to me, I'm new to the area have been open to working with anybody or any organization that is interested in working with me. I currently represent numerous local businesses and organizations that look to me for advice on where to spend their online advertising dollars. How can I justly advise them to spend their money with an organization that has hostile intentions towards other businesses? I simply can't.
So to the organization in question, if you are reading this I ask you to think about your actions. You are a media source and would like to be reputable. I can't speak for anyone but myself and I know that my actions have never warranted being blocked from your Facebook page. Simply because I promote my clients on Friday's, something that you encourage others to do, or because I have a blog that is featured in another publication? Seriously? Are we in Kindergarten now? Imagine how powerful the local media could be if you all worked together and stopped the hostility? This region needs strong media to showcase the good bring people into the area. There are enough advertising dollars to go around. Each of you has a place in Brockville or Leeds and Grenville. As I mentioned earlier I will not mention any names, if you know who I'm talking about great feel free to discuss it with them but please keep the name to yourself, they know who they are. If you are affiliated with this organization please feel free to drop me a line and we can discuss exactly what I have done to deserve this blacklisting.