Last week, the popular sports blog Deadspin devoted some space on their site to an idea that Major League Baseball discussed during an internal brainstorm dedicated to solving baseball's parity problem.
Essentially, this "idea" is that teams would be able to make their case to switch divisions on a yearly basis in order to increase their chances of success. It's a horrible idea.
Bud Selig, whether fair or not, has been subjected to harsh criticism during his time as baseball's commissioner. And, thanks to a strike-shortened season in 1994, an All-Star Game in 2002 that ended in a tie, and the steroid issue, he deserves much of it.
But not for an idea that will never see the light of day (I hope.)
It is no more newsworthy than the ideas we throw around when brainstorm ideas for a new client pitch. The good ones rise to the surface, while the bad ones die, never to be seen again.
This idea should have died a quiet death, but, as well all know, everything counts as news.
I'm not going to rail against blogs like Deadspin, because I enjoy reading most of their content. But when they started their site under the motto of "Sports News Without Access," they set a dangerous precedent for every blog "Without Access" that came after.
Essentially, everything has become fair game for the media.
Everything is a potential time bomb, waiting to explode.
There is no such thing as a "non-news story" anymore. (Evidence: ESPN practically collapsed in on itself when Urban Meyer announced that he was not retiring.)
What wasn't news a decade ago now has the potential to appear on the front page if it's scandalous, or is perceived to be scandalous by the public. Even if it turns out to be false, the rush to report news first will inevitably lead to potentially hazardous false starts.
This underscores how important PR staff is to a company’s overall infrastructure. As the gatekeepers of your client or company's information, it is so important for PR professionals to be aware of what is happening within the walls of the organization.
If you're not a part of management meetings that discuss organizational decisions, you must become part of them. Often times, huge decisions are made with no input from the communications department. But in a changing news cycle where news is always breaking, and the next scandal is merely one executive's off-the-cuff comment away, we have to become a part of the discussion.
It wouldn't be the worst idea ever.
-- Brad Marley