Ravens Press Policy

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”.

Okay. Why?

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. :-)

14 Replies to “Ravens Press Policy”

  1. With the NFL properties the problem is systemic from the top on down. Bad online media decisions are made by league office that set a precedence for the teams. If the league opened up I think the teams would too.

    I think there are ways to nudge them in the right direction though . . . like live blogging a game from the comfort of your home or sending tweets as a play by play. Anyway, just thoughts.

    So where is the video of them telling you to put your camera away?

  2. I hear you on that one, I notice a lot of complaints like this about major sports organizations. Some teams are starting to come around, but others are just completely behind the times.

  3. @David: I did. It was in the trash. I retrieved it and uploaded to YouTube.

    @Jacob: Maybe someday. I haven’t recorded the show yet because it was supposed to be done this morning. But I think the focus of the show will be blasting the organization some more. They could use some bad press right now.

  4. Bloggers definitely need to stay all over it. I’m going to do some similar stuff with the Titans once I move back to Nashville hopefully(next year). I have no clue how tolerant or how much access they provide.

  5. That’s really disappointing on the Raven’s side. I don’t even see how you were doing anything they could or would object to.

  6. It’s not just the Ravens. I’m sure this is a NFL-wide issue. They don’t like not being able to control all media associated with them, and you are obviously a huge threat :)

  7. Bah the Ravens suck anyway, so if they don’t want any blogger press it just reassures them that good coverage won’t happen to a sucky team!


    Just kidding :)

  8. I agree with David Nick, and I’m not kidding. Nice of them to stomp on you like that…NOT.

    Hey what’s Digg Autobury? I know what Digg is…have you been blacklisted or something?

  9. Pardon me for cursing, but that’s the biggest crock of shit ever. I write about NFL teams, college teams, etc. on occasion…esp now that the season is in full gear. I doubt I’ll get scolded, but now I know anything is possible. Rock on, Aaron!

  10. Ah, but you don’t fulfill their criteria of being a “National site such as ESPN.com or CBSSportsline.com”, I happened to read this post of yours and I’m in Canada, so clearly you’re a much bigger, international operation. No press pass for you!

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