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In regards to stories like this one:

The story feels like advertising disguised as news.

Paragraph 1: Name dropping. I don't really care who was there. Maybe I'm in the minority on this though.
Paragraph 2: Some non-sequiters about the course. Please develop one idea about the course, because the paragraph is neither informative nor entertaining.
Paragraph 3: I can't quite figure out what that was about in 5 seconds or less. I stopped reading it.

Race summaries were good.

The advertising on the end didn't belong with the story.

Who, What, When, Where, Why. No advertising disguised as column-inches in a story please.

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mpapet, thanks for the feedback. I'll make sure dave sheek and dot wong sees it so they can tailor the releases to be newsworthy but not seem like advertorial. We'll keep an eye out for that too. I'm sure you realize we're about community-contributed content (means we don't write much of this - but sometimes edit - and as you prob saw are looking for an online helper to do more of that), and that means anyone in the cx community can contribute and can comment as you have.

(I suppose in one sense, they achieved their goal which is that their story is being talked about more than something that's truly ignored. what do they say? no press is bad press?).

there's a fine line between advertorial and the value in including sponsors in race press though. even though we hardly ever publish an event's sponsors, we do see promoter's sponsors as important as a racer's sponsors - because without either we wouldn't have a race. we know in a race report a rider's team is standard and the list of event sponsors are not, but I'm not sure those are any less important.

also, i think one thing you're getting at applies to almost all of these pre-race press releases - they are all intended to drum up interest in the event, and get folks to register, with the secondary benefit of getting event sponsors additional press so they're happy, get good value, and support the race again. so in one sense, I think most of these types of stories are advertising... i know promoters value them, and many readers seem to like to know when registration is open, and what the event has to offer (prizes, services, etc.) but if most readers don't see that value and don't have a good way of skipping them, we should reconsider.

what do others think? chime in here.

(btw, you're always welcome to send us an email to the editor at hugsorhate@ if just want to express your opinion, unless you were looking for opinions?)
Andrew, I agree that race sponsors need/deserve column inches. That is part of crafting a good press release and race summary. I also am quite happy with a variety of voices that comes from community-driven content. The quality is going to vary even with a good editor.

My complaint specifically targets race reporting. The issue is about race reporting disguised as advertising for the next race.

Announcements of upcoming races IS advertising. I'm okay with that. A promoter needs to get the word out and I want to know which sponsors are supporting the sport so I can support them.

The consequences of endorsing a 'no press is bad press' mentality is that I won't read stories about SoCal races. (Which is where I live) No one involved in the producing the race deserves that. There was good reporting in the story, but no one should have to work that hard to be entertained while wading through advertising.
actually, i have to check the emails, but I think your specific feedback of the race report combined with pre-race advertising is entirely my doing, not dave or dot.

often we get a flood of PR all at once, from the same person (not just socal, but many pr folks). and I believe it's me who made the judgment to combine two pieces, rather than have two back to back posts about socal, which I think has a bigger negative impact - people who aren't interested in socal may think that's "too much socal" with 2 of 3 stories in their daily email about that region, as opposed to folks who are interested in the scene can read both releases in one post.

perhaps we should more clearly indicate that we've combined two pieces, and then that shift between the pieces wouldn't seem so abrupt? we failed to do that in the title - and thus maybe that's the biggest reason you felt tricked? would a simple change like that, indicating the story was also about the upcoming "storm the beach" help avoid you feeling misled?

thanks for being more specific. the feedback is appreciated.
I have to agree with everything Andrew is saying on this. When doing race reports we include sponsors to make sure they continue to give and then promoters have the cash to put together events.

As far as promoting the next race there are a lot of reasons and it has more than just attracting the local crowd but promoting the series. SoCal Cross is a very fast growing series and will continue to build with the hopes of multiple UCI races in California.

MPapet your writing skills are great so any time you would like to help out with all this I am willing to let you help. You can email me and let me rest a week because after teaching all week, writing lessons/curriculum, training 10-15hours, racing Sundays and then going home and trying to put together a report and send it out to all the sources we do by Tuesday morning is not always the easiest task.

Thanks for your interest,

David, everybody in SoCal appreciates your efforts, don't let the negative people get to you.


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