Barry and I recently sent in applications for media credentials for the Sybase Classic. Since we write a golf blog for one of the oldest golf addresses on the internet as well as create a golf podcast with thousands of weekly downloads we figured that we would be interviewing Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer as well as many of the other LPGA golfers in the final field and bringing it to our audience this week.
After faxing in the necessary paperwork we received a press release from Michelle Berish, marketing and communications manager for Octagon confirming that Annika Sorenstam would be present at the event. Our excitement increased even further. I was deleting old interviews from my recorder and charging the batteries in my camcorder.
Imagine our surprise when we received an email a week later from Ms. Berish saying that our credentials had been denied and that we could always purchase tickets at the front gate! We naturally thought there was some mistake, offered up our web address once again and asked, "I don't understand why the LPGA wouldn't want as much coverage as possible?"
My email then made its way to Paul Rovnak, senior media relations coordinator for the LPGA. Mr. Rovnak's response came as a bit of a shock to us as he stated, "The LPGA does not acknowledge blogs (or podcast media) as recognizable news outlets working on assignment and on deadline."
He did offer up a few daily passes saying, "If you would still like to come out to the event, and blog about it, then I would be more than happy to leave you daily tickets at Will Call, but we cannot grant you media credentials or access to the media center."
So Paul, the LPGA wants us to blog about and podcast the event on the Worldgolf.com website which has approximately 2.5 million readers but won't allow us to interview the golfers! C'mon Paul, every week we offer up free advertising for the LPGA and this is how you treat us? You never even bothered to answer our follow-up emails.
This is a prime example of why the LPGA is stuck in the past. New forms of media such as blogging, podcasting and v-casting are growing at an alarming rate representing millions of viewers interested in women's golf. They shouldn't be so quick to tell us that we are not important to them.
It's up to new commissioner Bivens to identify and consider the ramifications of the actions of the LPGA management. Can the commissioner continue to ignore the new media representing millions and still bring the LPGA into the present?
Granted I can understand that if every blogger wanted a media pass to an event it could get mighty crowded but I doubt the LPGA is creating such a deluge of media. I CAN understand why they're eager to give out free passes. Without Michelle Wie among the golfers the turnout will be mediocre at best! Sorenstam MC'd last week, Creamer has been having trouble all season and Karrie Webb is not even in attendance!
If you are in agreement that geographically local bloggers and podcasters should stand on their own merits and that Barry and I should have had an opportunity to enter the event as "media", please send an email to Paul Rovnak, email@example.com, and let him know.
Maybe YOU can help change the future.
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