Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sometimes Business Is Like a Political Campaign

Owning Valley Business FRONT often feels more like a political campaign than a small business enterprise. And sometimes, we have to make the same kinds of decisions a political candidate has to make when his opponent throws up ridiculous charges. Do we answer the charges and bring more attention to them or do we ignore them (as did Al Gore and John Kerry) and take our chances?

I'm not one for ignoring casually inaccurate claims, but I need to exercise caution, something I'm not an expert at. My gut always tells me to go for the roundhouse punch-back. I won't do that here, though, even though one of our competitors says it has "assembled what is by far the most experienced and accomplished business journalism team in the region with a full staff of four members." That's so absurd I don't know where to start.

I'll just say this: it's "most experienced" staff has 47 total years in communications by its accounting (30 of them by one editor who is only marginally involved in the publication and has no previous experience with a business publication). Its business writing experience is a total of about seven years between two people (one of them working for me for 18 months while in college).

Tom Field and I have 75 years in communications and 25 total years in business publications. Add to that our 25 freelance writers with far more than 100 years' experience and you get the idea. (I won't get into how many awards we've won for journalism and community involvement because it'd sound like bragging.)

The remainder of the letter from this competing pub is equally wrong or exaggerated, but I won't waste your time or mine in charge/counter-charge. When you start dissing my writers, though, it pisses me off. They're solid, they're loyal and I wouldn't trade my crew for anybody else's in this region, especially a team that was drafted.

As the always cautiously vigilant Tom says, "All we really have to ask is that people read the two publications and make up their own minds." I think that works for me, too.

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