A-list nonsense

September 24, 2010
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Once again, The Indy Channel has announced the names of its annual A-list winners and, once again, it's nonsense.

The A-list, for those who have only seen the boasts by past winners, presents as a popularity contest. But like most such media-driven competitions, its winners are determined in large part by how much the organizations push their friends, family and supporters to vote for them.

As such, it reflects the agenda of those who are lobbying for votes.

Through that lobbying, all the groups are helping to advertise The Indy Channel. It's a smart move by the marketing folks at the station, of course--get groups hungry for attention to spread the word for you. And I totally understand "winners" taking advantage of the notice in their advertising and PR.

But come on.

Do you really think anyone who voted for Best Personal Trainers has tried more than one (if any)? How many different carpet cleaners has any of the voters used? And don't get me started about pet photography.

As to the Arts & Entertainment category, sorry, but unless you don't want your kid to grow into a rational human being, Irvington Ghost Tours isn't the best place for Family Fun. And while a case can be made for Conner Prarie as the best museum, with so little production and presenting going on, it's difficult to rationalize Madame Walker Theatre Center as Best Theater. And I applaud Actors Theatre of Indiana for getting out the vote, but that doesn't make it the Best Theatre Company in the region.

Sure, we all have opinions. And I did my time editing "reader's choice" lists for Philadelphia Magazine and Indianapolis Monthly's "Best of" issues back in the day. I just wish lists such The Indy Channel' s actually reflected opinions or actual surveys rather than marketing strategies. I'd rather hear what a specific arts journalist at the station thought of a show or company rather than the results of a contest hiding beyond a pretend "popular vote."

But in a world where PR people posing as "citizen journalists" can post on news websites without being challenged, I shouldn't be surprised.

Your thoughts?

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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