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AAU basketball tryout notice

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Yesterday I received an email from a guy who runs an AAU basketball program. He wanted me to post an announcement about his team's tryouts in the paper.
    He noted that many readers in the community I cover would be looking for the announcement. He also said he would continue to send it weekly until I promise to publish it.
    That last sentence is what really bothered me. His is a program that likely charges hundreds of dollars, maybe thousands, for kids to play in it and he's leaning on me hard for what is essentially free advertising. He needs me to guarantee that his notice will run.
    Our company policy is that we run these announcements as a community service for nonprofits. My policy is that I give the local organizations, the Little Leagues, the local, community-based youth basketball leagues, etc., the priority for the notebook/briefs section and the regional stuff such as the AAU is in the category of "If I can do it, I'll do it; if I can't, I can't." I don't exactly go out of my way for them and I don't consider it an important part of my job. We're not a regional paper. Our readers want local news, not regional.
    Saying that you'll keep sending the notice until I promise to publish it makes me even less likely to want to help you and more likely to flag your email as spam.
    The thing that bothers me is how pushy people can get when it comes to something that is being done for them for free. If they paid for an ad and it didn't run, I'd say they have every right in the world to be upset, but I don't appreciate it when I'm focusing on coverage of state championship games and I'm getting yelled at because I couldn't squeeze some freebie into the paper.
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Fuck him. Fuck AAU. My biggest pet peeve right now is the "fund-raiser" flyers I get for the club teams that travel all over the West Coast with their 9-year-olds to chase Daddy's dream of greatness. Used to see the same shit at the newspaper when people would want us to print their notice of achievement when the goddamn cheerleaders were going to the national championship (and won't you ask our readers to help them out for this good cause?). Fuck 'em fuck 'em fuck 'em. Tell 'em to buy an ad.

    Everybody he really wants to see already knows about the tryouts. What he's looking for are rich folks to line his pockets and fill out his bench.
  3. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Is there a fee to even try out?
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    No, what I am saying is he probably has the 4-6 players he really wants because he recruited them, and what he needs now is 4-6 more players whose parents will pay $5K-10K to have Junior ride the pine so they can proudly tell their friends their son is a "travel ball player."
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Some AAU coaches, though, are just trying to fill out a team. I would say 5% are in this for the money and 95% are just looking for a team so their own kid can play.
  6. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    The solution is simple. The next time he contacts you, be polite but firm and state for the record that you publish announcements such as his as a public service but only when space is available, that there's no guarantee such announcements ever will appear, and that there is no need to repetitively send information to you. (You can even discreetly use the word "nuisance" if you'd like.) Then share contact information for the advertising department, with the admonition that purchasing a display ad is the only way he can ensure when and where his information will appear in your newspaper.

    Then don't give it a second thought.

    (And there's nothing wrong with setting up a filter to flag him as spam.)
  7. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    Fuck him. I'd tell him, very professionally, that you were fine with trying to get it in when you got a chance, but once you read the sentence about him sending it over and over again until you agree to publish it, that ended his chance.

    He's asking you for a favor, then decides to be a Grade-A prick about it as he asks for the favor. What will it benefit you and your paper to have his free ad in for an AAU tryout? Zero.

    I'm sick and tired of people using newspapers as their personal whipping boys. It happens because we allow it to happen.
  8. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Make him send it every week. Big deal.
  9. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    What's your company policy on such submissions? Follow that to a "T." If he doesn't like it, point to your company policy and explain that it wouldn't be fair to others who are subject to the same policy if he is made an exception to it.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Also, I don't know if you normally print crap for club teams and such, but be aware of the can of worms you'll open under the "hey, you printed theirs!" clause. Depending on your circulation area, there are dozens or even hundreds of similar teams in at least a half-dozen sports, and they're all going to be looking for equal treatment.
  11. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    When somebody tries to push me to do something I do everything I can to not do it.
  12. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    It sounds like he's a stereotypical asshole wealthy helicopter parent who is used to telling people the way it's going to be, and he always gets his way.

    It will be good for him to go through the experience of telling someone the way it's going to be, and that person telling him in reply to stick a broken-off plunger handle up his ass.
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