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jack100
08-21-2004, 09:14 AM
SDSU had their media day on August 16th. I have yet to see one article in the Argus Leader about SDSU's Media Day. NDSU Bison had their media day a little over a week ago - the Fargo Forum had 3-4 NDSU articles the next day plus a link where fans could listen to press conferences that were held during NDSU's media day. The Argus said they planned to cover the JACKS more now since they are a D1 school. Maybe Craig and Mike were right when they said it was just lip service. We'll see how the coverage unfolds once the season starts.

SDSUFAN
08-21-2004, 10:21 AM
I dont think we can judge the Argus on not doing a story about Media Day. The media day in my opinion is one that gives media some background information on the roster and schedule.

JackJD
08-21-2004, 11:06 AM
I hope that those of you who are critical of the media (I'm included in that group from time-to-time), whether its the Argus, or Mike_H, or any other media outlet, keep in mind that the media owes nothing to SDSU.

I hope your criticism is in the nature of "wishful thinking (as in, I wish the Argus or other media outlet would provide the coverage I'd like to see...) as opposed to a demand. Some people seem to get offended if the media doesn't do what they demand.

The media has a role of being a watchdog and should be objective and independent. A vigorous, independent reporter can sometimes save a public official, governmental agency and even a University from making a mistake. (Do I sound like I have a journalism from SDSU? Yep, 1976.)

I was a reporter for a short while (then went to law school) and I honestly tried to dig out facts and report news. It bothered me to no end when people "demanded" certain "news" be printed.

Now, that having been said, I offer the following on the Argus: I really don't give a damn what they print or refuse to print. I do not hold the Argus in high regard and consequently, I rarely read it. In fact, lately the only time I read sports stories about SDSU that were printed in the Argus is because some of you good contributors to this board are kind enough to share those stories in your postings.

When the Argus goes to sell advertising, it bases its rates in part on the number of readers the advertiser can reach. Well, they don't reach me. And there are a lot out there like me who get their news from real newspapers...it's the Argus Leader's loss. [Exceptions, I read Dave Kranz all the time--on-line; and, of course, I'll read anything written by a Wooster.]

SDSU will attract lots of media attention in the coming year. I think the move to D-1 has been a great source of talk in South Dakota and the region and it's been a lot of fun. SDSU is on a lot of minds these days and I think only good will come out of that. I predict the student enrollment will continue to increase; you'll see more SDSU t-shirts and sweatshirts on the street; and when a well-known team gets beat or even scared by the Jacks, we'll all be talking. I have come around to agreeing with those who feel that the best benefit of all will be the added prestige for the University which will include added grants, programs and stature.

Fact is, the Argus will be printing lots of stories about SDSU because SDSU is where it will be happening and that's news!

Go Jacks!!!

jack100
08-21-2004, 11:46 AM
Put your opinions about the Argus Leader aside. If you live in South Dakota - this is "The newspaper". Their editor - Mr. Beck said they would cover SDSU more because of their move to D1. No one from state asked them to.

JackJD
08-21-2004, 04:12 PM
Jack100:

I'm not sure I agree that the Argus is "The Newspaper" in South Dakota although it certainly holds itself out as "The Newspaper" and it does about as good a job, or better, than any other daily in the State in covering State issues. Sometimes I think the Rapid City Journal is a better read and its high school sports coverage is superior to the Argus with its college coverage more slanted to the west side of the state.

Anyway, I wondered whether your first post expressed some disappointment because the Argus didn't print anything after media day. My only point was that the Argus won't always do what we, as fans, want done in a newspaper. And, I respect the independence of the writers.

I was encouraged by Beck's comments about coverage of SDSU as it enters D-1. If the Argus provides good coverage, I may turn into a reader! But, right now, I tend to get my news from a variety of sources and the Argus just isn't one for me. My other daily paper, in addition to the one printed where I live, is the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. I am confident that in a few years we'll be reading about the Jacks and the Gophers in the Trib. I think it is inevitable that we will compete against the Gophers from time to time in various sports. The women's basketball teams squared off a couple of seasons ago and I enjoyed hearing Sid Hartman on WCCO radio the following day, speak highly of the Jack women.

RunninRabbit
08-22-2004, 06:37 AM
Well as a former player I think I have to step in and admit that we've all gotten a good laugh out of the "respect" and "attention" that we got from the Sioux Falls media in general. It didn't seem to matter who we beat or lost to or by how much, we were the state's step child compared to USD and Augustana College.

I agree that the Leader isn't much of a regional paper but it's all SD's got. No, they don't have to cover what anybody demands. Their responsibility is news, and to do it FAIRLY.

With that said my point of view is obviously biased but that's how it feels.

OK_Jackrabbit
08-22-2004, 08:43 PM
I'm a journalism professor and former South Dakota and North Dakota news reporter. I can tell you that whether you believe it or not, the Argus Leader is one of the better newspapers of its size in the country. They have resources they can bring to bear for SDSU coverage, but their resources are not unlimited. I take them at their word about the increased coverage of SDSU sports, but I would expect most of that coverage to happen during the season, not in the pre-season and certainly not when sports pages are full of Olympic coverage.

I would also note that in my opinion it is the SDSU sports PR people who don't seem to be getting the job done. The SDSU athletic Web site is very poor compared to gobison.com, uncbears.collegesports.com, or even usdcoyotes.com. (For example, I saw it posted here that we have new uniforms for football... did anybody at SDSU think to take a picture and post it on the Web site? That kind of stuff should be automatic.)

Coverage doesn't happen just because your team exists. Relationships must be built with sports editors. And you build your brand through those relationships and by presenting a dynamic face to the public (e.g. through a frequently updated and more complete Web site.) Of course that also pays off by cementing relationships with distant alumni like me and in fundraising. Sadly, and I say this as a die-hard Jackrabbit fan, it doesn't appear to me that SDSU's sports PR efforts are up to par for Division I. They don't even measure up among their cohort in the Great West Football Conference.

89rabbit
08-22-2004, 08:53 PM
OK_Jackrabbit, welcome to the board. Thanks for posting and sharing your prospective. I too believe that the Argus will do what they say they are going to. Lets face it not a lot of "news" came out of media day. I think we should all give them a chance. Chris Solari has done a ton of pieces on us this year.

Go State! ;D

89rabbit
08-22-2004, 10:42 PM
I would also note that in my opinion it is the SDSU sports PR people who don't seem to be getting the job done. The SDSU athletic Web site is very poor compared to gobison.com, uncbears.collegesports.com, or even usdcoyotes.com.

OK_Jackrabbit,

Wow, I guess ask and you shall receive, you posted this at 9:43 pm and by 10:48 pm SDSU had upgraded the athletics web site. What other powers do you have? ;)

http://www.gojacks.com/

Go State! 8)

OK_Jackrabbit
08-23-2004, 05:03 AM
The new Web site looks good. Now the key is to keep it updated (note the "newest" news item is one week old.) The old information was merely reconfigured with new graphics and a new domain. That's a good start. And I do like the look (makes usdcoyotes.com look like garbage, for example).

The way big-time universities (my experience is at the University of Oklahoma, University of Iowa, and Purdue University) gather dynamic content for these sports sites is to assign undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in sports PR to each sport. They become the "reporters" who daily gather content, keeping in touch with coaches and student athletes, to keep the sites dynamic and satisfying to readers. A grown up editor/webmaster makes sure the content is of sufficient quality and fits the university's branding interests.

I am sure that there are a great many students at SDSU who would be interested in polishing their sports PR resume while feeding their interest in sports by becoming reporters. Pay them as work study students, have them work in on-campus labs and buy a half dozen digital cameras. Voila, you have ever-changing content that will keep alumni returning to the site. I also think this discussion board is so good that it should be linked from the gojacks.com site.

Now that I've expressed it, maybe all of that will happen by about noon today. ;)

SDSUFAN
08-23-2004, 05:31 AM
Jackrabbit Ok

Welcome and its good to have a journalism prof on board. I find your take on the Argus and the SDSU PR very interesting and very correct. I know the SID and well its tough to be critical on a message board of him, but at the same time what you said about timeliness is a valid criticism which I hope will be picked up on.

I would agree also that the coverage whether more or less will appear as the season developes.

The suggestions for getting more students involved with work-study programs is excellent. I have no idea about what goes on in the journalism field, but getting pragmatic training is invaluable part of higher education.
Lectures and writing assignments can do only so much, but an actual project that is consumed by the public would have real meaning to students and may loosen a few alumni pocket books. ;D

89rabbit
08-23-2004, 06:12 AM
The new Web site looks good. Now the key is to keep it updated (note the "newest" news item is one week old.) The old information was merely reconfigured with new graphics and a new domain. That's a good start. And I do like the look (makes usdcoyotes.com look like garbage, for example).

The way big-time universities (my experience is at the University of Oklahoma, University of Iowa, and Purdue University) gather dynamic content for these sports sites is to assign undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in sports PR to each sport. They become the "reporters" who daily gather content, keeping in touch with coaches and student athletes, to keep the sites dynamic and satisfying to readers. A grown up editor/webmaster makes sure the content is of sufficient quality and fits the university's branding interests.

I am sure that there are a great many students at SDSU who would be interested in polishing their sports PR resume while feeding their interest in sports by becoming reporters. Pay them as work study students, have them work in on-campus labs and buy a half dozen digital cameras. Voila, you have ever-changing content that will keep alumni returning to the site. I also think this discussion board is so good that it should be linked from the gojacks.com site.

Now that I've expressed it, maybe all of that will happen by about noon today. ;)

LOL! ;D Let's hope so.

Go State! 8)

jackmd
08-23-2004, 07:48 AM
Good discussion, all I have to add is the Argus is watching and waiting. I suspect they will report when there is "news". Notice I didn't say "good news". Increased coverage does not necessarily equate with positive publicity.

I agree that publicity is the responsibility of SDSU. I don't know what portion of our budget is set aside for advertising but I see NDSU commercials on the MTV station here in Rochester, MN. I have never seen an SDSU commercial.

OK_Jackrabbit
08-23-2004, 12:05 PM
I just want to say that I think Ron Lenz is a great guy and I don't want anyone to think that I'm singling him or his work out for criticism. I also have great confidence in the management of the Athletic Department. I'm sure the new Web site is just the first of many steps that will be taken to improve SDSU sports PR.

Just a couple more words about getting students involved. This summer I have been investigating how things are done here at the University of Oklahoma. Granted, OU has an almost ridiculous athletic budget of $48 million. It's helpful to know, however, that all but a couple of the students who work in sports PR at OU are unpaid interns doing their work for internship credit or just for the experience. One of my students covers the golf program. Another does cross country. All of them do parts of the football media guide and Web content (the media guide is 400 pages!). Another of my students was just in my office asking me for ideas: He has to write a profile of Jason White for the game day program, and can't think of an angle. What HASN'T been written about last year's Heisman winner? I don't know, but note it's an unpaid undergraduate producing a feature about OU's quarterback for publication in the game day program. What student journalist wouldn't jump at such an opportunity?

SDSU can do similar things with a very minimal investment. SDSU has an excellent journalism program. The students are well-trained and I am certain that some would be interested in becoming sports PR "reporters" for experience and/or credit. There is an investment in supervision and perhaps a little bit of technology. But mostly it requires an commitment to providing the student workers with access to coaches and players, and ultimately trusting the students to do the job. Students receive a hands-on education, and the athletic department gets information and content that can enhance branding and identity. Boost your brand (through quality performance on the field of play, and by promoting your programs and student athletes) and the media and potential donors will eventually follow.

I'm really enjoying this message board and I particularly like the positive and constructive spirit of the posts here.

SDSUFAN
08-23-2004, 03:24 PM
OK Jackrabbit:
Again thanks for input and sharing what your involvement at OU is and yes that 48 million budget should not intimidate SDSU. I think it is easy for some of us to say that there should not be any comparison with OU because of the difference in budgets. Now that the commitment has been made to be a D1 school we should be looking to these big budget institutions for ideas.

You are right about Ron Lenz who has done a great job over the years and often been one of the lowest paid people in the department but probably one of the most dedicated. I think he like everyone else has a boss and you have to follow the bosses direction. I think SDSU has had a problem of muting their horn instead of blasting out the notes about what we can do in terms of athletic sucess. So with not the right amount of resources available, its hard for any SID to improve on anything. I dont think we have done everything that could be done in terms of publicy and promotion by any means. I hope people from HPER are reading this board and read your suggestions with insight.

I belive the SDSU media guide is 72 pages. We could do much better without a doubt.

RunninRabbit
08-23-2004, 04:28 PM
Now that you mentioned it I noticed that a bunch of seniors had "Undecided" listed for their major last year in the media guide and programs. That's just one of those little -attention to detail- things that really shouldn't happen.

Any coach or player will tell you that image doesn't matter, only winning. I think a D1 program needs a D1 image to succeed an get the recruits it needs.

I don't mean to be hard on them because huge strides have been made in the past 6 years or so but I still think there's a lot of fine tuning that needs to be made.

SDSUFAN
08-27-2004, 06:07 AM
For those of you out of the Sioux Falls and SD area, I printed off the pdf of the insert into the print edition to see how it appeared. USD's South Dakota's team ad appears on the front page, but if you consider the total print of both articles, it would appear SDSU has gotten increased coverage. I think the Argus could not ignore the new ad program at USD and it kind of gives the reader a better understanding of the USD article.

I think its a transition period for the media as well as the football team. When the past legacy has been to split coverage 4 ways, USD, SDSU, Augustana and USF, trying to move away from that position is going to take some time.

That said, SDSU needs to earn the extra coverage by being sucessful on the field. I would like to see SDSU come with an ad program too, but as we all know, scholies are the big priorty.