A Press Release Is Not News

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Whom or what to believe? In this day and age who is a trusted source? We get press releases galore from vendors and networks alike – most of them as PressDOOH’s Dave Haynes will point out with stupid, incredulous superlatives and fudged figures. As someone once said “a press release is NOT news” and we think this was certainly the case a few weeks ago with the ‘announcement’ that Snap Fitness had selected RoninCast software.

In that press release Snap Fitness CEO, Peter Taunton was quoted as saying “We selected Wireless Ronin Technologies’ (WRT) RoninCast software after conducting an extensive search and due diligence to find the best solution for our franchisees”

Only six months earlier back in January (which every other purported industry news site seemed to forget about) there was an announcement ‘eyemagnet Media Increases Its Digital Footprint to Include 1,000+ Snap Fitness Locations‘ – a roll-out which was due to commence in March 2010 and be known as SFI Digital Media.

Press contacts at Snap Fitness and eyemagnet refused to answer our questions and clear up any confusion. Perhaps they couldn’t explain why, back in January Mr Taunton was gushing about eyemagnet when he said “Snap Fitness is committed to finding new ways to give members more for their money, while also allowing franchise owners the opportunity to grow their business and achieve long-term success. By joining with eyemagnet, members now have the opportunity to take advantage of great value-added benefits, and owners are able to capitalize on the tremendous cross-promotional opportunities that come with the launch of SFI.”

Confused? Well we were, we are in fact (still confused) and no doubt Snap Fitness franchisees will be as well. The only thing this announcement probably serves is Ronin’s stock price.

Despite the claim that Wireless Ronin will provide software and hosting to all 2,000 plus franchisee locations across the United States (it’s interesting also how Snap Fitness’ real estate doubled in size in six months) we doubt that much of this initiative will ever see the light of day.

The press release said that “Snap Fitness and WRT plan to deploy RoninCast software to 1,000 locations by January 1, 2011 with another 500 locations anticipated by June 1, 2011” – that’s if Ronin is still in business by Christmas of course!

2 Responses to “A Press Release Is Not News”

  1. Judie Stillman Says:

    Thanks for keeping’em honest – or at least trying. As we skim the avalanche of newsletters, discussions, blogs etc. it’s good to remember – you can’t believe everything you read! Nice to know DailyDOOH is doing “daily due” diligence in its reporting.

  2. Joyce Vogt Says:

    My assessment…this industry has gotten a bad reputation in the last six years because of this kind of deceitful behavior. As a result, many think that Digital Signage is all smoke and mirrors. This kind of incredulous activity takes away any credibility we have as an industry.

    That said, we all know these things usually take care of themselves! By Christmas you say?

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