We welcome news, gossip and all feedback, whether the latter be clarification, observation, new news or even criticism! Discussion of our industry sector is very important and balance of views is crucial. A lot of what we say is, of course, our opinion.
Over the weekend we received the following comment on our post ‘Media Week – Time Is Of The Essence‘ from Oscar L. Elizaga, Scala’s EMEA Vice President which we all thought was better published as a post rather than tucked away as a comment (that may not get as many page views as it deserves).
In that original post Oscar would have taken exception to the following…
If you take the idiots at Scala as absolutely the worst case example, one hint of bad press and they drop the journalists completely – leaving them off mailing lists and generally ignoring them. Who was it that said “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”?
Anyway, our thanks go to Oscar and his team for taking the time to reach out to us and below published in its entirety is their comments / letter to us…
It has come to my attention following a recent review of our marketing and PR strategy for SCALA EMEA that, owing to an administrative error, your contact details were deleted from our PR database. This is clearly a mistake and now this has been identified, I have given instructions to have this corrected so that we can continue to share information with you and your team in advance of publication elsewhere.
This aforementioned marketing and PR review has been underway for some time, in good part owing to SCALA and its partners being engaged in a range of high profile innovative programmes across Europe which we hope to provide the market with appropriately crafted & detailed information on in due course.
Consequently, I am pleased to inform you that we have taken the positive step of hiring the Imperative Group led by Chris Heap to develop and promote the many high profile programmes we are developing at SCALA and with our partners in recognition of our desire to provide relevant, high quality & information-rich communications to the marketplace henceforth.
The appointment of the Imperative Group is part of an integrated package of improvements to our marketing and PR program which is yet to be formally publicised. However, in the spirit of co-operation and owing to the fact that you prefer the DailyDOOH to carry exclusives, please consider this information available for publication via the DailyDOOH if you so wish.
The timing of this note to you is also partly influenced by the article I recently read titled ‘Media Week – Time is of the Essence’ (published on Friday, October 10th, 2008). I read this article with interest and frankly agree with several of the points you raise; both in terms of the manner in which some companies reach out to the market and the quality & balance of claims made. Many of the points you raise are consistent with our views on PR best practice and as you will be able to see in the coming weeks we will be putting in place people and processes to enable us to deliver a high calibre of newsworthy interest pieces to the market.
What I find ironic in the context of this letter is that in your article, you chose to express your evident annoyance with SCALA owing to a view that SCALA had in some way dropped you as a journalistic channel because of some “bad press”. This is simply not the case as I have detailed earlier and I can confirm that any lack of communication with the DailyDOOH was simply a clerical error not one based on prejudice and as I have already mentioned, SCALA would be delighted to resume all communication with the DailyDOOH since we now understand the circumstances behind this apparent lack of communication.
On the matter of bad press; we are a grown-up business. In my experience, good products and services and certainly successful companies do not always elicit good press and I have known plenty of occasions where poor products and services receive good press to my chagrin. There is no set formula or guarantees for eliciting a specific response from a specific journalist or commentator given the occasional commercial or political subtexts and as such we simply try to ensure that our business, our people and our products & services do the best job they can for our clients, partners and stakeholders.
However, I cannot reasonably remain philosophical nor neutral when a third party refers to my business (and by default the people working within, our shareholders, our partners and our clients) as “idiots”. Perhaps I do not need to emphasise that SCALA is a professional, successful and profitable global business with 21 years of successful enterprise and substantial contributions to what is now a significant growth market. Consequently, I believe your comments were highly emotional and I believe most business owners who have made informed decisions to use SCALA would take exception to those comments given those have no basis in fact.
What is fact from SCALA’s perspective is that, to date, our PR processes have been rigorous and tempered by our own internal policies as well as those of our clients (end-users). In essence, there are a couple of standards in this respect we at SCALA follow without exception:
1. Unlike many companies in this market, we never publish PR that over-claims on the scope and purpose.
2. We always seek written permission from our clients and partners before publishing anything. This is because we recognise our products are invariably used in projects with strategic relevance by our clients, often resulting in competitive advantage to their business, thus we respect their desire for privacy without exceptions no matter how constrained we feel about publishing information relating to projects of which we are very proud.
With regard to the DailyDOOH, I fully recognise your efforts to raise the profile of the sector and to provide a rich information and discussion destination for those in (and out) of the sector to share, discuss and engage. What I would ask and expect is that you take the high road in expressing your opinions, thus you do so in such a way that is at least respectful of others and based on fact, as was not the case with your article of October 10th.
If the DailyDOOH blog is a journalistic endeavor and you are operating within the realms of strict journalistic integrity rather than as a commercial enterprise, then perhaps I should reasonably expect some form of acknowledgement to this letter. Whatever dialogue we have following this letter, I trust we can do so respectfully, constructively and professionally.
In the spirit of transparency and perhaps in order to balance your article of October 10th, I would be more than happy for you to publish this letter in its entirety on the DailyDOOH and invite others on your blog to make comment as they see fit.
Oscar L. Elizaga
Vice President, EMEA
In what makes our original post even more interesting / controversial (delete as you feel fit) is that Media Week themselves will, this week, be running a letter from us in their printed periodical complete with some really nice photos from Titan that we supplied them with. Watch this space as we will be reporting on that as soon as published.