Skatebuzz's coverage to date of Tessa and Scott's win in Finlandia. Love the quotes from Scott and Tessa! This piece creates excitement for a new season about to start and demonstrates Skate Canada's commitment to keeping us connected.
Skatebuzz's ad for the upcoming Skate Canada Grand Prix:
If I were a figure skater or figure skating parent with Skate Canada, I'd be getting pissed. I'll explain why further down.
Meantime - that very "now" Mahler photo in Skatebuzz's Finlandia report is rotating on Skatebuzz's front page with other very cool things like the thrilling HPC Backstage Pass and exciting photos of synchro teams.
(That "promotion" logo on Skatebuzz looks like adsense. Is it selling Zoloft or the GPF?)
Finlandia is only a senior B. But the Canadian Olympic medalists and 2010 World Champions competed for the first time this season, earlier than usual. Finnish fans and media provided tons of fresh on and off-ice photos that are winging round the web.
|To dress up the post.|
As competitors, Virtue and Moir were cat-and-mouse last season. Now they appear early, with two programs already on near-full blast, Scott hinting they may even do Finlandia again next season. They seemed to be a hit with Finnish fans, so how about some reports on that - a little local color?
The programs appear to have gotten a fantastic reception and Virtue Moir compete at Skate Canada in a couple of weeks. Come see it! Or watch on television! It will be even better then!
Or, you know, check out our album of 44 Skate Canada logos.* You can do that too. Hey - did you see Barb's scrum?
It is just to wonder. At HPC, Barb kept us up to date on "what's been keeping me busy" via her twitter. She also devoted focus to retired figure skater Craig Buntin's wedding guests via two different platforms (icenetwork and above the crowd).**
At HPC, we got a lot of stage .... craft (is that really the word?) a ton of logo promotion and of course, a lot of Debbi/Barb sneaking their names and faces in.
(Skate Canada is soon, so heads up for sham sneaks, photo ops and profile pic rotation. They are ever on the job with that stuff.)
Skate Canada didn't send the usual Skate Canada suspects to Finlandia. No Thompson. No Slipchuk. No Barb or Deb. Is that why such cursory coverage? It was only skaters!
They suck a lot.
I wonder about the priorities of the Skate Canada marketing infrastructure. If I were a Skate Canada skater or skating parent, I'd ask in whose interests Debbi and Barb are actually working.
As part of what appears to have been a recent "panel discussion" featuring Barb MacDonald, media-involvee Kelly Rusk uses the Olympics, Virtue/Moir and Joannie Rochette's dead mother to promote Barb MacDonald on twitter:
Per this twitter, the death of Joanne Rochette's mom credentialed Barb as a crisis communications consultant.
Rusk's twitter enumerates the ways Joanne's loss of her mom showcased Barb MacDonald.
On Joanne's behalf, Barb (or "Barb's team") had to turn down calls from Wayne Gretsky. And Celine Dion!
Joanne's mom and Virtue Moir's Olympic gold created media interest!
It's not your every figure skating press attache assigned to the Olympics who could handle such a trial by fire.
I hope someone invents the press release, because addressing all those thousands of unanticipated media requests during an Olympics could be overwhelming.
Barb was also able to tally normative Olympic figure skating media statistics and break them up into incremental units of Barb MacDonald promotional elements.
So, to the late Mrs. Rochette - thanks for the opportunity!
I feel as if Barb's expertise is in trying to create the impression there's a crisis that she can be seen to oversee, versus being effective in promoting Canadian figure skating during an economic down-turn and fall-off in public interest.
(And how are we defining crisis? Does a parent's death, though tragic, during an Olympics, constitute crisis? Is it really kosher to go using that to pad your resume? How about an HPC? Is that a crisis?)
It's also striking how here, Barb completely understands promotional synergistics - how A ties to B and how to integrate public relations platforms when it comes to promoting Barb MacDonald.
Yet I feel like before you start upselling, you should first produce for your primary employer. You don't land in a very cool job and leverage it while functioning half-assed and fake in the job itself.
|Joannie Rochette's dead mom = Barb Opportunity.|
Don't let this resume-enhancement opportunity go to waste.
|"Barb has a rich background in |
Olympic sports communications."
Hmm. She's been to one Olympics as a Skate Canada "press attache'" for figure skating, was not yet Director of Corporate Communications and was still working for One Way Ministries. What are the components of "rich" background? What, in particularity, are the levels of responsibility and time on the job that merit that designation?
Oh "levels of responsibility" is too broad. I'm just opening the door with that.
I think Barb should apply what communications experience she has towards promoting figure skaters, not converting figure skater family tragedies and what-every-press-attache' does tasks into a platform promoting Barb.
And Debbi spent more time sticking her mug on Skatebuzz last season at this time than Skatebuzz spent on Virtue and Moir this season at HPC and Finlandia.
No, a skating competition like Finlandia, with Scott and Tessa mingling in the audience, posing off-ice (gasp!), being charming, accessible and reducing onlookers to mush is not as exciting as watching Barb and Debbi meander in the background of canned interviews at HPC, or splicing together a fake scrum-centric HPC video clip.
But girls. Get off your ass!
Finlandia feels like - eh - only one set of figure skaters were there and no officials. So what's in it for Barb and Debbi?
Over on icenetwork, they don't pretend this is a Grand Prix. But icenetwork did ask Evan Bates to write a blog. It's not icenetwork's fault Evan is a slacker (one entry last I checked). But when you go to his blog, there's a nice link to his and Madison's page, and a nice recent photo.
You know why this icenetwork blog feature and other outreach is good apart from getting the public interested in figure skaters and figure skating? It gives individual skaters publicity - even skaters who are not medaling at GPs and Worlds. This could - GOD FORBID - garner the individual skater a new sponsor or two.
Skate Canada's skaters have no need of any of that. _________________________________________________
*Shout out to anon on post below this commenting on this special Skatebuzz attraction.
P.S. and OT: One wonders if either Scott or Tessa plotzed for a moment when in the Finlandia press conference an interviewer refererenced the forbidden word: "facebook". For a second, worlds collided like George Costanza's.
P.P.S.: I don't think Skate Canada's budget is an excuse. It doesn't look like the Russian Fed has a budget, or a marketing scheme apart from trying to tell us some of their ice dancers are in love just like Virtue/Moir. But their figure skaters are getting out there and creating buzz anyway. Volosozhar and Trankov have a blog they update regularly and they share colorful reports from each competition. They went to NYC for choreo and some dance training and uploaded their own photos. They shared what seemed to be a do-it-yourself photo shoot including some shots in what could have been a furniture store (there were price tags attached to stuff). So what? It's direct communication with fans, they didn't dwell on their personal lives, but we're getting to hang out with them as they prepare for and start their season. I bet Russian fans are getting interested.
Russia also has a slate of wunderkinds in its ladies divisions. Fans across message boards are spitting on their hands and flexing up for an upcoming Tara/Michelle/Sarah/Sasha-style nuclear throwdown, Russian style. Their coaches have talked, the girls talk - it's very entertaining and informative and the girls are great skaters to boot.
No idea what Russia's logo looks like.