We love our local media. We grew up listening to them. Heck, sometimes we are the local media when they get too bored or “busy” to report something. But this is unfortunately a topic that hits us and a good deal of our clients square in the chest. It affects our business in a way that some of you may not even imagine. What is it you ask? The Oil Spill and the media syndicating false rumors surrounding it. I want to be very clear about one specific point because it seems to get lost in the wash of commotion and heartache of wildlife being at risk. What is that point I want to be clear about?
DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE ON THE NEWS ABOUT THE OIL SPILL! EVERYTHING ON THE ALABAMA COAST IS JUST FINE! (Or at least it was when we wrote this…now, it’s really, really bad.)
We are tired of the fear-mongering and it has had a direct impact on our clients income which in turn hurts our income because they no longer have a budget to advertise in some cases. One thing that this has taught everyone is that regardless if it’s true or not (in this case it’s not), the fact that someone who has a very loud microphone keeps talking about it (AKA the media), the more tourists don’t want to come visit. There are not dead, oiled birds, dolphins or tuna on our coastline. There are not tar balls washing up that would be any different than any other day at the beach (it’s normal for tar balls to wash up at the beach). And there is no smell of oil in the air. The local media reported that there were tar balls but that they were not confirmed to be caused by the oil spill and that LESS THAN A DOZEN were found. Again, that’s not more than normal. Dead fish? Happens all the time. Is it the chemicals in the water? What makes you think there weren’t already chemicals in the water from boats before the oil spill?
It’s no longer comedic or a joke. We’ve gotten fed up with it and the tone of this article surely is indicative of that. And we’re not the only ones. The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce has spoken out against this fallacy of oil covering our beaches and the Gulf Coast being somewhere no one can visit right now too, and we commend them for it:
Friday, May 14, 2010
We are urgently working to combat the negative national media message and get the facts out to the United States and the world that the Gulf Coast, including Alabama, is open for business. Our goal is to pass the truth on. Yes, there is an oil spill, is it as bad as they say? You be the judge. At the bottom of this message is a link to information updated daily. It includes reports from NOAA, and daily pictures of the beaches in Baldwin County, Alabama. The beaches of Alabama and the Mobile Bay are very important to us all.. we are all working to be proactive and ready to protect our waterways and natural habitats, WE are committed to keeping you updated with the facts – not the fear factor.
The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce
Here are a few facts from that link:
- The Alabama Department of Public Health and Alabama Department of Environmental Management stated that there is no foreseeable need to close beaches and, short of a drastic change, they have no plans to do so.
- Tarballs travel independently of an oil slick and are not an indication that the slick itself will travel in the same direction or to the same area. The oil slick still has not reached the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and, according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) forecasts, is not expected to for at least 72 hours. Forecasts beyond 72 hours are not available.
- Although NOAA has closed commercial and recreational fishing in a limited area between the mouth of the Mississippi River and Florida’s Pensacola Bay, there is a large area of the gulf still open.
- All appropriate preventative measures, including oil-absorbing booms, are being used along Alabama’s beaches, bays, inlets and sensitive areas in an effort to prevent oil from reaching our shores. Researchers and scientists have indicated that any impact directly on the beaches can potentially be cleaned effectively and fairly quickly.
GO TO THIS LINK FOR PICTURES , MORE INFORMATION AND DAILY UPDATES!:
Darrelyn J. Bender
Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 310
Daphne, AL 36526
What do you do in a case like this? Well, first: Speak out. Comment here. If you don’t think that’s good enough, call WALA, WKRG, or WPMI, The Press Register and the entire conglomerate of sites that run AL.com and NOLA.com and tell them to stop running stories about it. Second: Go share this and blog about it yourself. Third: Tell all of your friends it’s OK to come to the beach and business is still open for EVERYONE. This is a very passive-aggressive move from our own people! Airing headlines that bleed to lead, putting statements and then following up with “inconclusive” facts. Shame on you local media for ruining your own town and our economy!
The South Alabama market cannot take this. This is unjust and it’s all from the media! Speak out and tell them to quit! AND DON’T LET THEM DISTRACT YOU WITH ANOTHER STORY!! (People won’t stop thinking it’s unsafe to come to the beach until THEY SAY ITS SAFE – which it IS!)