Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Do it right or don't do it at all

Good advice from Josh Marshall:

The key is to identify their local advertisers and contact them. You can find information out here or, if you're in a Sinclair market, just watch the evening news show and mark down who the advertisers are. Then contact them directly -- and if possible, place a call. Or better yet, send an old-fashioned paper letter. Actually, scratch that, do both....

For good measure, it's great to tell the sales manager what you're doing. But if your message to the advertiser is successful they'll be taking the matter up with the sales manager directly. And he or she will definitely be taking their call.

If you don't live anywhere near a Sinclair station then by all means make your concerns known to their national advertisers. But from knowledgable folks I talk to, I get the strong impression that the real point of vulnerability are the local advertisers....

And one other point about tactics and decency, which overlap in this case. Please don't be rude or hostile. Be firm. Make clear that you're serious. And make your feelings known. But remember that the advertiser in question probably didn't know anything about this until today or maybe yesterday. And the person you'll actually be talking to at the station, and even more so with the advertiser, is as likely as not to be a Kerry supporter. What Sinclair is doing is egregious. But if you start making calls you'll be talking to a lot of folks who don't even know what's going on with all this and certainly aren't directly responsible for it.