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>Should refer to this as the "Jim Culp" memo?
>
>Who says nobody checks out specialstage forumns...

Actually, it seems to disallow folks like Jim (freelancers). It says you have to be on assignment at the event to get on-stage access.

However, it does address the concerns that I had as far as media access for the guys that I work with (motorsport.com) and makes credential access more similar to other racing series than what was originally proposed, so I give SCCA high marks for the new policy.

alan
 

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----- edited for grammar -----

After reading through the information, I have a question. What's the point of getting "Media - Restricted Access" or "VIP -
Restricted Access?"

With the exception of some "gatherings," you don't need to do anything at this point to get access to all the stated areas, so why bother?

Unless the SCCA is planning on restricting access to other areas and people, such as park expose and service, at which point they'd really be shooting themselves in the foot as far as building/retaining a fan base!?! :+

After all, isn't/wasn't a rule (at some events) that at least one competitor from each team HAD to remain with their car at park ferme/expose so that the GENERAL PUBLIC could meet, greet, and ask questions?

Matt "RRR-K2" Kennedy
www.RockyRoadRacing.com
#931 Subaru Impreza 2.2 PGT - SCCA Pro/ClubRally
#44 Subaru Legacy 2.2 Production 4WD - SCCA/NER RallyCross
 

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>>Should refer to this as the "Jim Culp" memo?
>>
>>Who says nobody checks out specialstage forumns...
>
>Actually, it seems to disallow folks like Jim (freelancers).
> It says you have to be on assignment at the event to get
>on-stage access.
>
>However, it does address the concerns that I had as far as
>media access for the guys that I work with (motorsport.com)
>and makes credential access more similar to other racing
>series than what was originally proposed, so I give SCCA
>high marks for the new policy.



This is absolutely the dumbest policy I have ever seen.

It completely eliminates the possibility of any meaningful local coverage, especially last-minute local coverage.

It is a public relations disaster.

It presumes that covering a Pro Rally is the same as covering a fixed-location event such as a race.

And that's the dumbest point of all. When will SCCA ever figure out that rallies are different than races?

With few exceptions, most of the papers within coverage range of pro rallies (and club rallies) are in the 5-25,000 circulation range. I was managing editor at a 25,000 circulation paper for 15 years, so I know a little about what I write. I have also covered rallies for big daily papers and for magazines.

For a smaller paper, decisions about weekend coverage are NEVER made a week in advance. At best, they are made a day or two days in advance.

Newspaper photographers are often on tight time schedules. It was not unusual to schedule a photographer to four to eight events on any given Saturday. "So Mr. Newspaper Photographer, you get to stay with the specators for six hours"... that isn't going to happen.

Furthermore, even if a paper requests the credentials a week in advance, reality is that editors rarely know what photographer they may be assigning. It's more likely they'll know the reporter, but significantly less likely for the photographer. Why? Because sometimes breaking news happens, and editors wind up having to rearrange things on the fly.

From my former colleagues in the television business, their scheduling is every bit as hectic and crisis-driven.

I covered several rallies for The Columbus Dispatch -- a major metro daily -- for several years as well as the AP and never had printed credentials that said I was working for them. I covered events for magazines and can think of at least a couple of occasions in which I didn't know I was covering the event for the mag until days before the event.

I understand restricting people who are using non-legitimate credentials, but in doing so, we shouldn't hamper legitimate media.

We want rallying to be more popular, and yet we put barriers to the legitimate media who cover it?

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Historian Robert Conquest observed: The behavior of an organization can best be predicted by presuming it to be run by a cabal of its enemies.
 

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What about ClubRally ?

#&%[email protected]!#*<%!,

This new policy was written for Performance Rally. By definition that means ClubRally AND ProRally. The policy requires a minimum 1 week advance request to the National office for press credentials and stage access.

PRORALLY has exemptions for those with an Annual Photographed Credential, a "Hard Card". CLUBRALLY does not.

WHAT ABOUT CLUBRALLY!!!! WHY THE DOUBLE STANDARD!!!!! Or, once again have the needs of ClubRally simply been disregarded?

I'm with Eric Anderson on this one. Please read his comments above.

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat
 

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RE: What about ClubRally ?

Could it be that club rally wasn't mentioned because SCCA realise that have lost their grip on our sport? Could it be that they have finally realised there are other avenues out there that we can use and not need them? If that is the case, I believe club rally will thrive, albeit under a different name. Photographers, one and all, you will be made welcome at all our rallies without having to jump through all the hoops and wade through the new BS. SCCA says it's trying to promote this sport? It makes you wonder.
 

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I will say it again. Any newspaper photographer getting a last minute assignment to cover a rally is only going to go to the spectator areas anyway. They are not going to take the time to scout, risk getting lost, being late, being locked in, or not finding a good spot. Why would they waste their time, when it is convenient for them to go to a location that has directions to get there, a description, what times to be there, people to talk to, and in some case the cars will go by more than once?
The credential will let them get into better places within the spectator area ( in sight of a marshal) If they can't get a photo good enough for their story from there, they are not good at their job! So why is it so important to you that some local photographer,who has no or little experience in rally, gets to go anywhere they want? It is more likely they will get worse photos (and be late for their next assignment) if they randomly try to find a place to go.
Besides if they can't get a good photo, there is plenty of photographers who have been doing this for years, and have the access, who can provide them with a photo. How about showing some support for them, instead of letting the work go to someone else who is not part of the rally community?

Now if people have questions, how about calling the SCCA instead of complaining on SS? After the last round of this topic, I made a phone call and found out about these changes weeks ago. Much more productive!
 

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>I will say it again. Any newspaper photographer getting a
>last minute assignment to cover a rally is only going to go
>to the spectator areas anyway. They are not going to take
>the time to scout, risk getting lost, being late, being
>locked in, or not finding a good spot. Why would they waste
>their time, when it is convenient for them to go to a
>location that has directions to get there, a description,
>what times to be there, people to talk to, and in some case
>the cars will go by more than once?


Simple. Because they MIGHT go out in a press pool.

It sure strikes me that it would be nice to have have enough credentialed media that there could be a press pool.

But because they don't have the credentials to go anyplace else, that's not possible, is it?

What they "will" or "will not" do is beside the point. By putting this restriction in place, SCCA has eliminated any options.

Beyond that, why should SCCA be dictating media policy to local organizers? I can see a national policy, but it sure seems to me that a local event ought to have some control over how it handles media relations.


>The credential will let them get into better places within
>the spectator area ( in sight of a marshal) If they can't
>get a photo good enough for their story from there, they are
>not good at their job!


So why aren't you shooting from the spectator areas too? Aren't they "good enough"?

Obviously not.



>photographers who have been doing this for years, and have
>the access, who can provide them with a photo. How about
>showing some support for them, instead of letting the work
>go to someone else who is not part of the rally community?


It's not the media's job to show support for anyone. It's the media's job to report the news.

It's obvious you've never worked for a newspaper which is OK.

Try this: It's 11 p.m. on Saturday night. Press starts in 30 minutes. You have a 3 col by 8 inch deep hole to fill on the front sports page.

Who are you going to rely on, your staff photographer or a freelance photographer you've never seen and don't know if they can deliver?

If I had a dollar for every time I had a freelancer fail to deliver, fail to deliver on time, or fail to deliver high enough quality, I'd be driving an Evo 8.

And finally, are you going to accept a newspaper assignment that pays $50-$100 for one photo? I don't think so, and that's the going rate for most smaller papers.


>
>Now if people have questions, how about calling the SCCA
>instead of complaining on SS? After the last round of this
>topic, I made a phone call and found out about these changes
>weeks ago. Much more productive!


I'm not bitching about the changes per se as it doesn't much matter to me. I'm bitching about how a supposedly "smart" marketing organization has completely screwed up its public relations efforts. They should not need my advice to know how to conduct a public relations effort, that is their job.
 

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>
>
>Simple. Because they MIGHT go out in a press pool.
>
>It sure strikes me that it would be nice to have have enough
>credentialed media that there could be a press pool.

There are at least 9-10 hard carded photographers (probably more), 5 of which are at every event, so how many more would you need for a press pool?
As of STPR I (and others)have been providing photos to the SCCA for a press pool

>
>Beyond that, why should SCCA be dictating media policy to
>local organizers? I can see a national policy, but it sure
>seems to me that a local event ought to have some control
>over how it handles media relations.

Or you can look at it as one less thing for an organizer to have to worry about, allowing them to concentrate on more pending issues like....the rally
The rules should be the same at every event! That is not to say that an organizer can't invite the local media to an event


>
>
>So why aren't you shooting from the spectator areas too?
>Aren't they "good enough"?
>
>Obviously not.
>

Obviously, you missed the other thread where I pointed out that I shoot from the spectator areas 80% of the time and provided examples
Here is another:
http://www.rally-america.com/Archives/2003/Maine/day/data/gallery/Maine1/images/MFR026.jpg Hundreds of spectators were willing to brave the rainy conditions to watch exciting rally cars slip and slide through the mud and gravel conditions. Rallying is a fast growing sport that...
Well I am not much of a writer but the point is it can be done

>
>


>It's obvious you've never worked for a newspaper which is
>OK.
>
>Try this: It's 11 p.m. on Saturday night. Press starts in 30
>minutes. You have a 3 col by 8 inch deep hole to fill on the
>front sports page.
>Who are you going to rely on, your staff photographer or a
>freelance photographer you've never seen and don't know if
>they can deliver?

Actually, I have worked at a newspaper but as a graphic designer, same deadlines though.
If staff photographer is so good they will have no problem getting good images from a spectator area and they wil be back in plenty of time. But if they are that pressed for time they are going to shoot the Parc Expose and leave (That is what happened in Maine and still made for good PR)


>
>If I had a dollar for every time I had a freelancer fail to
>deliver, fail to deliver on time, or fail to deliver high
>enough quality, I'd be driving an Evo 8.

Let's see, with the high end digital, I can have a photo to them by service if neccessary. Before the rally even starts if I go to shakedown.

>
>And finally, are you going to accept a newspaper assignment
>that pays $50-$100 for one photo? I don't think so, and
>that's the going rate for most smaller papers.

Beer money!! Actually that seems high, in my experience, usually it is; can you give it to us for nothing or $5-25. Which if it is going to help the sport or the rally community or organizer, most of the regular photogs would do it


So I guess I don't quite see what the problem is with the changes
 

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>Let's see, with the high end digital, I can have a photo to
>them by service if neccessary. Before the rally even starts
>if I go to shakedown.

Yep. I did that on Thursday evening at Maine: http://www.specialstage.com/forum/cgi-bin/DCForumID30/491.html
(stuff in the link has changed since I posted that)

Didn't upload more cuz I realized afterwards it was a toll call :-(

There are plenty of opportunities for veteran rally photographers to get their stuff "to print" in time. Lots of time though, is it worth it to scramble to get that 1 picture to where it has to be and then miss many other photo opportunities. For the right amount of $$, maybe.

Pete
 

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>
>So I guess I don't quite see what the problem is with the
>changes



We'll make this real simple. It's syllogism. There are two of them:

Premise: The harder you make it for someone to do something, the less likely it is they will do it.

Premise: The new rules make it harder for local media to assign last minute coverage to an event.

Conclusion: The new rules make it less likely it is there will be any last-minute local media coverage.


Premise: SCCA exists -- in part -- to promote performance rally.

Premise: Promoting performance rally means getting more coverage.

Conclusion: New rules that restrict coverage possibilities hamper success in promoting performance rally.


Your problem is simple: You want a monopoly situation on coverage.

If you're shooting 80 percent of your coverage from the spectator area, then I don't see what the problem is of completely eliminating the hard card situation entirely and having you shoot 100 percent of your coverage from the spectator locations.
 

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Your problem is simple: You want a monopoly situation on coverage.

What I want is the 5 to 10+ guys that have busted their asses for years to get good at rally photography to finally be able to profit from the increased growth of the sport. What I want is for these guys to be able to pay their expenses, and then some, from the photos they take! I have no concerns as to whether a local photographer is there or not (the newspapers can keep their $5)or where they shoot from, but if limiting their access (or spectators access) is what is required to keep rallies happening and avoid liability issues, I am all for it!!!
If there is a story worth while to the media they will come and get the job done regardless of the restrictions and likely they won't even know the difference!
 

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>Thank you Morgan for a moment of lucidity in a world gone
>mad.
>
>J.B. Niday
>www.nidayrallysport.com


edited for grammar



This is lucidity?

This explains very well what the hell is wrong with SCCA and why performance rallying ranks behind lawn mower racing in public awareness.

It explains why teams struggle to pay the bills, why SCCA cannot attract and retain major sponsors and why there isn't even a full slate of Pro Rallies.

Pro Rally turns 30 years old next year. Lets look at the record:

* Pro Rally today is less safe than it was 30 years ago. Enough said, I won't belabor this.

* In 1974, Pro Rally had TWO major sponsors. In 2003, it has none.

* Entry fees for Pro Rally -- adjusted for inflation -- are higher today than 1974.

* Cost of fielding a car -- at any level -- today is higher today, adjusted for inflation, than it was in 1974.

* A sizable reason that car prep today is more expensive has to do with absolutely insane SCCA rules. For example, it is against blood transfusion policy at every major hospital to perform a transfusion without blood typing. So why the hell does a rule exist that teams have to have their blood type on their helmet? A far more rational rule would be to require at least one member of the crew to have first aid certification. That might actually save someone's life. But that's a rational safety rule, not the stupid one that exists.

* Contingency programs in place in 1974 made it possible for some/many teams cover all or nearly all, of their expenses. We finished 15th on Sunriser and between the Cooper Tire money, stage sponsorship (yeah we had that back then too), and Marchel money, we actually made about $5 on the rally.

* There were 11 Pro Rallies in 1974. POR would make it 12, but it was an FIA event not Pro event. Today there are 8 -- Pike's Peak is not a Pro Rally no matter what it is called.

* Several Pro Rallies actually had their own sponsorship, awarded prize money and didn't put organizers deeply in debt. Does any Pro Rally in 2003 actually have a major sponsor -- i.e. a naming rights sponsor? -- award significant prize money or not live hand-to-mouth?

* A count in Performance Rally for events scheduled for 1975, shows approximately 150 performance rallies in the United States and Canada. Today, there are about half that scheduled. The suspension of Club Rally means there will be even fewer.

* Car & Driver fielded a its own rally team in the mid-70s. Motor Trend, Road & Track, Four Wheeler, Peterson's Off Road and numerous others routinely covered Pro Rally. Today, Pro Rally coverage is so remarkable it spawns a whole thread here when a magazine writes about it.

* The 1974 economy was significantly worse -- remember the Arab oil embargo and 25% interest rates -- than the 2003 economy.

I can keep on flogging this dead horse if you want, I'm just getting warmed up. I may have the results around someplace, but I'm quite willing to bet that the average number of entries in 1974 was significantly higher than 2003.

Back in 1975, Bob Hourihan (if you don't know who Bob Hourihan is, I'm sure Doug Woods can elaborate) wrote this about the SCCA and its lack of support for the 1974 POR organizers: "Everyone seemed to think that American streets were paved with gold while in actuality the basic thread was a rather tatty twine called the run-around."

At what point does real lucidity set in and and someone say: "you know, we've really screwed up the marketing of this sport; we've really screwed up the competition; and we really haven't done a very good job with what ought to be an extremely popular sport."

This is a sport that NASCAR drivers even admit to watching. And it can't get an audience?

Ya think it might have something to with the thought process that puts together a really, really dumb public relations policy that restricts media coverage and then calls such a move "lucid"?
 

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>Your problem is simple: You want a monopoly situation on
>coverage.

>
>What I want is the 5 to 10+ guys that have busted their
>asses for years to get good at rally photography to finally
>be able to profit from the increased growth of the sport.



Wake up. The sport isn't growing. Read my response to J.D. Niday and you'll see that by any measure, Pro Rally is worse off today than it was in 1974.

I wrote Performance Rallying in 1975. It took six months of work and I made $17 all told.

If you want to make money, go to Nascar or NHRA.

SCCA should do what is best for Pro Rally.

In a perfect world, that will help you. But regardless of whether it helps or not, it should do what's best for the sport. And getting more coverage for the sport is probably good for the sport.
 

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>Wake up. The sport isn't growing. Read my response to J.D.
>Niday and you'll see that by any measure, Pro Rally is worse
>off today than it was in 1974.
I'm not sure I would go back that far, but certainly the number of ProRally participants from 2002 to 2003 is lower. The numbers on Rally Racing news verify this.

>SCCA should do what is best for Pro Rally.
No. SCCA should do what is best for Performance Rally members as a whole and not the very select few.

>In a perfect world, that will help you. But regardless of
>whether it helps or not, it should do what's best for the
>sport. And getting more coverage for the sport is probably
>good for the sport.

If one is paying attention... Performance Rallying in the U.S. is at a crossroads. The SCCA Monopoly is pretty much dead.

Its to be seen what will happen, but enough people out there are interested enough in lowering the costs to the average member that I imagine something will happen before all is said and done. I don't think its a horrible thing for local Organisers to retain most of the control of THEIR rally.

I for one don't watch the speedvision coverage anymore. I'm sure the average member who used to look for themselves on the coverage has realized that you better be top 5 or have a red or blue car. I channel surf for a reason; I hate commercials. It means I'm not willing to sit through an hour long commercial.

If ProRally is only covering 10 cars, and nobody else is really benefiting from it... And a competing series comes along that provides the same number of miles at an event from competent organisers for a lower price, it doesn't seem like a very difficult decision for all but about 10 of us.

The question is, has SCCA jumped the shark or not?
 

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Re the coverage

>I for one don't watch the speedvision coverage anymore. I'm
>sure the average member who used to look for themselves on
>the coverage has realized that you better be top 5 or have a
>red or blue car. I channel surf for a reason; I hate
>commercials. It means I'm not willing to sit through an hour
>long commercial.

Trevor, the Speed TV coverage is much broader since STPR. You might give it another chance.

For example, at the mid-season review I counted:

17 cars shown in the Sno*Drift section
13 cars in the Rim segment
20 cars in the STPR segment

The broadcasts for each event are even broader now. Yeah, you still see a lot of red, a lot of blue, a lot of Air Force Reserve, but you're definitely getting the white, silver, yellow, shamrock, striped, starred, etc cars as well.

I'd say we're getting close to Ramada Express standards....

May I suggest you perhaps take another hour to watch the next one?

John

[hr]

[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 
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