Just a few of the many credentials I collected in 2010, but they're also some of my favorites.

Today I’m using bullet points as the format du jour in honor of a my first paintball experience this past weekend.  Despite several welts of varied grossness (photos available if you ask nicely via Twitter or Facebook), it was great time!  Chicago was the location, and a friend’s impending nuptials were the reason for celebration.  One recommendation for everyone:  Habana Libre at Chicago Ave. and Noble (near Ashland).  Order anything on the menu, just make sure you start with a couple of their spinach or guava and cheese empanadas.

That’s more meta than you probably wanted, so let’s get back to business.  You know, this job I’m seeking with the Detroit Red Wings.

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  • Due to my unfamiliarity with the policies of the Red Wings organization, I’ve been trying to figure out whether or not they grant credentials to bloggers who write exclusively (or almost exclusively) about the team.  If you’re a Red Wings blogger and know the answer to this question, please let me know.  I didn’t go as far as contacting the organization (since I’m applying for a job, I don’t want to stick my nose somewhere it doesn’t belong), but I did try to find some answers on the Red Wings official website.  Unfortunately, when I clicked links for both a “Frequently Asked Questions” section and a “Public Relations” section, I was taken to the front page of the NHL’s website.  That was a little surprising… and disappointing.

  • The reason I’m curious is because it would seem like the Red Wings could have a hand in rewarding these people in some way for their efforts, and it could be done via social media.  Two weeks ago when this campaign began, I wrote that a major key to success for the Red Wings next Social Networking Coordinator will be an ability to engage the people behind the dozens of Red Wings blogs currently in operation.  A “blog of the day” or “blog of the month” promotion might encourage some bloggers to go a little further with their writing if they knew there was potentially something more waiting for them.  What about those golden tickets we call credentials?  If it were earned, would Red Wings bloggers be interested in having the same access as the mainstream media, even if that access was for a limited time only?  Some would not, but some would absolutely jump at the chance to ask some questions after games.  It doesn’t matter if the blogger is based in the Detroit area or not, because credential requests could always be made for road games too.
  • If you have someone inside the Red Wings organization – such as the Social Networking Coordinator – constantly monitoring all the Detroit Red Wings blogs, it becomes easier to differentiate bad blogs from good ones while also being objective rather than subjective.  Linkarounds are already being used on the Hockeytown Blog, but those links aren’t being pushed to social media sites and are often outdated because the site appears to only be updated once per week.  That still baffles me a little bit, because many times with social media and blogs there’s true value in being the hub of all activity – regardless of who created the content.  A great example of that idea is Paul Kukla from Kukla’s Korner, my guest last week on this site’s first-ever podcast.
  • Obviously, there would have to be rules in place to be eligible for the hypothetical “blog of the day” or “blog of the month” promotion I’m describing, but it could be done fairly easily.  When it comes down to it, blogs focused on the Red Wings are only bringing more attention to the Red Wings, and that’s a good thing.  So, shouldn’t these people’s hard work be rewarded in some way?  At it’s core, this type of promotion is built for social media consumption.  It promotes the organization, encourages discussion about the organization, and gives those working the hardest a potential opportunity to be rewarded for their efforts.

It’s just something else to consider, and one of many thoughts I’ve had swimming around in my head since beginning this process a couple weeks ago.  Like I said at the beginning, I really don’t know what the current policies are for the Red Wings and whether or not they credential bloggers.  As I’ve told you before, I spent a lot of time the past few years at college basketball games, and I saw more and more bloggers receiving access each year.  Hockey, and specifically the Red Wings, could benefit from reaching out to some blogs.  Sometimes, they do a better job covering a team than those in the mainstream media.

I’ll write more later in the week about the “hub” idea I touched on above.  It’s important to remember that there are lots of Red Wings fans who are just as interested in what’s happening with every team in the NHL, as they are with what’s happening with only the Red Wings.  Capitalizing on another team’s news isn’t something that the Red Wings should shy away from, as it’s all part of being the “hub.”

I’ll definitely explain later in the week, and hope to provide an example with another edition of the podcast, since it was so well-received last week.  I’m thinking it’s time to track down someone who’s been around Mike Modano and the Dallas Stars, to get their opinion on his situation.  Sound good?

  1. I kept the Butler cred I got from the time we met, but my all-time favorite (so far) is the one I got from the NCAA baseball tournament at Rosenblatt.