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Old 11-22-2005, 05:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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INSIDE OUTSIDE 4x4 Column

I recently cut a deal to write a column for INSIDE OUTSIDE magazine on 'wheeling. The magazine is a freebie available throughout the Southwest. It's heavy on environmental issues and travel stuff. The negative response to my first column on USFS land managment meetings was overwheming. The editor asked me to tone it down for column #2 due out around December first. The second column defends the fee demo system and should not only piss off tree huggers, but cheep jeepers as well.

In order to keep the column going, I had to compromise my principles as I felt that any positive PR on OHV's in a publication is better than nothing.

BTW, the enviros read the 4x4 pubs cover to cover and don't hesitate to express their feelings! I write the LOW RAGE column in FOUR WHEELER and I'm considering a deal that pays me $10.00 a piece for each negative letter instead of a flat rate! Actually, the column hasn't appeared for a while. Something to do with the ad/edit ratio for bulk mailing.

The point of this post is to encourage you to write a "thank you" to the media any time there's a positive piece on OHV's. The media responds to positive reinforcement.
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The point of this post is to encourage you to write a "thank you" to the media any time there's a positive piece on OHV's. The media responds to positive reinforcement.

Thats not a bad Idea and I would be willing do it ! Only problem is finding a positive piece in the media about OHV's
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Old 11-22-2005, 04:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis4x4
BTW, the enviros read the 4x4 pubs cover to cover and don't hesitate to express their feelings! I write the LOW RAGE column in FOUR WHEELER and I'm considering a deal that pays me $10.00 a piece for each negative letter instead of a flat rate! Actually, the column hasn't appeared for a while. Something to do with the ad/edit ratio for bulk mailing.

The point of this post is to encourage you to write a "thank you" to the media any time there's a positive piece on OHV's. The media responds to positive reinforcement.

Thank you for caring to ask for encouragement (we need some as well).

Positive editorial pieces on OHV use do get positive "thank you" letters. I contend that even true “balanced” editorial pieces receive “thank you” letters. The trouble is finding pieces that are not flawed and misinformed with junk opinion and unverified accusations that unfairly paint OHV recreation participants as unsavory and uncaring.

The problem for many readers of past editorials (yours and others in the 4x4 print media) is an apparent lack of diligence to separate fact from fiction. In the past there has been many obvious examples in 4x4 print editorials where the anti-access concerns and accusations have been presented to “balance” the intended message of the editor (and to promote controversy around, or even to qualify the editors message). A reasonable person invites an alternate viewpoint, but even reasonable folks are discouraged to praise (or even acknowledge) an editors message when the opposing viewpoints carry no accountability.

Expect a "thank you" when the Editor (and author) gets the facts straight. In this respect editorial opinion content is no different than other journalism, the message must not be based on others opinions but on verifiable evidence. When the editorial author fails to mention that the one or more of the quoted viewpoints forming the editorial message cannot be verified, and may be unfounded (that the quotes may be outright lies), publishing the misinformation cannot be excused. If the information given to you to quote (in person or in a press release) cannot be verified, you may gain more respect (and more positive letters) by leaving the quote out of the article.

With all the positive participation by the 4x4 community in cooperative Adopt-A-Trail and OHV-Volunteer organizations you should be able to submit (and achieve publication of) articles featuring benefits of OHV/SLV access. Search and Rescue support, resource protection (fencing and erosion control), fire protection (rolling lookouts), habitat improvement project support (transport of native seed stock), and cooperative trail maintenance technique (etc.) all see little exposure in print media. An article intended to communicate a message of alarm and concern (of what we risk if we as motorized dirt road travel enthusiasts do not educate our ranks to respect our environment) does not demand misleading quotes from an anti-access voice to motivate action (or controversy) from within the OHV community.

Encouragement is as effective as criticism to motivate positive action when the praise is deserved and made public. Children do not emulate sports stars because of the criticism the star receives (valid criticism, or false), they are motivated to emulate successful professionals because of the public encouragement the star enjoys (public displays of backslaps, high-fives, and the income that parallels respect for performance). Offer us (the OHV enthusiast) an in-depth public display of positive encouragement and you will receive your thank you letters (and expect the biased whining from the anti-motorized, anti- access, activists to remain intact).

Happy Trails!
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