Media Monday Edmonton: Update #65

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

On Oprah and the truck nuts…

Last week I wrote about Oprah in Edmonton, and I complimented Global Edmonton’s Carole Anne Devaney. I thought she did a pretty good job warming the crowd up before Oprah came out. One of the “gifts” she gave to Oprah was a purse that looked like “truck nuts”. Both women joked about it, but that didn’t stop the online fallout that followed. Todd makes a great point in his post:

We’re leaving someone with over 16 million Twitter followers with an image, a memory, of our city — of us. Randomness is wrong. An empty joke is wrong.

I agree that you can be funny and smart at the same time, and I agree that we probably could have made better use of the opportunity. In particular I would have loved to have seen a local book as one of the gifts. That said, there were some really great gifts, like the basket from Duchess.

I don’t think Carole Anne is the bad guy (as some have made her out to be). Two thoughts on that:

  • The event’s sponsors included EEDC and the Chamber of Commerce. I don’t know what their involvement was in the event, but it seems reasonable to assume that the two primary organizations responsible for tourism and business in our city might have had some input. Clearly we need to make sure they’re on board with Make Something Edmonton and that they catch and capitalize on opportunities like this.
  • Carole Anne said in her remarks that she asked some Edmontonians for input on the gifts. I don’t recall what she said specifically about the “truck nuts” purse, but I wouldn’t be surprised if dozens of Edmontonians had suggested it (or something like it). I think this underscores the mountain of work that Make Something Edmonton has ahead of it. It’s an uphill battle.

Very, very few Edmontonians said “what are truck nuts” in response to hearing about the “gift”. We may not have created them here in Edmonton, but judging by the number you see around town and the general awareness of what they are, we seem to have adopted them, for better or worse. Maybe we should start a Make Something Edmonton campaign to go around town cutting them off? Kidding, of course.

It’s easy to complain about what happened and it’s easy to point to things that better reflect Edmonton after the fact. The challenge is learning from this to do better next time. Let’s focus our energy on that.

Oprah in Edmonton
Cameras among the crowd at Oprah last week!

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

  • Will Munsey

    Truck nuts might have been mildly funny when they came out. The fact that so many people around here think they’re still funny is… well… pathetic.

  • http://twitter.com/allantaylor allantaylor

    Agree on the approach to the truck nuts, Mack. We should get past the point of wondering about why it was done and start focusing on what we can do to improve in the future.
    I’ll be honest, my only reaction so far was on the reactionary side.

  • neumanic

    You typed it in jest, I’m sure, but I’m not too convinced that “Make Something Edmonton” should be in the business of destroying other people’s stuff. Even if you, or the most outspoken supporters of MSE, are not in favour of them. As much as I think they’re tacky and unfunny, I don’t feel they represent us, and even if someone gives Oprah a set (and note, they were converted – *made*, as it were – into a purse) I am not so insecure about where I come from that I will go, ahem, nuts over it.

    • http://blog.mastermaq.ca Mack D. Male

      Absolutely in jest, hope that is clear! Added a “kidding” for the avoidance of doubt!