The last couple of weeks were a bit rough on me mentally. I wrote a piece on a comparison of a couple of pool closing events that started a backlash of hatred toward me personally. Now I am a big boy and must say, I can handle pretty much anything thrown at me. I feel now though I must speak my piece, my cup hath runneth over so to speak.
I was sent a seething email by a person involved with a local pet business. This person pissed and moaned about how I attacked an event, I hurt people’s feelings, I twisted facts, this person hoped I had harm come to me because of it, called me “money grubbing”, I was only interested in “lining my pockets”. Informed me how journalism really works, (this from someone who isn’t in the profession of journalism), said I made someone cry… It went on and on and this person wanted to make sure that everyone he or she spoke to would be aware of my “hateful tactics”.
All of this due to me asking the question do vendor booths enhance some events as much as the vendors and people putting on the events think they do. In this particular article, it seemed that the booths were not as popular as people seem to think.
The real reason for this persons email was that this person’s feelings were hurt and their panties were in a bunch.
To this person I say GROW UP! No one twisted facts. I wrote the article as reported to me by people attending the event. People who left the event early and evidentially not as pleased with the event as this person would like to believe. Guess what, not every event is a good event, even if the event is for a good cause. Just because the cause is commendable doesn’t mean the event is good from everyone’s perspective. I have been a part of many events that I wished would have gone better. They were all for a great cause, they just happened to be mediocre events, and you know what… THAT’S OK! It happens. Just try to make it better the next year.
In the article I did call into question a couple of things directly related to a specific business. Was I slamming them? Maybe a little; but more than that I was questioning ethics and integrity. The company in question is Metro Pet Magazine. It is a local Kansas City Pet Magazine that came into existence during Paw Prints hiatus while I was trying not to die from late stage 4 cancer. I questioned the magazine’s readership in a particular area of the city due to a low patron turn out at the event in question. I also brought into question the magazine’s circulation and readership numbers they tell their advertisers. If I was wrong in my statements, Metro Pet is welcome to leave comments on our website or show me their proof of circulation and I’ll gladly retract what I said.
In stead of doing that, the owner of Metro Pet decided to do something else. Now what happened is nothing new; when Metro Pet started we had to make a phone call to them to ask them “stop telling Paw Prints advertisers that I died, that Metro Pet bought Paw Prints, and that Paw Prints went out of business and would no longer publish.”
We received correspondence from a non profit group that is advertising with both Metro Pet and Paw Prints. During the conversation that was geared at trying to get this particular non profit to renew their ads, the owner said that this non profit should “use caution” in being associated with Paw Prints because we bad mouth charities and non profits like Wayside Waifs, No More Homeless Pets KC, Animal Haven, and others.
First of all, if you’re that poor at selling advertising and the sole feature and benefit of your magazine is to slander me, you need to go back to putting logos on pens, shirts and coffee mugs because you are terrible at advertising sales.
Secondly, all of what the owner from Metro Pet said is so far from the truth. When Paw Prints started in May of 2004 the shelter groups in the KC area were the first people we spoke with about writing articles to promote their cause. We dedicated four to eight pages of full color photos of adoptable pets free of charge to any shelter group that would send the photos. We continued this for a period on 18 months. Each page took approximately 40 man hours of labor. The page space alone was worth $4000.00 per page of ad space. We promote, free of charge, every event at no charge on the calendar of events on our website, all the organization has to do is send it to us. My wife and I were contestants in No More Homeless Pets KC Fuzzy Foto contest in 2007. Our photo was taken the day before I went into surgery to have a radical neck dissection done as part of my cancer treatment. My wife, Stacy currently sits on the committee for Fuzzy Fotos. The list goes on and on.
Since Paw Prints began in May 2004 we have done nothing but try to help promote the cause of animal welfare, and objectively look at pet industry issues. Everything we do is to inform and entertain our audience. Our integrity and product has won us national graphics awards, it has gotten us featured on Geraldo at Large and Inside Edition. We drove to the gulf coast to cover first hand the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. While down there we discovered the Gulfport Humane Society and their new challenges. When we returned to KC we and a few others put on a fundraiser to help them, even flying the director and main players to KC for the event.
For the owner of Metro Pet to outright LIE about Paw Prints’ history with the animal welfare community in KC is nothing but slander. You want to question it, then question it. I am happy to answer any questions you might have. You are supposed to be a magazine publisher for crying out loud, act like one. Oh I forgot, you don’t write any articles in your magazine, you tell people that if they purchase a large enough ad they can be a writer. Want to talk about being a hack. I thought pay to play stopped in the late 50’s early 60’s with the radio DJ scandals.
In short if you want to call me an ass, go ahead. Like I said I’m a big boy, I can take it. But to slander my company and tell lies about me, that is not OK. By the way Metro Pet, is it true that you publish a pet magazine and you say on the cover you are the “pet owners resource” but you as the owner don’t own any pets? That is a rumor going around that maybe you could answer. Do you own pets or not? Maybe you should get informed on what is going on in the pet community. Honestly, if you compare Paw Prints to Metro Pet, one of us is the pet owners’ resource and it isn’t you.
I feel better now.
Dale E Smith