Monday, July 31, 2017

Feel Free To Complain About Your Dirt Track On Social Media; Nobody's Paying Attention Most Likely

Ah social media, the great mechanism that lets everyone have a voice, such a great and not so great thing.  Everyone has an opinion, and a lot of people feel the need to express them no matter how delightful or damning they may be.  And though the subject of bad mouthing the sport that we love across all platforms has been beaten to death like a dead horse in recent years, it’s not going away anytime soon.   Some tracks play right into it too, with promoters playing right in to the hands of the fans that egg them on.  Some tracks make social media policies that border on complete and total censorship of adult human beings.  There’s not much in the way of middle ground.

But have you ever thought that instead of lighting up the twitterverse or facebook with another jab at the track officials you disagree with, or the promoter that you feel cancels quick on a 50/50 weather night, or the fact that you’d rather pay $12 weekly instead of $15, like three dollars will actually cause you physical pain, have you ever thought of taking those concerns to the source directly?

Yes, instead of trying to look like a hero to the local fanbase, what if you actually took just a few more seconds and composed an email? Or better yet,  why not pick up the phone and actually call the office?  Okay, so there’s not always an answer when you call, we’ll get to that in a bit.  But let me tell you something, emails and phone calls may earn you much more credibility in the long run, and even more importantly, may help change occur.

It is a free country, thank god for that.  You are more than allowed to say what you will, post negative nonsense, and not always with correct spelling or coherent expression for that matter, any time you choose.  There’s nothing to stop you , it may even make you feel better.  But know this, even in you make those posts and get 150 of your buddies to press the like button, it means exactly nothing at all in the real world.  Nothing.

Here’s what happens when you take that route, most of the time.  The post goes out to whatever site you put it on. Some overworked promoter, general manager, or PR Director that probably works another 50 hour a week full time job gets to the track and begins on preparations for the show that week.  They probably aren’t going to respond, they’ve got tracks to grade, food to stock, and other business matters to tend to just so there can be a show in the first place.  Then they get home at an ungodly hour, and perhaps go over any social media websites to check for your post.   Here’s a couple of things they do check more diligently, their emails and their phone messages, they have to, because they are getting information they need to run the track.

Race tracks are businesses,  you are customers, your expressed concerns via email and phone stand out and take priority.  Not your opinion on social media.  To be honest, the folks in charge have bigger fish to fry.  They know a good many on social media taking jabs might not even have been to their track in years. But they know a fan or driver that took the time to email or call has a legitimate gripe most of the time.

So fans, take time and consideration before you take your track to the woodshed over a petty grievance.  It makes your track look bad, and it makes you look like a vengeful idiot to others around you if you persist.  Now then, take that energy, and turn it into a win, a retweet of a promotional night, a facebook share of a feature video from last week’s show, do something to help promote your track to your friends on social media.  If all they see you do is bad mouth the place, you can rest assured, they won’t make an effort to go with you which equals one less potential fan in the stands.  Does you track need less fans, or more?  

Promoters, you have a hand in this too.  If the smart folks who have taken the aforementioned advice have taken to email or phone, or better yet a personal meeting at the track (best way to go actually), to tell you their concerns, you need to respond.  If you’re too busy, simply reply that you don’t have time this second to help them, but will reach out to them later on.  And then, listen to what they have to say, and help them as best you can.  Do that enough times, and watch the negative repping on social media become less and less. 

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