The Rockies really messed up when they withheld access to Michael Cuddyer from Peter Burns this week.
The radio host asked the team to grant him permission to interview Cuddyer about his nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award. Jay Alves, Rox PR man, said "no". Burns has, in Alves' mind, talked about the Rockies in too negative a light too many times to be allowed the privelage of talking with Colorado players on his show.
Alves' mistake was in not considering that Burns was attempting to help bring publicity to Cuddy's candidacy. The Clemente award recipient is determined based on fan voting. The winner gets to donate a large sum of money to the charity of his choice. Cuddyer named A Precious Child and the Jessica Redfield Foundation, which Peter Burns helped establish, as his charities of choice. Burns' interest in promoting Cuddyer was in promoting a charity near to his heart.
The rivalry between Mile High Sports, Peter Burns and the Rockies reached a pinnacle with Alves' denial of Burns. This lead to a massive amount of negative publicity for the Rockies organization.
According to his Twitter account, Peter Burns was "summoned" to Coors Field today to hash things out. How did it go? I will let him tell you. These are his Tweets:
Got called by the @Rockies front office yesterday and was summoned to Coors Field today. We met for almost 2 hours. Details to follow.
First, I give kudos for @Rockies for reaching out. Clearly this week struck a cord with them regarding the blacklash from social media
It was both clear they didn't grasp the PR gap between team/media/fans, but it was clear that they open to ideas on how to fix it. #Rockies
The @Rockies and I had very honest and open discussions, while at times testy, they allowed me to vent and I believe they actively listened.
In the middle of the meeting, @Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd came in and spent 20 minutes with me. He took responsibility on lack of communication.
O'Dowd told me that their approach going forward will change. More of an effort to communicate with media vs stonewalling. #Rockies
I tried to convey that all media/fans in Denver win when the @Rockies win. But when they lose, they have to open up more. Not circle wagons
In turn, they agreed that they will offer more trust with media going forward. Some relationships will be quicker to rebuild than others.
They called my open letter highly unprofessional, to which I say it might not be textbook media approach, it did move the needle with them
The @Rockies admitted that social media PR is still a fluid/new process. O'Dowd invited me to contact him to assist in ideas that may help.
Overall, I feel that it was a big step for a club that I've been critical on. They didn't have to invite me to meet, yet they did. #Rockies
While it was an overall productive meeting, it was extremely disappointing that the VP of PR in which the issue lies choose to not attend.
It was the VP of PR that is the root of all the PR issues with the @Rockies, and he declined to take time for our meeting.
Overall, there are people in the @Rockies that I believe get it, and some that never will. Attendance in that meeting spoke volumes.