The Municipal Art Society (MAS) invited the press to an event Wednesday morning in which they would be able to take a look at four renderings of the new Madison Square Garden. They’re just ideas at the moment since the actual building of the facility is more than 15 years away, but still. If you’re into this, like the architecture and design press who were invited to the event would be, this is pretty exciting stuff.
Except the MAS had already given the story and the images to The New York Times the night before.
Journalists working for smaller outlets are used to playing second fiddle to top-tier outlets. But really, don’t rub salt in the wound by pulling this kind of stunt. Especially when those other journalists can wound you and do a little salt rubbing in return.
William Menking, the EIC and founder of Architect’s Newspaper emailed a number of reporters with word that the news would already be broken by the time of the event. The New York Observer has a portion of the email (thanks for sending this over, helpful tipster):
“This used to happen in the old days and of course the Times asks for exclusivity but I and the Architect’s Newspaper won’t take part in a ‘discussion’ when the Times is the only one in line. Maybe you can relay how ‘this flow of information’ is pointedly already determined by their behavior and is really planning from the ‘top down’ rather than ‘the bottom up.’”
MAS responded with some mush-mouthed bit about the public or something, but the long and short is they got the NY Times exclusive but now lost credibility with the stable of reporters that would be most likely to cover a chunk of all of the other news they want to push out. Media relations lesson learned the hard way.