It's hard not to notice that the Tribune-Review has undertaken a fairly pugnacious advertising campaign lately.
"Trib Total Media dominates the Pittsburgh market," blare advertisements slapped on billboards and buses."See what's next."
The first time I saw these ads, they were accompanied by the somewhat incongruous image of an ocean-going cargo vessel in the foreground, with the city skyline in the background. So what's next, I guess, is that Trib Total Media will be opening a seaport, perhaps near the Mon Wharf parking lot.
In any case, the ad campaign is long on swagger. Another ad asserts that "Our circulation is growing -- the PG's is shrinking." And one of those billboards is posted along the Boulevard of the Allies Downtown -- just a stone's throw from the offices of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Oooh, snap.
Then there's the e-mail that Ralph Martin, the Trib's president, sent out to staffers. The e-mail asserts that 2010 "is going to be our year; the year of Trib Total Media. We have planned a series of what we consider monumental events, that will occur and that we will promote over the remainder of this year." Those events will concern "new marketing initiatives, new long-term relationships with other leading community businesses and organizations, new philanthropic endeavors and more."
Martin promises that these events will take place every 4 to 6 weeks throughout the summer. You might want to plan your vacation accordingly.
Then again, I can't help but wonder if Martin wanted his staff to leak this thing, so that other journos would look upon his e-mail and despair. His message begins, after all, by asserting that "We've been hearing from many of you that your friends and acquaintances that work for other media in town have been asking about our latest marketing campaign."
So perhaps just by talking about this, I've become a part of the vast right-wing conspiracy. Which would mean that Trib Total Media really DOES dominate the Pittsburgh market! Repent! Repent!!!!!