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Thread: Oh dear what have I done?

  1. #1
    John McGinnis's Avatar
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    Oh dear what have I done?

    In conjunction with our Kickstarter campaign we OK'd the release of a pretty innocent and straightforward press release about how Kickstarter changed their mind.

    The first WILDLY INACCURATE articles to appear reminded me instantly why press coverage can be an incredibly dumb idea. It's bad enough that the media doesn't know anything about airplanes or aviation. The real problem is they like to make things up, write science fiction, totally misquote, and refuse to do the slightest research. Then all of us who do know something pile on to comment on THEIR errors, which are obviously the "claims" of some loony who doesn't know the slightest thing about designing an airplane.

    Now it seems I've given them an excuse to attribute wondrous, impossible powers to an object that has never claimed them, isn't finished, and obviously isn't going to get any of my attention this week. All blame for THEIR ineptitude goes to ME! GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One article said we're designing for 100-450MPH... and the dumb stories will not only replicate, they will devolve as they go. Expect antigravity and nuclear fusion to be the claims next.

    For those who know what I mean, this is a call to all troops to help the media, or more particularly, the negative commenters who will be lined up around the block, to figure this out... it will take some time. The major points mangled so far:

    1. It's about powered drag reduction (AKA boundary layer control etc.), at much higher speeds than where reasonable experience suggests it would be applied. But HELLO?! Not THAT FAST! How 'bouts we shut up and find out, instead of speculate?

    2. Big deal about the double box tail... that's only one of seven ingredients made to cooperate. It's not a magic pill.

    3. We're not aiming for ridiculous speeds or making ridiculous claims. We're building this to eliminate that problem of silly speculation.

    More to come, no doubt. Sure hope I've made some friends here who can help keep the mess down. Even you, flyingriki... enjoy the laugh at my expense!

    Bottom line: If I haven't said it already, folks, I certainly didn't say it to them.

  2. #2

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    There is hope !!!!

    John,

    In my life time I have dealt with the press also, and you have my deepest empathy on this. But all is not lost and you maybe able to turn this to your advantage.

    I would not even try to 'educate' those of the press that do not wish to be educated. They have their OWN purpose and agenda, both personally and collectively. The point is to not let that get you off focus and delay what you have to do.

    As a suggestion, instead of trying to educate these types and correcting every mis-statement they make (not enough time for it any way), how about giving them something they always seem to like "a mystery". Never tell them anything untrue, but often less is more once you have their attention. Just keep harping about the need for money to 'prove' things. Let them make the buzz so to speak (true or not). Just have your web site and facebook stuff accurate for those that will take the time to actually look at and listen to what you are saying. Do not waste your time on those that will not; as they have no desire to educate themselves anyway.

    If you ever get interviewed for 'general public' remember to smile and laugh and not take to serious anything they say. Also the press is only looking for 15 to 30 second statements, (responses) to the questions, no matter how long the interview is. There is no way to educate anyone with that type focus. You need the public support (and funding) but you do not need to have them fully educated to achieve that. That will come after the full scale is flying. That is the time to start the education process at large.

    Remember, ANY publicity is good publicity, if you can turn it to your advantage.

    Good luck and get her built ASAP.

    P.S. I will do my best to keep others straight, but only if they have the time to commit and willing to think outside the 'their' box, what ever that box may be. Yet for those that do not, I will not be wasting my time on them.

    Robert P.

  3. #3
    John McGinnis's Avatar
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    Thanks Robert. I agree for the most part. This will get done with or without its detractors, and I'm not going to change the tune now. Enjoy your morning coffee.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpickell View Post
    In my life time I have dealt with the press also, and you have my deepest empathy on this...I would not even try to 'educate' those of the press that do not wish to be educated. They have their OWN purpose and agenda, both personally and collectively.
    in an earlier stage of my life, a group i was in did a lot that required contact with the fifth estate. i've seen "smooth copy" press releases, multiply reviewed by trained professionals for accuracy and completeness, expanded and enhanced beyond recognition. Robert gave good advice! keep smiling, and working.

  5. #5

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    Rolls Eyes Grin and live with it

    Oh shucks....I am disappointed there will be no antigravity or nuclear fusion power source. Did you think to mention the FTL drive ( faster than light ) you are developing? THAT would have really sent them off on a tangent!

    Ya gotta love the press....cause you can't fix them!

  6. #6
    John McGinnis's Avatar
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    Whew!

    Well, it looks like they got better over time. All the lesser articles were children of the very first one to go online, and enough decent ones followed to mellow me out some.

    Advice to all homebuilders: when they pressure you to go public before you plan to, count the cost. On the good side, for us, we have an awesome base now of genuinely interested people. We're on track to reach our goal, and that should mean this is the last time I'll arrive at Wittman without my own wings. Thanks for all the help.


  7. #7

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    Hi John,

    Huge fan here. I think you have some opportunities to get some help. Consider reaching out to a local college with a public relations program. An intern could help keep more of your message out there in public and give the press more of your message (rather than the mess you're seeing). I say intern as I'm guessing you'd like to keep working on the plane -- and as a kickstarter backer I fully agree! Interns are great for fielding questions, writing blog posts, tweeting, keeping up activity on Facebook etc.

    All my best with the project. Can't wait for my ride!
    Terri Griffith

  8. #8
    WingsAloft's Avatar
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    Wow! What a plane! I guess you might not yet know all the final performance specs, or how much it would eventually cost someone to buy it someday, but could you give me an educated guess as to how much this plane would eventually cost, and the speeds one might get out of this plane? Over 200 knots, perhaps? And the baggage capacity? Thankyou for any response!... and don't worry, I'm not a member of the press...

  9. #9

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    I haven't read anything about the type of engine or brand and model, but in keeping with the rest of the plane I'd guess that it will be something out of the ordinary and therefore it must be better than all those other conventional ones.
    Is it true that it will be powered by the first commercially successful cold fusion power
    plant?

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