I have never been in a West Michigan news room, but I imagine it would go something like this:
Editor: “Johnson, do you have your article ready for the next issue?”
Reporter: “Boss, I thought the deadline for my story was next week.”
Editor: “JOHNSON! I need an article on my desk by tomorrow morning”
Reporter (to self): ” Damn… I need a story fast, I better call Schaap”
Every publication has written at least one article on Aaron Schaap. But many have written two, three or even more, therefore providing proof to my above hypothesis.
Who is perpetuating this cycle… the journalists or Schaap? Are journalists tripping over themselves to get a recorder in front of Schaap or is Schaap pursuing the journalists with a barrage of calls, emails, and press releases?
So why is everyone writing a story on Mr. Schaap? By the looks of it, he has a lot going on with his companies (The Factory, Elevator Up, Downstream), and with the local start-up and tech scene. Is it a prerequisite for any business publication in the area to do a story on Schaap? Probably not but the man does get a lot of coverage.
It’s no surprise that the Mlive/West Michigan Business Review and the Grand Rapids Press have been working on the Schaap angle for years. Fortunately not all of their stories focus solely on Schaap, they also include some other people, but they have some great photos (my personal favorite is the Tech Industry one):
- West Michigan Business Review
- Grand Rapids Press
If you ever read the Holland Sentinel, they rarely have any business stories in their paper. You have to search their website to even find their business section, and the actual stories in the paper are usually just AP wire stories. So it is even more surprising that they have two stories on Schapp (Pitch Night, and Momentum) and even had Aaron as respondent on Street-Talk.
Grand Rapids Business Journal finally got in on the action with a Schaap feature just last month – “On-The-Job Training as an Internet Entrepreneur“. I am surprised it took them that long (by the way GRBJ search function is awful, searching for Schaap will not bring up that story, and it is quite a pain not being able to actually read any of the stories…definitely a bummer).
MiBiz also has a few stories covering Schaap – DownStream, G33k, Entrepreneurs (you will have to log-in to read these stories). As has Rapid Growth in covering his Pitch Night and Factory news. The Rapidian touched on Schaap in a couple of stories (here, here) and even GrubSheets did a story.
Lastly the newly launched Startup Stories vlog did their first vlog post on Schaap and his Downstream company (honestly who else would have they done their inaugural story on?… Carl Erickson and Atomic Object, yeah right)
Mr. Schaap does have a great story, (which is surprisingly open and candid) and the guy is quite a good marketer of himself and his companies. But his relationship with the media somewhat reminds me of Rob Bliss‘ relationship with the media (but without Mlive commenters making derisive comments), with the constant coverage.
Damn it, I just wrote an Aaron Schaap story as well.