Schaap & the West Michigan Media


I have never been in a West Michigan news room, but I imagine it would go something like this:

Not an image of a reporter working on his deadline story.

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”

It's Schaap. Wonder if the yellow face might be sort of a Bat Signal, when media needs a story.

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?

Yellow face in background again must be the Schaap signal

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.

Seems like there would be an easier way to hold a pin? or is it an elevator (up) button?

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):

Sharing the Thunder - One of the rare Schaap photos featuring other people

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.

Aaron levitating

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.

Happy that The Ledger did a story

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7 responses to “Schaap & the West Michigan Media

  1. I was sure there would be comments by now. Perhaps this is what they call a “conspiracy of silence.” The Digital Mafia strikes again.

    • Perhaps, and I even allow you to comment anonymously… Unlike some of those other “websites” that require registration or Facebook profile log-in. Maybe I need to take a page from the mommy bloggers and do giveaways where I require a comment, a retweet, a like and a wall post on my Facebook page, and finally if you want a second entry just post my blog badge on your blog. They seriously make you jump through hoops and they have corporate sponsors.

  2. This is hilarious, but to be honest, if you had gone back even faaaarther, we, who have known Aaron a long time, okay, forever, were amazed at how many times he seemed to get in the newspaper even when he was a teen. Usually it was his inline skating adventures, like at Hope, or the new skate park, or some skate show or benefit, or his basketball team, or soccer team practicing at the dunes at Tunnel Park, we were constantly amazed how many times this kid ended up in the newspaper. Okay, then he won this competition through Davenport, he won a laptop and was with Miranda in a TV commercial. Somehow, he really HAS had some linkage in the media, even when he was 2 a photographer caught him on a sled…and it made the front page!

  3. Thanks for the writeup. You missed a few though 😉

    • Maybe I will just have to email Linda to fill in the spots I missed. Is there any secret with the publicity you get… Press Releases, connections, just being active?

      • Haha, go ahead and email Linda (mom) but make sure to get the unlimited plan before you do.

        As for special tips, I don’t usually think to much about trying to get in the press. There’s a few times in which I’ll send out a press release here and there but for the most part, I just try to do things I’m really interested in and then I try to tell other people about it so they can be apart of it.

        Thanks for the article, feel free to stop by the Factory anytime and say hello 🙂

  4. Proud to say I was in the soccer practice article in the Holland Sent. I was way behind him before that and have dropped even farther behind ever since in the media coverage area. I wanna be I wanna be I wanna be like Schaap. =) Good to see good things about long lost friends! Keep up the good work buddy!

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