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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tragic 'Do Clay' campaign a bit much

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Yet another tragedy in Clay County."

These words posted on a newly created website www.dontdoclay.com in an effort to create a countywide groundswell against the Clay County Visitor's Bureau "Explore * Stay * Do Clay" slogan.

The unknown persons behind the website also distributed a mass mailing of 12 x 6 inch black postcards with white lettering suggesting the population needs to "prevent a Clay County tragedy" to the county homes.

Apparently whoever it is has a cause and plenty of money to waste, and see the new slogan as a tragedy.

Seriously, a tragedy?

We've had several tragedies in and around Clay County in just the past two weeks. Lives lost to accidents. Those are tragedies. This new slogan, not remotely close to a tragedy. Quite frankly I'm a bit offended by the terminology.

I'm wondering why the person, or persons, with such a deep seeded disagreement over the slogan don't simply come forward, raise their objections face-to-face with the visitor's bureau and offer some suggestions of their own.

I'm not suggesting that would change anything. Obviously, a chunk of money has been invested in the new branding name and slogan, and it's unlikely the visitor's bureau will scrap the work done to this point and begin again.

I have checked the website. No alternative slogans or logos are offered, instead the organizers are asking others for their recommendations. And of course, no direct names linked for contact purposes.

We get it, you don't like the new slogan. You're not alone. On the dontdoclay website, operators reference comments made on the Daily Reporter's website attached to the story announcing the "Do Clay" slogan.

Much like this effort, most of those comments were nothing but complaining. There were one or two entries which offered some alternative suggestions, and some of those were certainly solid ideas; but for the most part, the overall comments were more of the typical moaning and groaning people like to do when they can hide behind fake names.

Could those charged with creating the new logo have done things differently? Perhaps. Maybe holding a contest with some kind of prize for the winning idea? There are lots of very creative people out there who probably could have contributed, and it might have been fun to see community involvement in a project such as this.

An idea for the next such venture.

But this campaign seems like a waste of money. I would encourage those who are spending their money to try and vanquish "Do Clay" to instead do something for Clay yourself. Take this obvious abundance of cash and throw it into community outreach programs like UDMO or the Dream Center, where it can really make a difference for the people of Clay County.

The new slogan and logo will not define the future success of the county. It's the people in the county and what they do which will determine the direction we take. I say move forward, get over the slogan if it bugs you, and find another way to contribute and spend your dollars.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on spencerdailyreporter.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Whoever it is wants to stay hidden: www.dontdoclay.com registrant info:


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-- Posted by sherodh on Sat, Sep 17, 2011, at 1:44 AM

The values this country was founded upon, including the right to free speech, only work if citizens are willing to stand up for what they believe and put their real names behind what they say. In my opinion, if you lack the courage to do so, then you ought to stay quiet.

"What about retribution?" They might ask. If you don't believe in the cause or your action enough to take the risk then again, maybe it's not your turn to speak up.

I know everyone doesn't agree with what I say and that sometimes maybe I come off as crazy. I was raised to not worry about that, but to speak my mind and stand up and be counted.

My real name is on my comments and my blogs are there for all who are literate to read. I get many one-on-one, in-person comments from people who whisper, "I really like your blogs. You have no idea." I also get nasty emails from haters. Some friends ask, "Has your home been firebombed yet?" I reply, "Not yet," with a chuckle.

This is what freedom is. I think "Do Clay" is kind of weird, but I don't have any brilliant suggestions for them at this point, so I've stayed quiet. If I had something to say, I'd say it.

This is outrageously cowardly for something that's unlikely to cause harm. What's the harm in a phone call to the visitor's bureau to voice your opinion? Come out of the shadows. Get your mug on the front page of the Daily Reporter and let us know what brilliant suggestions you have for improvement.

-- Posted by AmyPeterson on Sat, Sep 17, 2011, at 7:21 AM

Randy I have to say that for once I agree with you. I received this mailing and thought about the expense that must have gone into that effort. While I personally find the slogan ill-conceived, I do not think it is a tragedy.

-- Posted by DaveMunson on Sat, Sep 17, 2011, at 8:18 AM

I agree Randy. While I was one who didn't fall head over heals for the slogan (or logo for that matter). This campaign money could have better been put to use BEFORE decisions were made on the current slogan. Maybe this extra cash could have helped prolong the decision process when the bureau was working over the many choices of logos and slogans they were given by the hired design company. Or even after the fact, instead of using the money to put out a hate campaign, why not donate it directly to the bureau and have them use it to rework the current slogan and logo and refine it? We all make mistakes, marketing is an especially hard thing to nail down, even the best of the best make huge mistakes sometimes in advertising, remember that new logo GAP came out with not too long ago, and had to end up pulling?? Their lifelong customers hated it and let GAP know. Mistakes do happen, so why not cut them some slack, and give them the opportunity to correct the mistep, instead of hanging them. I'd love to work with them or on the committee to help refine it, the ground work is there. We all as citizens of Clay County want to see our communities prosper and we have to work together to make that happen.

-- Posted by Vanessa on Sat, Sep 17, 2011, at 9:48 AM

I for the most part agree with what you are saying Randy but I do have one question. Do you not find it a bit rude to exclude a persons opinion just because they do not have an idea of their own? Everybody is born with and develops their own sets of skills and strengths. To value one persons opinion more than anothers just because one ot them happens to have an idea seems wrong to me. Just because someone may not have a better idea does not mean that they can not spot a poor one.

And why is so important to everyone that they know who is behind it? Who really cares who this person is? Maybe they are just shy and want to voice there opinion. Some people love to get up on their soap box and beat on there chest to prove their point but others do not! Really is it crazier to suggest change in the way an individual is comfortable with or to expect everyone to face a challenge in the exact same way that you would do it?

-- Posted by deweyh on Sat, Sep 17, 2011, at 10:14 AM


I appreciate you bringing to light my campaign. When I attempted to call the paper and take out an ad, I was told the editor didn't want to run the advertisement because it was much too sensitive of a subject. I am glad to see that the paper is willing to run content on sensitive subjects when it is in their best interest. (It is your right.) The purpose of the site was not to actually change the slogan. I am a realist and understand how marketing works. I know that to change the slogan would take additional time and money the bureau does not have. But as your article points out: "there are lots of creative people out there who could have contributed." This was the purpose of the website. As far as "no alternative slogans or logos offered," there are plenty on my website, as well as, the first article published introducing the new slogan.

As far as who I am, it doesn't matter. I am just a taxpayer in this community who is concerned and had no other way of voicing my opinion. I have intent to voice my dismay with the new slogan and logo but wanted to make sure others in this community also felt the same way.

Money seems to be a huge controversy surrounding my mailings and website...it was cheaper to create a website and mailings than to place a 1/2 page ad in your paper. However, if you had approved the ad, it would have been placed there only. You assume I make no donations to other community activities.

I am not one to live in the spotlight...I and my family donate time and money but prefer to do it anonymously.

Lastly, as far as the website, the point was served and will be removed shortly. If there is any question of peoples' interest in this matter, out of roughly 5000 mailers, I have had approximating 1200 unique hits, meaning a first-time visitor to the site. Of those who have accessed the site, everyone has returned at least one other time to visit.

If there are any questions, you may contact me with my email address: info@dontdoclay.com.

Despite the controversy beginning with the slogan and ending with my website, this community has shown they are willing and able to give opinions and ideas to make this community a place they feel comfortable calling home.

Because of this, I am proud to raise my family here and call Clay County my home.


-- Posted by dontdoclay on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 4:50 PM
Response by Paula Buenger:
Don't Do Clay:

There are several inaccuracies in your characterization of our newspaper's choice not to run your ad.

When your representative (not you) contacted us, they asked for a price for multiple half page ads. I find it very difficult to believe that you could, under normal postal rates, even mail 5,000 flyers for the cost of one half page ad, much less print and design the flyer.

In addition, the editor never decides what ads run or do not run. We separate our advertising and news decisions in order to avoid what we are being accused of - bias. This was my decision as publisher.

The decision was made, not because of the sensitivity of the subject, but because when I followed the link provided in the proposed ad, I saw comments made and suggestions for slogans on that site which were inappropriate for a family newspaper. I am pleased that those comments have since been removed.

Our editor's column on this subject was his opinion, clearly marked, on our opinion page.

We are happy to share very diverse opinions on that page. Signed letters to the editor are always welcome.


Paula Buenger, Publisher

Why would the paper not accept money for an ad in this issue, claiming it was too "sensitive" of a topic? Clearly, it was not too touchy of a subject to be mentioned as evident from the editor's article. I find this to be very bad business. It is very bold and misinformed to just assume the people behind the don'tdoclay campaign do not donate and contribute to their community... Very poor argument indeed. Seems to me they care a whole lot more about their community than most people if they took time and energy to do something about an issue they didn't agree with.

-- Posted by Christy234 on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 6:27 PM

I am 100% behind whoever created the website and hope they continue to protest and grow, if not for just a little while longer.

The bureau will eventually fail or become a giant money pit without any returns, but that's irrelevant to this story. The REAL story isn't that someone "is hiding by not using their real name." That's complete nonsense. An opinion should not be judged based on who says it. Knowing immediately who the person is holds no objective weight in determining if the opinion has merit. Detractors of that opinion only typically want to know (or will make that issue half their argument against that particular opinion) so they may undermine that person's credibility using ad hominem attacks.

That the paper would allegedly willingly refuse business based on someone's opinion is a glaringly open admission of bias, and seriously limits the paper's credibility.

-- Posted by jlees on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 11:56 PM

I don't know how not printing an over sized fancy editorial which is what the "Explore, Stay, Do Clay" protester attempted to do affects the Reporters credibility. In fact they regularly print these types of opinions. The only catch is they require you to sign your name to your opinion to be printed.

But our freedom of speech does allow the site to do what they did anonymously.

Why will the bureau fail jless? I'm interested to know.

-- Posted by Steelerfan100 on Mon, Sep 19, 2011, at 6:49 AM

Sounds like you all you people need to get your heads on straight. STOP with the anger & finger pointing. The point of the matter is the image of Clay County. I must admit, I do not live in Clay County, but near it, and when I heard the "Do Clay" motto, I was shocked and in dismay. It is NOT appropriate. It causes people to raise an eyebrow at the innuendos that come from "Do Clay". Do you REALLY want that type of image - I think not. Stop with the mud throwing and grow up people. This is a nice family values community and we all want to have a clean image, not a complete JOKE for a motto.

-- Posted by itsmyastyle on Mon, Sep 19, 2011, at 11:13 AM

For anyone curious, I met with the CCCVB committee today, it seemed like a productive meeting, so I wander what else I should do to appease Randy. Also to Paula the cost of my campaign, was $2,000 dollars, roughly the same price as an ad in the paper. Lastly the purpose of the site is not identity it's identifying, identifying with Clay County....


-- Posted by dontdoclay on Mon, Sep 19, 2011, at 1:03 PM
Response by Paula Buenger:
The $2,000 is many times the cost of one half page run in our paper. As I said earlier, your representative was quoted a multi-day run.

Yes Paula, which is what I got with my flyers, they are all delivered on different days, so it keeps things going, which is exactly what I wanted in the newspaper.

-- Posted by dontdoclay on Mon, Sep 19, 2011, at 2:23 PM

I believe the bureau will fail not as one thinks of a business "failing," where they either go bankrupt or simply go out of business, but that their overall intent will not be achieved, in that however many (thousands) dollars will and have been spent on the bureau will negate any economic activity for travel or tourism that is gained through their activities. It will be easy for them to say that "one year we had x amount of dollars in revenue based on taxes from tourism, and after the bureau we had y dollars. Y is higher than x, therefore it's a success." However, they will ignore the "unseen" negatives that didn't happen because of the added revenue (and higher motel taxes, especially) required to run the bureau.

It's not that anyone's intentions are misplaced. It's that tourism promotion should not be the job of the government, local or otherwise. Is tourism generally good? Most of the time, yes. It can provide temporary or seasonal economic growth in an area or city. However, it benefits the owners of specific businesses at the cost of higher prices for locals due to increased demand. Though perhaps neither a perfect nor desirable example because of circumstances specific to the fair not always applicable to other areas, think how much lower fair food prices would be were it not for so many people from so far away, and how much money would actually be KEPT in the area (as opposed to going to vendors at the fair who are not local) were the prices lower because of less demand.

Tourism is a valuable industry, and I have no quarrel with it, but I object to the city using tax money to fund promotion of restaurants, races, concerts, fairs, resorts, or anything else. If those businesses want to promote something, they are better served using their own funds to advertise, usually much more efficiently and cost effectively, and with better results. Motels should not have a higher tax burden, regardless of how "small" some may claim it to be, to support extra business for a restaurant, or Wal-Mart, or the fair vendors, or anything else.

-- Posted by jlees on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 4:41 AM

"The decision was made, not because of the sensitivity of the subject, but because when I followed the link provided in the proposed ad, I saw comments made and suggestions for slogans on that site which were inappropriate for a family newspaper."

Your paper ran an opinion article by Zach Jevn and he said that college students are more interested in getting laid or drinking after the Iowa/ISU game. How is that appropriate for a family newspaper???

-- Posted by iowafan11 on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 12:21 PM

I just wish that all the effort in this campaign would have been directed to a cause that mattered. A slogan, really? C'mon folks, let's spend our time and resources on things that are important to Clay county, not something as trivial as this.

-- Posted by Culture Warrior on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 12:28 PM

I agree with culture warrior, If the CCCVB wants to make Clay a destination they need to do something to make it so, and a slogan does not do that. Unfortunately I don't believe that clay will be a place to come and stay. So why not make it a 20 minute stop on your way. Someone suggested, we get the biggest flag in the United States and put it somewhere in Clay it will be a stop people will do just to see the gigantic flag flying... Doing something simple like this would be more valuable then hiring two marketing firms to get slogan ideas (which the CCCVB did).

-- Posted by dontdoclay on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 1:10 PM

If people would have been paying attention to the original article that ran in the paper they could have read all the comments on here about this bad slogan, and alot of ideas were given for new ones. I have to think that the CCCVB did read all the negative comments and moved ahead anyway.

-- Posted by spencer lover on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 12:44 PM

Getting the largest flag in the country is far from simple. The current largest flag is 255x505 feet and is over 3000 lbs. It would take over $1 million just for construction of a pole to fly it. I'm guessing if the county actually proposed this we would all get another postcard in the mail about the latest Clay County tragedy. I'm not opposed to new ideas I just want to recognize that it isn't as easy as people may think at first glance.

-- Posted by My__2__Cents on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 3:18 PM

I am just saying that a slogan won't make people stop, the CCCVB told me this was the point of promoting our county to get people to stop. We need a reason to stop the traffic that heads to the lakes every weekend.

-- Posted by dontdoclay on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 11:38 PM

Most people dont even get that the "CLAY" IS EVEN ABOUT Clay Co. how much for site went in to this Iam not thinking much ?

-- Posted by BRUSHPILE on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 11:28 AM

The whole thing is tragic joke!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by Cookster on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 3:58 PM

Cookster, I cannot agree enough. My "Don't Do Clay" mailer is on my fridge because I think it is so darn funny.

I need to admit this right away. I have a dirty mind. Totally stuck in the gutter. A innocent combination of words can make me giggle because my mind finds an inuendo in it. So what did I think when I heard "Do Clay"? I thought it sounded like doing lunch. People still do lunch, right? Unless "doing lunch" means something other than what I think it does.

I also thought it sounded like a weak re-hash of a lot of other slogans.

-- Posted by Valkyrie on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 3:51 PM

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Randy Cauthron
One Man's Perspective