Friday, February 12, 2016

Greensboro Not So Romantic After All

Local main stream media outlets are jumping on the PR bandwagon with the news that OpenTable: Triad city among 25 ‘most romantic’ in U.S.

 "If you’re looking for romance and you live in Greensboro, you’re in the right place.

At least that’s the word from OpenTable, provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN). Timed perfectly for Valentine’s Day, OpenTable has announced its list of the “25 Most Romantic Cities in America.”

Well maybe not... 

You see, we have a journalism problem here in Greensboro. We don't have real journalists reporting the news. What we have are typing monkeys copying and pasting press releases and PR BS.

If we had real journalists they would have made mention of the fact that Amazon's most romantic cities shows a completely different set of results. And they might have made note of the fact that while Amazon rated Alexandria, Virgina as #1, the Smithsonian, located in Alexandria, has their doubts:

"The aesthetics of the city don’t factor into Amazon’s rankings—the company formulates its list using sales of romance-related books, music, movies and "sexual awareness products." Surely that means that the residents of the historic burg walk the streets in a lovelorn haze, right? Not so fast: Though it's tempting to imagine a city filled with devout Jane Austen fans waiting for their Darcy or Nora Roberts loyalists searching for that magical moment, local booksellers tell that they're surprised by the ranking, considering that they don’t sell many romance books."

Surely any real journalist would have made mention of that, right? Not one paid journalist in Greensboro did. 

Real journalists might have made mention that WalletHub, which is often mentioned by the News & Record, rated Greensboro at #84, again with results that are completely different from the other 2 rankings.

And then there was Groupon's list of most romantic cities. Again, completely different results and Greensboro isn't on it.

Probably one of the best rankings was done last August by ProFlowers. Instead of measuring spending habits they looked at the romantic qualities of the cities themselves:
"We used the following set of determining factors to objectively identify which cities are the most romantic:
  • Percentage of the population that is married—If a city has romance at its core, there’s a good chance marriages will thrive there.
  • Romantic restaurants per capita—A candlelight dinner is a must for a romantic night out.
  • Boutique hotels per capita—A city has to have plenty of options for a romantic stay.
  • Public parks per capita—There’s nothing more romantic than a picnic in a pretty park.
  • Walkability score—Strolling the city hand-in-hand is certainly romantic. "

Greensboro didn't make their list either. I've been telling City Council for years they need to work harder on those walkability scores.

Apparently, Greensboro isn't so romantic after all.