A young, ambitious, service-minded Sioux Falls woman killed herself a couple weeks ago. Fit that into our preceding discussions of South Dakota’s record-high suicide rate as you will.
But permit me a moment of media critique as the weekend crew at KELO-TV use this suicide victim as one more branding opportunity:
Speaking strictly factually, there are maybe a dozen “KELOLAND women,” and they all work at 501 South Phillips in Sioux Falls. The woman whose friends gathered to remember her this weekend at McKennan Park was not a “KELOLAND woman.”
For the record, please never brand me as a “man from KELOLAND.”
I grew up in South Dakota. I live and work in South Dakota. I am from South Dakota.
I am not from any private company’s branding of its presumed market territory. Branding any person in this way, especially upon that person’s death, is, to put it mildly, insulting.
KELO-TV appears to have heard that message. As I started typing, someone on South Phillips changed the headline to “…Remember Local Woman”:
The headline on the embedded video retains its corporate branding.
One can do journalism. One can also do marketing. One shouldn’t do both at the same time.