At Week’s End for January 13, 2012 – GET A LIFE!

That’s right campers! If you have concerns about your local CCVB, you know, one of the groups that spend your tax dollars… The only member of the CCVB who was willing to write about the concerns of our community has one thing to tell you: GET A LIFE!

The head of the marketing /consulting firm hired by the CCVB took it up himself to comment on The Real Story’s article about the organization closing the welcome center on Sundays. And you guessed it… We were all told to get a life. You heard it right. The person who is in charge of the CCVB’s social media and public relations only answer for the community was to “get a life”.

Oh, but wait, there is more. While on the Real Story Publishing Facebook page, he shared these additional nuggets of Public Relations wisdom.  This is the exact excerpt of our Facebook conversation (

  • The Real Story for North Mississippi

    Robert C. Ratliff The Tuscaloosa CVB is NOT open on Sunday and never has been. You people need to get a life.
    Tuesday at 7:43pm · Like · 1

  • Real Story Publishing And you get paid how much??
    Tuesday at 8:09pm · Like
  • Robert C. Ratliff You just don’t understand tourism marketing, so stop trying. And stop dragging MY name into your personal agenda.
    Tuesday at 9:01pm · Like
  • Robert C. Ratliff The House is not part of the state of Miss.
    Tuesday at 9:02pm · Like
  • Robert C. Ratliff If business downtown was open then it would be different, OPEN your downtown on SUNDAY.
    Tuesday at 9:02pm · Like
  • Real Story Publishing Do you work for the CCVB?
    Tuesday at 9:59pm · Like
  • Robert C. Ratliff They are a client, but I was a CVB director for 14 years. I am a native of Columbus and a member of the LINK. Most CVB’s have to use firms outside their area, because they don’t have one locally. Call your CVB’s in Ms, you will find that in most cases, their marketing firm or ad agency is not in the same town.
    Yesterday at 5:49am · Like
  • Real Story Publishing Tell me, how much do you get paid per month to post on Facebook for the CCVB? The Real Story would like to get this straight… you represent the CCVB and are telling citizens of Columbus to “get a life”? That’s not very professional. Exactly why should they pay your marketing firm a dime if you cannot increase tourism? Can you justify just exactly what it is that you do for us here, other than provide more unnecessary arrogance and negativity? This is supposed to be “The Friendly City” in “The Hospitality State”. You neither seem to be able to represent friendly nor hospitable. Thank you for your candid input.
    Yesterday at 7:29am · Unlike · 2

So, there is the sage advice from your Social Media expert of your local CCVB. I guess he forgot that you, the citizens, are paying his salary. He is accountable to each of us, including the media. If he can’t take the heat, it is time to get out of the kitchen. And it’s strange, he never did answer those last questions… Hmm, I wonder why?

But God Bless him… he is a member of the LINK. You gotta love it.

The Real Story did contact Nancy Carpenter, the Director of the CCVB, and she said that she had not seen the post. She is welcome to comment anytime regarding the Facebook posts or the article that was written. We will publish any response received uncensored.  The Real Story does not censor the truth or the facts, and never will.

In other news: The Real Story billboards are up. They can be seen on Highways 182 and 45. The Real Story is coming to print on January 25, 2012 and we hope everyone supports our efforts and hard work by everyone on our staff.

The Real Story billboard

The Real Story billboard on Highway 182

In the meantime, I’m just sitting here working on getting a life, as instructed.  Any suggestions?

Joseph St. John

A/K/A Mr. MoJo Rising

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About The Real Story

The Real Story for the Golden Triangle and North Mississippi. Always the truth... No Compromise. Changing the community one story at a time! You make the news... We keep it Real.

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11 Comments on “At Week’s End for January 13, 2012 – GET A LIFE!”

  1. anorm2552 Says:



  2. Katherine Murray Says:

    I had seen the Ratliff comments on facebook, but had no idea who he was. Now that I know, I absolutely agree with you about him…..what a jerk. He ought to get the axe. Totally unprofessional of him.


  3. Patty Says:

    Well, Joseph – you already have a life, and you seem to be doing some very interesting, useful, and fulfilling things with it. Keep on doing what you’re doing, and all the best to you!


  4. ed Says:

    I don’t think we know the 1/2 of it. Someone at the CCVB needs to step up and be counted. Keep up the GOOD WORK. No one else will tell the truth. Who is accountable for this “CONsulting firm” being hired ? And why ? Is he someone’s PAL ?



  5. charles divel Says:

    Wonder why he is a member of the link for? Free lunches…?


  6. ed Says:

    Maybe to help Joe get more money ? Where’s the Bridge going to be ready to walk over. Question ? Why did the chicken cross over the bridge ? So he (or she) could turn around and walk back over. Duh !!!


  7. A. Elliott Says:


    Ratliff says, “In most cases, their marketing firm or ad agency is not in the same town.” That may be true. However, the name is “Columbus, Lowndes County Convention & Visitors Bureau.” If an outside agency is needed to assist the “competent staff” then they should employee one within the county. Is Tuscaloosa in Lowndes County?


  8. A. Elliott Says:

    And for those who had “no idea who he was,” lucky you. I once attended a luncheon where he was the guest speaker on the subject of tourism, one of which he claims to be so very erudite. His remarks included the term “a booger in the punch bowl.” UGG! I lost all respect for him that day. My guess, Miss Katherine, is that there is a great deal you do not know about the running of the CCBV.


  9. KJ Says:

    Honestly, I thought the piece about the Welcome Center closing on Sunday was over-the-top in its tone. It didn’t invite a rational response (which doesn’t excuse the response you received). A more professional response the initial article might have pointed out that some percentage of businesses were closed downtown, that traffic to the Welcome Center was some percentage less on Sundays than it was on Saturdays or weekdays.

    But going back to your initial story, lets look at your “things this signals” list: there are no conventions coming to our community; we have no visitors and our tourist organization is closing our welcoming center; and relatives and friends visiting pilots who have a day off from training now can’t source ways to entertain them.

    How does closing a welcome center for one day a week demonstrate that there are no conventions coming to our community? The fact may be true but it hardly follows from a reduction in hours of approximately 14%.

    Similarly, your second point is written as though the Welcome Center is closing. Period. That there are no visitors to Columbus at all. Period. (“Since the organization has admitted that they don’t have any visitors or conventions…” was the exact phrase that you used). From that “fact” you conclude that there is no justification for a social media outlay and any and all such money is being wasted.

    Pilots who have every Sunday off probably know what’s available for them to do on Sundays. The rest of the week, being able to send visitors to the Welcome Center to see if anything interesting is happening is probably a more likely scenario.

    As for your proposed new monikers, I would suggest that the sole function of the CCVB is this: GIVE AWAY MONEY.

    It should spend as little of that money on itself as possible and as much of it as possible on booking, marketing, and supporting events that do draw people from out of town and surrounding areas to Columbus to spend money with our merchants, at our hotels, in our restaurants, and enjoying our hospitality.

    That doesn’t mean that we can’t have concerns about how money is allocated across those goals and how accountability is maintained. Argue for those things, sure. But when you omit facts that readers like me assume you should know (that the CCVB is absolutely responsible for bringing events to town–fishing tournaments, for example) and write something this emotional it calls your credibility into question, at least for this reader.

    There are better ways to pursue a personal vendetta, if one exists, than screeds like the one that drew Ratliff’s comments. In my opinion, instead of positioning yourself as a moderator in a community discussion you’ve made yourself just one of many combatants that few might be willing to view as impartial.

    PLEASE NOTE: the above is NOT a defense of the CCVB. I, too, wish them to be more accountable and function better than they currently do. This is a flat-out criticism of the original piece of journalism from The Real Story, its subsequent role in drawing Ratliff’s Facebook remarks (which I also do not defend), and my perception of this stories impact on The Real Story’s credibility in matters involving the CCVB.


  10. charles divel Says:

    This guy won’t say how much he is paid. I wonder if his salary is as much as a consultant to MUW. A few years ago it was stated in the paper that a South Carolina resident was working for the paltry low sum of $100,000. He must have several clients at that low rate.


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