Pioneer Press’ OnTarget Blog Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test

For those of you who’ve missed it (aka. most of you), the Pioneer Press has been running a blog that’s specifically about Target called OnTarget (registration may be required).

What kind of stuff will you find on the OnTarget blog? Hold that thought for a second. Keep in mind that Target is one of the Pioneer Press’ largest advertisers. Now what kind of stuff would you expect to find? Exactly.

The Daily Mole’s Steve Perry has been reading OnTarget so you don’t have to. He mined a few gems from recent posts that help illustrate the hard-hitting off-the-cuff reporting we’ve grown to expect from blogging “journalists”:

TC Morning Roundup: When Target struggles, Gita struggles

Pi Press reporter Gita Sitaramiah files a sad, terse little dispatch to say that local retail hero Target posted a below-forecast 1.1 percent sales increase in November. But over at her On Target blog (previous Mole item), Sitaramiah bravely them cheers them on. Couple of excerpts from the past week:

“Not that anyone needs another excuse to Christmas shop at Target, but now you can feel better about loading up that red shopping cart.”

“Another effort has been the addition of TargetLists… Move over brides and parents-to-be, now anyone can start adding to a list of potentially welcome gifts from Target.”

Admittedly, those gems were hand-picked to prove a point. Here’s what Gita’s posts look like when the pom poms are put away:

Driving Sales

If you’re going to buy your fake Christmas tree and decorations, you better plan to spend. Target tucks the stuff in the back of stores so you’re tempted by digital cameras and designer sheets on the way back there.

The seasonal stuff is in the back? Like, in the same spot where they put the back to school stuff in August, and the Halloween stuff in October? Color me informed.

As Da Mole pointed out on the 3rd, the OnTarget blog was pretty much the only site in town that didn’t touch the Target Rounders story that blew through town last week:

Target pays college students to give it some Facebook loving

The meta-meta-scandal: On Target, the Gita Sitaramiah-authored Pi Press blog devoted exclusively to Target news (and previously covered at the Mole), has not breathed a word of this–in fact, it hasn’t been updated at all since November 29!

While a blog like OnTarget could work, I don’t think it’s something that’s going to work when associated with a company so largely dependent on Target for revenue.

What I’d like to see is an OnOnTarget blog that covers the OnTarget coverage of Target. That’s something I’d read.

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