It is with some regret that we wind down the Coaching Commons. For many years I have felt that the coaching profession has become large enough and important enough to warrant its own regular news coverage.
Several years ago I published the Coaching Insider. A professional journalist produced it and we quickly developed a good following. We were able to highlight some of the scams that were showing up in our profession.
Unfortunately we couldn’t sell enough ads to allow the publication to continue. Equally perplexing was that we contacted the many providers (training schools, publishers, associations, etc.) and asked them to keep us posted on their events and news. The lack of response was surprising given our readership, and that we were providing free publicity for them!
Fast forward a few years and with some coaching from Kennesaw State University’s Center for Sustainable Journalism on the new frontiers of Community Supported Journalism, The Harnisch Foundation launched the Coaching Commons to take over what the Coaching Insider started. We hired another talented journalist who quickly learned the coaching beat and covered the relevant issues during his tenure.
While we have lots of readers and coaches who follow the Coaching Commons, when it came time to determine how valuable it really was, fewer than 200 people stepped forward and indicated they were willing to pay! Given the vast numbers of coaches out there, this is too small a percentage to warrant The Harnisch Foundation continuing to invest its resources in keeping the Commons going.
So as we wind down the Commons I am asking myself these questions about coaching and journalism.
- Given the ever growing number of schools/vendors/associations, why do so few of them generate press releases, or have information that they want others to know about?
- Is there just not a lot going on?
- Does coaching need journalism?
- When issues like the ICF’s credentialing changes come around again, who will ask the hard questions and provide an independent forum for discussion?
- I think these things matter, do you?