Today, like every day, City Weekly received a press release for a garbage click-bait story. This one came from the data crunchers over at MissTravel.com, a travel website for sugar daddies to connect with "free-spirited" women who would like to travel for free. According to their internal numbers, Salt Lake City comes in ninth for "Most Romantic."
The "study" looked at the amount of travel plans to major cities on Valentine's Day. So, in other words, this basically means Salt Lake City is ranked ninth in horny gray hairs who are willing to travel here on Valentine's Day in search of ass. That's it—nothing more. We're not a Top 10 romantic city because of flower delivery stats, jewelry purchases, or even reservations at a Cheesecake Factory. We're ranked ninth because of cheap flights and randy old men.
"Location is everything. Especially if you’re looking to take a relationship from casual dating into something more committed,” said MissTravel.com founder and CEO Brandon Wade in his press release. Wade, a known sugar daddy who met his wife via his other boning site, SeekingArrangement.com, went on to say, “With Valentine’s Day, you have one night to make an impression. Why not go on a travel-date, which literally increases chances of romance among couples?”
As you can see, the advertorial content in these things could be soaked up with a crusty sock. Every day, media outlets around the country receive press releases like this one that strategically rank a bunch of cities after a half-cocked "study." When you break it down, it makes sense. The idea is that lazy writers will get extra excited and whip up a click-bait article linking back to the company's website. And thus the circle of journalist garbage is complete.
If you haven't noticed, Salt Lake City is ranked in the Top 10 for anything remotely ambiguous and sell-able. My all-time favorite is from back in November, when a real-estate company ranked Salt Lake City the "Most Creative Mid-Sized City" because of how many craft stores and teachers we have per capita. You would think the study would include things like registered patents, or original small-business startups. But no, we're the most creative mid-sized city because of how many Michael's stores we have.
But, maybe I'm being unfair. Surely, you can't blame the PR firms; they're just doing their job, and you can't blame the writers. Hell, these press releases practically write themselves. All you have to do is link back to the website, copy and paste a couple quotes and write a catchy headline—something like, "Salt Lake City Ranks #1 in Articles Ranking Salt Lake City #1!" I'm pretty that study will happen at some point.