Social Media Meltdown

The email begins with, “I’m working for _____ and I’d love you to talk about ____ movie.”

I reply with a “sure, send a screener or give me a date to show up at the movie”

Punch line. There are no screeners, there is no screening. There is a link where I can purchase tickets.

Stop.

If there’s a budget to hire a publicist, then there’s a budget to send me a movie ticket. This is just the last in a long stretch of “if you do this then maybe there will be a paid gig somewhere down the line for you” phone calls.

I will absolutely never review another product, movie, video game or article of clothing on these pages without being compensated.

Ever.

I don’t care if it’s the end of parties, swag or conferences. I’ll continue writing and I’ll continue taking advertisers, but if you’re looking for a Mommy Blogger to write about your shit… pay me, or go away.

I drive a new BMW, wear couture mixed with thrift store finds, I’m active in my community both in person and online, my reach is huge.
Congratulations, public relations, your collective ineptitude has kicked your asses out of my space.

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Comments 10

  1. I feel your pain, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. I just say no thank you to the ones that are trying to get me to work for free, and work over and over again with the ones who have gained my trust. There are a few who have been so great to work with I probably would write for them for free at this point as a thank you.

    Of course, I consider products as payment, so we may be coming at this from a different point of view.

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    I’m pretty sure that I know who you “work with” and they’re lovely, good even. But I’m closing the door on the industry as a whole.

    The free stuff is nice if you want it, but right now the cost is too high for me. I’d rather get a paycheck and decide what to buy.

  3. Good stuff. Well done.

    I never get free stuff. In fact, I never get asked, which maybe has something to do with the fact that I blog from my lavatory.

  4. I agree with you. The “bad” offers/contacts had gotten to a point for me and then I read an idea to put a policy up on my site, so I did, and it really cut down on the “bad” contacts. The contacts I got were relevant to my topics and generally personal. I actually found myself sort of excited about some things, like Better World Books, which I just did a review for. So the “good” contacts were great.

    But then I got chastised by a PR person in an email for not replying to her great offer! I could (for free) blog about their product (no samples) and tell all my friends about their product (for free, no sample) and even put a banner and/or a widget on my blog (for free). I didn’t reply because it’s way outside the parameters of my policy, on my blog, which are my parameters for good reason—I expect it to be worth my while in some way.

    And to be honest, I don’t really see how that was any kind of beneficial opportunity for me, and she seriously crossed a boundary chastising me for not replying!

  5. The end of parties, swag and conferences? What? Is that just for you or for all of us?

    I’m with @selfishmom in that there are certain things I’m wiling to do for a product sample. But I recognize writing a review takes time and my time has a value.

    I had an exchange on Twitter about environmentally friendly straws. Then I received an email from someone offering me a free sample of a competing environmentally friendly product…if I visited her website on a certain date and was one of the first whatever number of people to request said free item. What could have been savvy outreach, was just an annoyance.

  6. I totally get that you don’t want crappy pitches from lazy PR people. I’ve been in PR a long time (although repping mostly B2B companies, so our paths haven’t crossed) and I still cringe every time I hear of yet another flak giving the entire industry a bad name. You are right to call them/us out on it.

    But I’m confused by the demanding to be paid part. Doesn’t that present at least the appearance of a conflict of interest? I presume your readers come to you to get your unbiased opinion on life/things/stuff/products. This gets you more readers, which gets you more advertisers, which gets you more paid.

    Sure, you can have a policy that being paid to write about a product – by its manufacturer – in no way means you have to write about it in a good light. But it still seems like you’d be risking a perception problem.

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    @Jesse I think by dealing with publicists you risk a bigger perception problem. Are bloggers really going to bite the hand that feeds them and say that Nintendo sucks? Really, these women are beholden. At least if it’s advertising money it’s up front and clear.

    With advertising dollars I might be their whore, but but with PR compensation it’s a little more like a mistress, no?

  8. I agree you shouldn’t ever write for free for a publication that isn’t your own blog. I also think that if you are to write about a product on your blog, it should be provided by the pr rep or something that you just happen to come across… and that acceptance doesn’t mean you are in any way obligated to cover the product or say only nice things. This has happened because of pure supply and demand with too many willing to give writing away for free

  9. Well at least you admit it and say it like it is, mucho respect-o.

    The prefab response from 99% of mom-bloggers requiring freebies is “I am too busy to return samples”. Which pisses those of us that work 40+ hours a week, are full time moms, chauffeurs, laundresses and family chefs off. Not to mention, makes us wonder, what in the world does one do with all that free schtuff?

    The reality it seems, blogging = pay-to-play, no? Guess as publicists we need to walk softly and carry a lot of free product.

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