I woke up to an alert in twitter to read the article on the “Please don’t give blogging a bad name” by Margaux Salcedo. My first reaction was “it could be PR’s fault”.
I want to write about this because without names, most bloggers and even PR are affected. I do maintain two food blogs (food places and recipe blog), but they are not my main blogs. I started blogging because of an advocacy. The rumors about this pink elephant has been there for the longest time but no one wanted to speak up until this newspaper article came out. The Sunday Inquirer magazine chose to place the controversial piece on the inner front cover without a balance of another story that portrays the “good blogger”. Indeed, there are many good bloggers.
I am not saying the bloggers are not free from controversy.
Another rumor, a few months back was on a certain person asking for “appearance” fees of 2500 pesos per blogger to attend. I talked to the writer of the story . He didn’t confirm if the person was a blogger or tri-media. All the writer told me was that this person collects from the company but the blogger or media person have no idea they were charged to appear.
PR wants bloggers to have a community or a code of ethics. Trust me, I tried in the past and I was labelled “elitist”. The best thing bloggers can do is to be good at what they are blogging whether food, shopping, advocacy, techie and the rest will follow.
Did the blogger really know that the PR Agency is “representing” him? For all we know the PR is just using his name and he really just did write a glowing review for the first restaurant and a bad one for the next. I strongly recommend that the restaurant and the writer of the article give the name of the blog because that would only be the fair thing to do.
Chuvaness. raised some good points. She adds ” PR firms should really check on the stats and quality of posts of the bloggers they’re inviting. Are they credible? Do they know what they’re talking about? Do they at least take good photos? Or do they just want to please the client by inviting papalamons?”
Market Manila said “I told you so” but is quite right about disclosure
I have RAILED vehemently against the lack of disclosure, the freebies, paid endorsements, etc. several times over the last several years, sometimes to an occasional outburst of indignation from other writers, press people, PR professionals, advertising folks, and readers of this blog… but my views on these matters have been consistent all along. If you are curious, you may wish to read or re-read these old posts:
What is everyone else saying in Twitterverse? I curated some of the tweets. Here goes.