The Blogger, Freebies, and other things

One of the things you will find at events and product launches are freebies and sometimes a cornucopia of free stuff: In attending events and product launches there are actually more than freebies given sometimes there are also prizes at a raffle or a contest.

Lets get straight to the point. Are these things payolas or bribes that will induce the write/blogger to write something positive about the product, service or even an event that is being promoted?

No … but one has to make a distinction between a freebie or a prize becomes a machine of seduction and corruption.

So what are exactly given?

Freebies are there to be distributed. They are giveaways that are marketing tools. Every time you look at a freebie one is reminded of the product. Most are very obvious as pens with the logo of the company. Some can be subtle as flash drives with the press release inside. For restaurants this sometimes come in the form of Gift Cheques – practical if one wants to go back and review the restaurant again. And there are times that actual products of the company is given like a camera.

Then there are things that seem to defy the definition of freebies and come in as tokens of appreciation for attending the events. These come in as gift cheques or other non-related items.

Events and product launches are things that are done to promote a thing, a product, a service or an event. And sometimes aside from the free lunch and the freebies some sort of tokens are given. This are done as professional courtesy. And admittedly these are done to enhance the experience.

Then there are the raffle prizes. As I observed these are promotional instruments used and given out during the end of the event so that the writer and blogger would stay for the whole event. And again they act as marketing tools to promote their products.

All of these things are marketing and promotional tools used by the events and press launches to ensure that the writers and/or bloggers:

1. Attend the event
2. Finish the event
3. And be reminded of the event after it has happened.
4. Also as a show of professional courtesy for attending the event.

One can do a lot of things with such freebies. First, you can opt not to take them. Second, you can opt to give them away. Third, depending on your policy – the amount of the raffle prize may determine whether you accept it or not or give to a pool that will be raffled out. Fourth, you can opt to accept it.

As you can see there are several options one can take. As a blogger in my opinion whatever option one take it is important to have disclosure. This is important because you have a bond of trust with the reader. Also it is important that when one writes down the article or post to have some distance and impartiality. In a sense a disclosure will make it more easier for one to write more impartial and critical about an item.

There are times though when such things can take on the form of a bribe. This happens when a demand to write or write a favorable treatment for the product, service or person is demanded. The key word here is demand/demanded. As in its a deal. In other words you get this product for writing a favorable post. Quid pro quo. My advise is say NO.

Another danger here is to forget the real reason for attending the event or a press launch and that is to be there for the story. If it is there. I think its wrong to go there for the food, the freebies, the event and even the raffle. Do not get affected nor addicted to it. Its not a party or a social gathering – despite all the marketing and promotional things it is a press launch and a product launch. And that is why it is not advisable to bring one’s families or friends – especially if the invite is only for one.

Remember the budget from this comes from public relations, promotions and marketing. And the events are designed both to convey information and make it attractive. One should look beyond the garnishes and the presentation.

Clearly this writing and blogging thing is a road through the orchard of knowledge and temptation. Some are there to invite you to come in; Some are there to inform; and then there are some that were designed to corrupt. How to make the distinction? Its up to you. I only wrote what I know of and what my opinion on it is. End of the day you decide what to do.

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