The Blogger, Events and Press Conferences

A companion piece to the preceding post. Something from the old blog.

Within a span of two years a lot of things have change. It would seem that the blogger has entered mainstream. First, bloggers are slowly being recognized as an Internet medium: Another source of news, information and opinion available through the Web.Second, A lot of marketing, public relations and companies seem to be recognizing this thus the increase engagement with the bloggers through contests, events and product launches, Third, Bloggers are often type stereotyped or miscast as ranters or in it for the money.

There is nothing wrong with ranting via blogging and nothing wrong with making money from blogging. for me its not the end all, be all and sole reason why I blog. It is more complex than that and the blogs are not a thing one can conveniently pigeon hole.

And sure enough a lot of opportunities are opening up to bloggers, A lot are now treated like media invited to press launches and a greater number are tapped to spread the word about a certain product or bit of information. These are done via Press launches and events.

The question comes up should a blogger avoid going to press launches and events?

It is an option that the blogger might take, Then again the blogger might also take to attending press launches and events. There are reasons why the blogger opt to go, First, In order to get fresh information or news about something – product, service and bits of news. Second, Its is always a nice to develop contacts and make friends. At its most brutal it is a way of developing a network of sources and information. At its best one meets true and genuine friends. Third, press launches and events provide the blogger the means to sample a new product, try a new service or preview/review a gadget, All of these contribute or add things to a post,

The food provided, the entertainment, the raffles and the freebies provided are incidental to what one sees or learns from these events. Such things are provided to encourage people to attend these events and press launches. All are devices that are used to give a receptive and hopefully effective way of introducing the news or the product to the writer or blogger.

Herein lies the problem of the blogger, What does one make of this?

Such entertainment and hospitality displayed during such activities can be overwhelming. Again its true that one can simply not go to such events. However, if the blogger does goes to such event what to do?

Now, I can speak only for myself in this matter. And for me this courtship ritual happening at press launches and events should not deflect the blogger from the purpose he went there and that is to get a story. One should not feel beholden or obliged to return the favor. In the end it is the blogger who decides:

1. Whether or not to blog about it.
2. What to blog about.

If there is any person or group of persons a blogger is beholden to would be he readers. And this brings us to disclosure. Often times one sees disclosure policies adopted by the bloggers and their blogs and this is good, It may be better though if disclosure was done every time one posted. It need not be a grandiose statement. Just a note within the post stating were you got the story or how you came by it or how were you able to test the product or service.

So will I go to events and press launches? Only if there is a story for my blog and it fits my work schedule.

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3 Responses to The Blogger, Events and Press Conferences

  1. Nicely says:

    Thanks for disclosing this issue :) This post is very insightful for us bloggers.

  2. lagalog says:

    The dynamics happening in the blogworld remind me of my stint as a reporter in mainstream media. The difference is that I represented a media organization easily pinpointed and held accountable for whatever we reporters report and publish. With bloggers, it’s more to each his own responsibility/accountability. It’s an open secret that a lot of people get into blogging just to be able to attend events, enjoy freebies, etc. Still, others copy and paste items from somewhere and pass it off as their own. In other cases, when people get invited, they may feel obligated to write about it (no matter if the event doesn’t have redeeming qualities) and write about it positively.

    Disclosure and attribution are steps in the right direction though how many bloggers who get paid for blogging will actually disclose the facts behind their posts remains to be seen. In the end, it’s up to the reader to read between the lines and discern who’s giving an objective, unbiased opinion and who’s giving a favorable opinion in exchange for monetary or material favors.

    There’s nothing wrong with making money in blogging, as long as there’s transparency between the blogger and reader much in the same way those print ads saying “this is a paid advertisement” are not passed off as real editorial content.

    I agree especially with your last point. If there’s a newsworthy thing about the event, it’s worth going. And if it doesn’t get in the way of my day job.

  3. Juned says:

    @lagalog, Amen. This may change soon. I think.

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