Jump to content

Shall We Dance? The Incestuous, Symbiotic Relationship Between PR Firms and Media Outlets


DonRocks
 Share

Recommended Posts

Went to the (comp) pre-opening tonight, and was very pleased - this place is going to be a hit in Potomac.

[Thank you for the well-written preview, Daniel - you've done donrockwell.com, the media outlet, proud. In case anyone hasn't noticed, our forum hosts, membership directors, calendar girls, etc. often attend these events, representing the website (I choose not to attend, and instead offer them to our hard-working volunteers - it's the very least I can do for all their efforts). Almost 100% of the time, this results in a cogent, well-written and surprisingly objective preview that's a win-win-win (for the restaurant, since they get publicity; for the volunteers, since they get a free party; for the website, since it keeps us out there on the vanguard of the restaurant community). This was a wonderful example of how to do it properly - the disclosure of a complimentary meal was made early on, so there is no doubt in the readers' minds that this is a media event (you'll be reading about how wonderful Sugo is on other blogs as well, but you won't be reading much about how the blogger loaded up on free food and booze. When are people going to realize that this is how some of our area's most popular "lifestyle" websites work? That they're nothing more than paid PR outlets posing under the guise of "journalism?" When is a legitimate major media outlet going to have the balls to call these "blogs" out for what they truly are?). Daniel's post can be trusted, and you can rest assured that any positive comments can be counted on as being what he really thinks (the one thing I tell the attendees is that if anything is really "bad," it's best just to be silent, rather than trashing a place for giving away free food during a pre-opening event. It really is taboo to lambast a place during a media party, as it should be. Recently, for example, I sent a couple to a pre-opening party that was an unmitigated disaster, and you didn't hear a word about it on donrockwell.com because it was apparently a travesty and a joke (although I'm sure if you look around the blogosphere, you'll find plenty written about it because of all the free booze that was given away). That's how the process works, and Daniel did an exemplary job. And after all the hard work he puts in volunteering for DC Central Kitchen, he bloody well deserves a free party. If he says something was good, you can trust what he has to say (knowing, of course, that Sugo was putting forth their best effort last night in order to impress the media). Cheers, Rocks]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[Thank you for the well-written preview, Daniel - you've done donrockwell.com, the media outlet, proud. In case anyone hasn't noticed, our forum hosts, membership directors, calendar girls, etc. often attend these events, representing the website (I choose not to attend, and instead offer them to our hard-working volunteers - it's the very least I can do for all their efforts). Almost 100% of the time, this results in a cogent, well-written and surprisingly objective preview that's a win-win-win (for the restaurant, since they get publicity; for the volunteers, since they get a free party; for the website, since it keeps us out there on the vanguard of the restaurant community). This was a wonderful example of how to do it properly - the disclosure of a complimentary meal was made early on, so there is no doubt in the readers' minds that this is a media event (you'll be reading about how wonderful Sugo is on other blogs as well, but you won't be reading much about how the blogger loaded up on free food and booze. When are people going to realize that this is how some of our area's most popular "lifestyle" websites work? That they're nothing more than paid PR outlets posing under the guise of "journalism?" When is a legitimate major media outlet going to have the balls to call these "blogs" out for what they truly are?). Daniel's post can be trusted, and you can rest assured that any positive comments can be counted on as being what he really thinks (the one thing I tell the attendees is that if anything is really "bad," it's best just to be silent, rather than trashing a place for giving away free food during a pre-opening event. It really is taboo to lambast a place during a media party, as it should be. Recently, for example, I sent a couple to a pre-opening party that was an unmitigated disaster, and you didn't hear a word about it on donrockwell.com because it was apparently a travesty and a joke (although I'm sure if you look around the blogosphere, you'll find plenty written about it because of all the free booze that was given away). That's how the process works, and Daniel did an exemplary job. And after all the hard work he puts in volunteering for DC Central Kitchen, he bloody well deserves a free party. If he says something was good, you can trust what he has to say (knowing, of course, that Sugo was putting forth their best effort last night in order to impress the media). Cheers, Rocks]

Thanks for pointing this out and discussing it. PR "journalism" seems to be one of those "dirty little secrets" in the foodie world. I was an avid follower of one such popular foodie web site and it gradually dawned on me how intertwined the operators were with the PR machine. I got to know them a bit -- they were nice people -- and found out that one of them was running a PR agency. I connected the dots and realized the great time they were having going to the many food events and fabulous meals that they were describing on their blog was pretty much made possible by the PR machine. I have to say they were pretty good at it .... a couple years later now they seem to be on a first name basis with all the big names in the foodie universe. I still read their blog (it's still a good source of news), but now I understand I have to process the information through a filter.

It would be unrealisitic to expect that PR could be kept at arms length when it comes to the foodie world, but more transparency would be a good idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for pointing this out and discussing it. PR "journalism" seems to be one of those "dirty little secrets" in the foodie world. I was an avid follower of one such popular foodie web site and it gradually dawned on me how intertwined the operators were with the PR machine. I got to know them a bit -- they were nice people -- and found out that one of them was running a PR agency. I connected the dots and realized the great time they were having going to the many food events and fabulous meals that they were describing on their blog was pretty much made possible by the PR machine. I have to say they were pretty good at it .... a couple years later now they seem to be on a first name basis with all the big names in the foodie universe. I still read their blog (it's still a good source of news), but now I understand I have to process the information through a filter.

It would be unrealisitic to expect that PR could be kept at arms length when it comes to the foodie world, but more transparency would be a good idea.

Do a Google search on: Thomas Elder chef.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...