Am I A Blogger Or A Journalist?
What does that word mean? MEDIA?
Does it mean they think I’m a journalist?
Does it mean I’ve hit the big time? Can I write my own ticket?
Or is it just another way to ask me to do something for free?
I try to understand, I really do. PR companies rarely have cash to spend on a campaign. They often have product, (sometimes they have TONS of product). Even if they did have ‘advertising coin’ it doesn’t work for them to ask me to talk about their product AND get paid for it. That violates several ethical word of mouth boundaries. (See Jennifer James’ great visual for what types of things you can and can’t charge for as a blogger.)
I figure if they want to treat me like a journalist; then on the flip side, guess what?
I get to ACT like one too. When I get a request to ‘sample’ a product as part of the ‘media’, I respond most often like this:
Thank you for the ‘StashBob’ sample offer. Please feel free to ship it to me. Note: this is in no way a promise that I will write about, talk about, Tweet about or otherwise endorse your product. However, if I like your product, it’s a pretty sure bet I’ll tell my friends.
And if I LOVE StashBob more than chocolate on my Birthday? You won’t be able to stop me from shouting about it from my virtual Twitter-rooftop.
So far they happily send the stuff. And not suprisingly, most of the time… the product gets opened, looked at, used and then given to a friend or to charity. But there is a rare gem that surprises me every now and again. And not only do I find ways to talk about those items via Twitter/Facebook and on my own blog, but often I find a way to write on other venues.
One example is ‘Salonpas Pain Patches’. Really? You want to send me pain patches? Okay… but like, who talks about pain patches?? The joke was on me, I took a handful of the samples they sent to one of my old lady basketball nights. The women LOVED ‘em. Begged for more. Wanted to know where I got them, how could they get their own? For thigh, back, & neck aches… it was hilarious. We all smelled like peppermint-flavored old ladies mixed with SWEAT!
I contacted Zocalo the next day and said, I’m writing a post about those hard to pronounce pain patches. And I’m writing on BlissfullyDomestic where it will get real traffic. Just try and stop me! I think it’s safe to say they were thrilled. And I had a great story to write.
So. I guess I AM like a journalist?
Call me… Carissa: Media Girl.
(As I snort out my Mountain Dew.)