Earlier this week I lamented the issues around PR and attitude of advertisers towards bloggers in New Zealand. Today, John Drinnan at the New Zealand Herald has included my comments in his latest editorial on the media but misrepresents the point entirely.
Some bloggers are lapping up press releases from a growing corps of PR people.
They can provide easy copy and filler material and provide mini-controversies filling the voracious appetite for content.
There are two issues here. Firstly, my comments had nothing to do with the flood of press releases that are sent daily by PR firms looking for some link love and media coverage for their clients. Our original post was based on public comment around an ad campaign, not a press release from a PR company.
Secondly, the suggestion that bloggers are the ones lapping up press releases from PR people is laughable coming from the one and only New Zealand Herald. I’m not even going to bother providing an example as it would be too difficult to pick just one.
Drinnan ends the first section with this:
Cunliffe seems to have a highly optimistic business model.
Um, no. We regularly produce integrated editorial pieces for brands like McDonalds, Dominos Pizza, Twinnings, Samsung etc, all booked by foreign ad agencies for our foreign sites. And we’re small fry compared to some of our colleagues.
From a journalism point of view, the money-for-bloggers approach is a step down the road to cash for comment – and they should be kept apart or at least be transparent. But purely from a business point of view, you can see the point.
I’m not sure whether this is supposed to be a holier-than-thou comment or a we’re speaking from experience one. Does anyone honestly believe that there a no kickbacks, either by advertising or other means, for content produced in the MSM? And in reverse, when negative content ensues, how quickly does advertising get pulled? With all the fluff that comes out of the NZ Herald these days, I would suggest that the potential sound of coins falling out of a slot machine would be far more exciting to them than bloggers.
Drinnan then goes on to critique Campbell Live over their biscuit story which TV3′s head of News and Current Affairs, Mark Jennings, referred to as a “cute human interest story”.
Do viewers expect more from Campbell Live?
Yes. But they expect just as much from your publication, sir.