2006 is the year I started my personal blog. What most of you don’t know is I’ve been blogging on web development, food and entertainment as far back as 2002. The year 2006 is significant to me because I got introduced to New Media Publishing. I know a few bloggers who raised their eyebrows, that bloggers should not be attending PR events or product launches because it is “unethical”. Let me just say that these bloggers are entitled to their own opinion and I’d like to leave it at that.
I have my reasons for venturing into new media publishing.
1. I want unique and fresh content for my shopping and lifestyle , food blog , tech blog , wedding blog and entertainment blog , just to mention a few. Modesty aside, my blogs rake in a high page rank which almost always yields high search engine results for certain keywords.
Sure, I can blog about the places I go, the food I eat, my gadgets and my shopping spree but how often is that? I don’t shop or eat out everyday! What about new product launches or that new store that just opened? How would I know if I were not invited?
While more and more companies utilize blog as a marketing tool, I attend only those events which I believe adds value to my blog. If I don’t believe in the product, why bother writing about it? At the least, if I had fun, I’ll write about the experience and bonding moments with the bloggers.
2. I love meeting new people and interacting with bloggers.
I isolated myself for many years. In a way, I can look at blogging as my part of my new life, this new normal that bereaved parents often seek. In recovery, I learned to live, to enjoy my life and handle situations as they come.The benefits of blogging indeed spread the word on my advocacy and brought me new friendships and adventure beyond my wildest imagination. Going to blogger parties and PR events is a whole new adventure for me.
3. I learn something new each time. It can even be a life-changing experience.
A few skeptics think that all this latest PR strategy inviting bloggers is such a cheap blog marketing stint. “Give some food and freebies” and then bloggers will write about that product or service. I don’t know with you but I don’t like to eat much. I watch my diet. I am not after the food. (See number 1 and 2 reasons). And those freebies, excuse me, but I have the means to buy my own stuff. Thank you.
If these PR agencies want to give freebies, then well and good. I am not compelled to write about them. I am not even compelled to write good reviews. If I gush over a product or service, it means that I have had experience or used it already. I publish them because I like the unique content which can be valuable to my readers or the random visitors from organic searches.
A few PR events that enlightened me.
- 2.1 After being invited to the Amway’s launch of Nurtilite Food Supplements, I stopped eating red meat for over a month now.
- 2.2 The Fisher Farms Experience exposed me to fish products that I didn’t know was possible to manufacture and best of all available to consumers. I got to relive the good old food technologist days and found myself updated with the latest food technology.
- 2.3 After being invited to Ayala Land’s Nuvali and Celadon Manila launch, I also launched my own Nuvali blog, Two Serendra blog and Celadon Manila blog. I believed on the reliability of the developer because I invested in an Ayala Land property. I wanted to share these investment opportunities to my readers. It also revived my real estate brokerage.
4. I like working with that PR person/ company.
Someone once cautioned me that this particular PR is just using me. Of course, I know what I am getting into.
Now what most skeptics don’t realize is that there exists a mutually beneficial relationship between the PR and the blogger. At least for me, there is. As you can see in my number 3 reason, I gain something new each time. It may seem the PR is taking advantage of the bloggers’ “cheap thrills”. In my experience, the relationship is based on trust and respect for each other. A trustworthy PR company will not expect or force the blogger to write a false or misleading entry. If I don’t believe it adds value to my blogs, I simply won’t go or write about it. Why spend precious gasoline to attend such event or give them online presence in my blogs?
Tomorrow, I will write about my experience with a story pitch from this PR company which I believe is almost illegal, and unethical. (read the entry)
So what is your take on Philippine Companies pursuing Pinoy Bloggers for marketing deals?