Corrupt Bloggers Kvetch – Where’s the Swag?

There’s a very revealing guest rant by professional ’lifestyle’ blogger Krizia in Pro Blogger: PR People Getting Pushier with Bloggers Since the Recession.

Krizia is perturbed that PRs are now asking questions about the value of all their free giveaways; the cash, the swag is drying up for product placement on Krizia’s EatSmartAgeSmart blog. Before bestowing gifts and favors PR people are asking pesky questions like: 

  • “How many unique users?”
  • “How many page views?”
  • “How fast can you get our review on your site?”
  • “Have you won any awards in the past?”
  • “Send us links to past reviews you’ve written.”
  • “What angle will you take with this feature?”

In other words, publicists were getting hip and demanding the same standards they apply to legitimate media. When we get a hit inthe Daily Newswe know the circulation, target readership, ad equivalent value – in print and on the web.  Why not with bloggers? 

EatSmartAgeSmart has all the markings of a commercial enterprise that treats ‘content’  like ad-filler. Where’s the PR value in editorial in an outlet that obviously crafts stories as thinly-disguised ads to pump individual blog traffic and ancillary business for a larger blog network? (see Glam Media description below).

I know this is beauty/fashion/lifestyle blah blah, and that’s the way it’s done in these industries. But these sprung-up-on-the-web media properties are competing with established, verified, legitimate media outlets that are converting their readers to the web.  If you’re a publicist you’ll choose mass media or Trade pubs before spending billable time on corrupt bloggers who publicly kvetch about the lack of swag coming from PRs. 

Blogger Relations – a credible pitch

A few days ago I got a perfect pitch. I hope Alex doesn’t mind if I reprint it verbatim here:

Hi Mark,

My name is Alex King and I’m the Director of Marketing at a small MIT startup called WebNotes. Thanks for your post on Mandy Stadtmiller- I just read her column and thought it was hysterical!

Anyways, my firm is building research tools for PR firms to help out with the daily news scan process and I was curious if you might be interested in writing about us. I’d love to show you a demo and even give you access to the software.

I hope all is well,

We did a Go-to-Meeting Demo. I asked questions and I signed up for the same two week free WebNotes Demo vailable to everybody. No free giveaway. No PR. No hustle. No quid pro quo. No money changing hands.

A couple of days after the Demo Alex followed up with email to see if I needed assistance.  Be professional, be personal, be persistent. In PR, media relations, blogger relations, bottomline, that’s all you can do. If you do that, you’re way ahead of the game.

EatSmartAgeSmart is in the Glam Media network.From the Glam Media site: Glam Media is the pioneer and global leader of Vertical Media—a revolutionary new media model that connects premium brand advertisers with millions of consumers with like-minded passions online through large and growing vertical content networks. With more than 1400 publishers worldwide, we cover the topics people are passionate about. We know how to find and engage these audiences with the right content at the right time—and brand advertisers are taking note. In the past year, 23 of the top 25 brand advertisers have engaged with passionate consumers on one of the Glam Media Networks. With a reach of 55 million unique monthly visitors in the US and more than 125 million uniques globally, it’s no wonder Glam Media is in the comScore Top 20 Web properties and a Top 10 AdWeek Display Ad Publisher.

Jeffrey Sebelia is Edgar Allan Poe

Paris Hilton at Heidi Klum and Seal's Halloween PartyI only blogged about my nephew Jeffrey Sebelia, 2006 Project Runway winner, a couple of times. Still, his name is the most popular search term for this blog.  So, here we go again.  We haven’t seen Jeffrey since his sister’s wedding in California but through the family grapevine we hear that Jeffrey was spotted at Heidi Klum’s Halloween Party, see pics below. This is no run down to Rite Aid and get a plastic orange goblin head at the last minute kind of party. This is a Red Carpet Halloween Party with Paris Hilton (left, with boyfriend Doug Reinhardt) and the like in costumes it must take hours to don.  

Jeffrey’s new band, Sing Orpheus, is really cool. I love “Lullaby.” Play below.

My Jeffrey Sebelia photo album, New York, Project Runway, 2006

Jeffrey Graces Elle – Blogs Oscar for AOL, PRBlogNews, January 17, 2007



Sing Orpheus is a rhythmic, trance inducing, four piece psychedelic rock band based in Los Angeles. The band was founded by seasoned musicians, Jeffrey Sebelia and Terry Borden, who have recorded and toured with Pete Yorn (Columbia/Sony), Lifter (Interscope), Lusk (Zoo Music Group) and Idaho (Caroline/Virgin) to name but a few. The duo began hatching out songs and soon enlisted gamine ,Cassandra Church, as the lead singer after hearing her sing back up vocals for a local R&B/dance pop group. She stole the show with her beauty, effortless vocals and her powerful stage presence.  Her vocals are powerful enough to induce goose bumps.  Cassandra’s experience in musical theater in Europe made her the perfect dramatic front woman for “Sing Orpheus”. Coupling Jeff’s gift for poetry and natural lyricism, and Cassandra’s unique melodies and emotional delivery, the songs are at once memorable and arresting.

PR Flocks to The Audience Conference

Are there signs of life in the moribund old line PR business?

Porter Novelli and PRNewswire have signed up as sponsors of The Audience Conference, November 5th & 6th, Hudson Theater, New York City.  David Binkowski of MS&L is speaking , along with Jeremy Pepper and David Dunn, founder of velocidi, formerly COO of Edelman Digital, and Joe Jaffe of crayon. Since Loren promises no wi-fi and a Twitter-free zone for the conference it will be interesting to see what these PR gurus learn and how they churn it back to us minions who cannot attend. 

PRBlogNews Week in Review 11-02-2009

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