Pay Per Publish
An acquaintance, T, asked me for press contacts to send press releases to, and said that each print of PR subject would entitle the writer to P5000. As someone who got her foot in the industry through PR writing, I was unsettled with the idea.
I wondered if it was just personal: as someone who has written PR and bled for copy to stand out from the paper and digital pile. Would it be any different from the “favor” costs of a press release that makes it to print? I can vouch that the clients I’ve written PR for have never given money for print, but it did come back in small favors. For example, If it was about a talent, the talent would perform at a “bargain” cost at the function. If it was a product, occasion gifts and tokens in the form of the product would be given, for better recall.
So replace money with favor, it seems less evil, doesn’t it? Take note however, that newspaper journalists aren’t even allowed to accept a cup of coffee from their subjects.
A former editor and present friend put it into perspective: Pay for print is done, but it’s a dirty deal. “And they can’t call themselves journalists if they do that.” She says. After all, if we accept that kind of deal, we’re no longer credible, as our perspectives come with a price tag.
That did that. I politely informed T that PR is not normally paid for, and they’d have a better chance with influencing as an advertiser. I worry though, T is new to the business and her foundations are looking awful rickety.
I personally blame the advent of “big bad bloggers” for how nonchalant T sounded about the offer, but thats for another entry.
The Coverage Routine
I write this while waiting for updates. We’re doing live updates on an advertising festival in Thailand, and I can’t imagine how this was done pre-Internet. Now, I’m in an aircon office in Manila waiting for updates from the associate editor at the event. The editorial assistant is with me coordinating content upload for the website, while I up my typing speed piecing the stories and pictures together.
On the first day of coverage, internet went down for a few hours. We panicked – what if something came through? What if something didn’t come through? We had no telephone contact with our boss and associate editor in Thailand. Could we afford to delay till the internet goes back on? Thankfully we didn’t have to find out, as the internet came back on right before the necessary updates came in. Spoiled much? We know.
But the power of the internet has its limits. When we thought it was safe to call it a night, we headed home, only to be called back halfway for urgent updates. There are some things that will never change, no matter how advanced the technology.
Relly Carpio, who I consider my journalism elder has been confined to Makati Medical Center ICU for a stroke. The stroke was attended to by way of drilling a hole through his head, but now the rest of the body is starting to break down. But the doctors are optimistic for recovery, and I trust that Relly will fight the good fight.
Prayers for Relly, who even through our differences, I valued his input on writing and life. Prayers too for his family, so that they may stay strong throughout the ordeal.