I hear from so many publicist friends about bloggers behaving badly. It can be anything from bringing extra friends, to never writing the story after bring hosted for a meal. But that’s not to say publicists are immune from bad behavior either. Recently we had a podcast to discuss some of these very issues. Publicists: please take note – here are some of our biggest pet peeves.
1. Starting an Event Late
Though this doesn’t happen often, when it does it is usually egregiously late. Recently I was asked to be at a restaurant at 6 pm on a Sunday (weekends are usually sacred and banned from media dinners) but we didn’t sit down to dinner for another hour. Listen, we know you can’t control everything, but at least communicate with us as to when we might be eating.
2. Don’t communicate information to the restaurant prior to visit or never get back to us at all when the answer is no.
You know what’s really embarrassing? Going to a restaurant and being confirmed for a media reservation and arriving to find out they have no idea who you are or why you are there. What’s worse is when they have said reservation but still bring you a check at the end of the meal even if you were invited by the publicist for a comped meal. It baffles me how this happens time and time again to so many food writers.
Oh, there’s a great new product you’d love us to try? Great, we’re in. When can we expect it to be delivered?
3. Vet Me Before You Invite Me, NOT After
About the rudest thing that happened lately was being invited to travel to Gulf County, Florida by a publicist. She listed the dates of travel and a rough itinerary of options. After responding with an enthusiastic yes, I never heard back. I even (gasp!) called her office after several weeks of no response, but could never get her. I almost turned down another media trip to take this but gladly thought better of it. When she finally responded it was to say “We got an overwhelmingly positive response to our invitation and have had to cap this particular [trip]. In the meantime, please keep us in mind for any potential story opportunities and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.” Really? After being treated so poorly, why would I ever want to promote or follow you?
4. Parking is On Us
I recently went to a Tweetup for a food festival that progressed to four different restaurants. Instead of the 3.5 hours the event was supposed to be, it ended up being 5 and we were all on our own for parking. Knowing this can be a costly expense, I directly asked our host about parking before we got underway, and received what I can only describe as a “non-response.” Parking can get pricey. If you invite us to cover your launch or event, please cover parking. If it isn’t obvious where to park or a designated lot is not available, share that info with us in your invite. This can also help prevent some showing up late.
5. Don’t Promote Our Posts
I really don’t understand when a blogger is invited to a restaurant and treated graciously, writes a positive review, sends it along to the publicist and yet the publicist nor the restaurant promotes on social media.
6. Making us Look up Social Media Handles
You have an expectation that we will be tweeting and instagramming at least a bit during dinner, right? Then put the social media handles on the pre-printed menu instead of us having to ask you.
Not Reading our Blog Before Emailing Us
Oh, you are curious if I am doing a Halloween roundup of parties because you want me to include your client’s event? Hmm…maybe you could go to my blog which just published the roundup this morning. We aren’t so narcissistic (well most of us aren’t) that we think you are going to read our posts each and every day, but before you hit send on that email asking us to include your client, check out our blog. Maybe we already did include that event in our roundup.