Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bloggers Who Write or Just Copy and Paste Press Releases

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Are you among those media people, not necessarily just the bloggers, that write about the event they've just attended or are you one of those that just settle for a copy-pasted article?

There was this little discussion that got my attention and has somewhat strike a nerve. I am posting this to get comments as I am also somewhat guilty of that dirty habit of copy-pasting press releases as a shortcut method for my blogging whenever I find myself too busy or lazy to "WRITE".

This also happens if I find the event too boring or less interesting and not worthy of an elaborate story. Most of the time I put the press release as part of the blog inserted among my own personal statements. It might be an insult if I don't include the info within the press release. But I do agree that it might be a bigger insult if we don't write about the event using our own words.

For everyone's info, blogging is not my primary source of earning a living so I put blogging at the back seat whenever there is a need for me to focus on the main source of income.

So there was this post on a certain Facebook bloggers group which got a reaction from one of the bloggers who was meticulous enough to sense a sort of mockery against bloggers that tend to not write or just copy-and -paste press releases (cringing here because of the guilt).

The post announcing the need for bloggers:

Looking for Bloggers especially with the following niche (Food | Mommy | Lifestyle).
If you are interested to cover and "WRITE" about the event entitled Food for Thought at THE MIND MUSEUM, please fill up the form.
You can also tour the museum during your visit. Chosen bloggers will be emailed on or before Saturday, June 22. Details about the event is also in the link below.

Reaction of a blogger (depending the blogging community whom she feels was mocked) :

Why is the word "write" in your post all caps and in quotation marks? Does that mean that we won't really write about the event, but you expect us to copy-paste a press release? Because that's what quotation marks around a noun in a sentence mean, you know. Something ironic. Sarcastic.

In that light, we all know there are bloggers who don't write. But you don't have to talk down to everyone who has the potential to get insulted, which in this post is bloggers who do write. For a living, as functional creative persons.

If you wish to weed out non-writers at your event, then just be more discerning with your invitations. I'm guessing that because of this little tirade I've earned a spot on your black list, but so be it.

I never call people out for the sole purpose of being an asshole. I believe that it is up to us, fellow public communication practitioner, to show a little grace and restraint, a bit more civility. Yes, there will always be bloggers that make you want to chew off your own hand, but don't let them overly influence you to tar everyone with the same brush. There are good, passionate bloggers out there who write for the love of it (and probably the pathological need to converse with the world). You'll find them, and then you just have to keep them on your list.

And so the discussion continues:

We have reasons why we invite people to our events. In my case, one of them is to invite people who can help us write and promote it. If you think you cant do it. Then dont register. I am not forcing anyone. If you get invited and you don't write about it, it's fine with me. I'm not the type na nangungulit para mamwersa na i-blog yun. If you were bothered that it was posted all caps and between quotation marks, thats just it, wala akong ibig sabihin kundi "WRITE". If you find it sarcastic, sorry kung ganun dating sayo. sakin kasi wala lang yun. Besides we're not giving press release in events like that, that you can just copy-paste.

Also I have a responsibility that I need to accomplish. Hope you understand that, that's why I am asking to write about it.

but for you to assume that I will put you in my blacklist, parang hndi naman tama yun. You've already judged me, Hindi pa nga tayo magkakilala eh. Im not that kind of person. Besides I am not just the one approving who will make it to the list.

Sayo na rin nanggaling, lil grace, restraint and civility, i would appreciate it more if you personally send me a message about your concern. Di ba mas OK yun.

Careful, sir. Your contempt is showing.

The insult was quite public, and the blogging community has enough to deal with. I was defending our dignity in the arena where you mocked it. Still, I do apologize for calling you out on the thread.

I'm not insulting anyone. Don't put too much meaning on the word (as I said wala akong ibang ibig sabihin kundi "WRITE") and don't be too sensitive. Oh well, I know whatever things I will say, you will still not get it. as you will continue to stress it out and get bothered by "WRITE". Let us stop this because this thread is not for this kind of conversations.

My own reaction:

Guilty in many diverse proportions. I'm not going to defend myself or give all sorts of excuses because that will not solve anything. I guess it might help if the event organizers do not give out press releases and just give out bullet points or a list containing the highlights of an event. So bloggers like medon't get tempted to just copy and paste from your press releases.

Let me see, what do I need :

1. The names of the important people involved (those who probably own or run the establishment or company, those that graced or spoke during the occasion, and their celebrity endorsers, if any)

2. The names of the food and a short description - especially for food reviews where I won't be able to remember the menu - like those weird and difficult to pronounce names of the dishes

3. The background about the event itself - info on why or what is the press conference, exhibit, launch or whatever is all about.

4. Other pertinent details worth mentioning to our readers.

Last Words:

Press releases were meant to be just a guide or source of information for the bloggers or media people that we can use for our write-ups. We are not really expected to copy and paste the entire thing even though its saved on a CD or a USB drive.

But maybe if the PRs just give out a bulleted lists of the necessary info and important facts, it will prevent the bloggers to do a dirty and nasty deed, and perhaps we will be able to see who among the hundreds of writers or bloggers out there can really write intelligently and with substance and clarity.

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  1. I copy-paste a Press Release given by a PR person but not from events I attended,meaning it was sent to me digitally and have a go from them.And as long as they say it is ok to do so,then I see no problem with it. As for me, PR are like those flyers you get from the streets given to you by a stranger to buy their services or product,if you don't need the product,maybe someone you know might need it and there are chance that you will let them know about the info you got, so for the company who got client just bec you handed their PR or flyers to someone else, I'm sure they are thankful.
    As for event write ups,I've been attending events for quite a while and never,as in NEVER I copy/paste any of my post-event write up. I don't care if my grammar will cause a nose-bleed to my readers, but one thing for sure,my write up is orig and unique. if I need to quote a paragraph,I make it a point that it is properly done so.

  2. And as for the caps lock usage,I understand that it is to emphasize and not to shout.

  3. I think people should write in their own words and make the press release about something interesting. For example, the development of new aircraft is always good news. Whether we use them directly or indirectly, we all benefit in some way from this method of transportation. We have certainly come a long way from the first planes that could only carry a few persons.

    Now we have airbuses and other large aircraft that can easily handle a substantial amount of weight without placing a burden on the environment or using up too much fuel. That is certainly something to write about in the press.


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