Saturday, February 17, 2018

Online Publication Blackmails Event Organizer: Kick Them Out or We Won't Publish Your Press Releases

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I got a phone call yesterday from an event organizer who told me that there's this online publication that threatened not to publish the event's press releases if Wazzup Pilipinas is kept as a media partner.

The words "threatened" and even "blackmail" were mentioned by the caller because the online publication was sort of forcing them to kick Wazzup Pilipinas out as a media partner of their event, or this online publication would back out as a media partner. You could imagine it like an "It's either her or me, make a choice!" scenario in movies where a man is caught in a situation to pick between two lovers, could be a wife and a mistress, or two girlfriends.

In this case, there was indeed a "romantic relationship" that happened once but eventually went awry due to circumstances. If you'll take time to scrutinize further by looking deeper into our past, you'll understand why this online publication is so keen in putting us down.

The event organizer tried to keep this online publication anonymous but when I mentioned the probable suspect, he readily confirmed and was wondering why this online publication has personally pinpointed us out. He was asking what could be the reason behind their blatant disgust of Wazzup Pilipinas? For him, it felt like "away-bata" or children's quarrel wherein someone like a student would tell his teacher that he doesn't want to cooperate in a group project if the classmate that he hates is a member.

So I naturally told him my unflattering history with this online publication that I'm sure its veracity will be contested profusely by them. They once tried to make it look they kicked me out of their team, when in fact I have stopped writing for them even before we parted ways.

Yup, I was their former Senior Writer (promoted to that position after 3 months as among their newest writers). But I was disenchanted with them when they reacted negatively when a point came in our relationship that I was the one giving out assignments to the other contributing writers. This was because there were a lot of opportunities for collaboration coming my way that I was actively sharing slots for possible feature stories. Back then I was getting plenty of event invites including tons of requests for restaurant features that I saw myself going to a max of 4 to 5 restaurants a day together with other bloggers whom I invited to join.

This online publication is obviously up to its nasty "unfair competition practice" again! I should say it has not stop at all the first time I discovered. I actually got a hunch already when there were sudden events that would suddenly back out from a partnership, and so it was only last year that I got confirmation when somebody sent me a screenshot of their nasty "threats". When I posted about it online, the testimonials grew and soon I got so many screenshots and revelations from other events and organizations of how this online publication backed out from the media partnership and tried to indirectly convince them that they should only partner with those on the "top" of rankings.

Before, the reports I received were not specific to which media partner they were referring to but yesterday the caller told me Wazzup Pilipinas was specifically mentioned by no less than the Editor-in-Chief and founder.

This is something that the
Philippine Competition Commission needs to really look into before it becomes too big to handle and blows up into their faces when they act too late. This also adds to my collection of reports submitted to us by the many media partners who informed us about how this online publication sends e-mails threatening to back out from the media partnership because they do not want other media partner(s) present among the event supporters.

What this online publication is doing is undoubtedly a deliberate attempt to muscle out others because they think they will be chosen to remain, or that they are too confident of themselves that it is alright to lose partnership with other events because they have so many anyway. It makes event organizers wary to invite other media partners especially if they want to keep the partnership with the so called claim to be the top online publication in the country with millions of views or "impressions" - something that could be easily done if you would invest on SEO and other strategies, even the dirty ones that fools people in believing they have the numbers to effectively influence people in patronizing a brand.

In a country like the Philippines which eats up most "entertaining" articles like the viral and trending stories that could be refurbished or rehashed to become new articles, they don't automatically translate into a sale  for a brand since most readers of such content are just visiting the site to be entertained. When I left the online publication way back 2013, my site was already getting the same number of daily views they were having because I implemented their strategy, but eventually stopped because I realized it is actually "hurting" the readers more because I was putting out insignificant stories that would not contribute to healthy nation building but rather turn people to focus on the trivial and ignore or set aside the more important ones.

"Blogging has become a very profitable business, but we would rather be true to ourselves and to our readers, than kiss asses just to keep relationships. We believe we would benefit more if the nation is well-informed of the truth and not of superficialities."

Why is this online publication trying to put us down? They won't directly give out the reason to the organizers they sent emails to, but would only claim that they are among the top online publications and that the event organizers should look into partnering only with publications with similar stats as theirs - something to that effect where their stinking arrogance could be smelt (or smelled) several miles away.

They boasts of their stats but many have told me that they only have the numbers because they fill up their site with memes, controversies, click-baits, and many similar insignificant stuff that would not even encourage a sale for the brands that sponsors or advertise with them. Just as how predictable and cheap "teleseryes" dumbs the masses, their content is mostly rubbish designed to add to their stats. There was even a PR who was among their contributors but called out to them online to air the same concerns, so they eventually removed him as a contributor and unfriended him. Just as how they did a witch-hunt among their writers back then to find those who were allied with me, and removed them as well.

If they are indeed among the top, they do not need to resort to crab mentality and/or character assassination by indirectly or directly demeaning their fellow media entities, or media personalities, may they be bloggers or mainstream media, and would readily set themselves side by side with seemingly competing media entities. They do not need to bring down others if they are truly on top.

Furthermore, the more media partners supporting, the more advantageous it is for the event. This is why we detest exclusivity with regards to media partnership. You should not keep the news reporting or event promotion to yourself or only a few. Those who usually do this believes there would be a big return, or profit, for them, or there really is something already agreed as a rewarding ex-deal.

There is no argument with the fact that it would be more beneficial for an event to have as many media partners as possible to gain more mileage, and thus attract more audience or attendees since each one of these media entities have their own set of followers. It would be a waste of opportunity to be able to reach out to more people if limited to just a few media partners.

Though it
will be unfortunate for us to lose the partnership if the event organizer would choose to keep the arrogant online publication, we would prefer to partner with those who truly knows what to value more - give in to a blackmailer who flaunts their questionable wide reach and belittles others, or stick with the underdog who's obviously being bullied by this menacing threat. 

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