No offense to PR people, agencies, and brands…

Some days ago I received a message from a fellow blogger telling me she had recommended me to a PR agency. Unfortunately, I did not attend the event the PR invited me to. I did not go because the event was not relevant to me. It was a baby-related event and well, both my kids are well beyond infancy. In fact, my youngest child is a gradeschooler already. Just in case tongues go wagging and my absence(s) be misconstrued as something else (a very common occurrence these days in the intrigue-filled Pinoy blogosphere), I’ve decided to share my thoughts via this post — straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

Sample Invitation from Best Templates
Sample invitation borrowed from http://www.besttemplates.org.

Quite frankly, it takes a lot of effort to attend events. I need to allocate time, drive and spend for gas/parking, get stuck in traffic, and expose myself to danger (yes, danger, because I actually got into a car accident on EDSA once while trying to get to an event and the vehicle which rammed into the back of my car caused about P20k worth of damage). Meanwhile, commuters could get mugged and robbed, in addition to the possibility of figuring in a vehicular accident. Just to make it clear, you are at risk EVERY time you go out… whether it’s to go to work, go to school, run errands, or attend an event. When you’re out, you could even get stranded if the weather doesn’t cooperate. These everyday risks are faced by everyone on the road, so in theory the less you’re out there, the safer you are. That said, I have become very very selective of the events I attend. While events can be fun, the bottom line is it has to be worth my while because unlike traditional media people whose jobs entail attending events, I’m doing this purely on my own time and expense.

I usually decline invitations when:

1. The product or topic is not relevant nor interesting to me.
Among all my reasons, this weighs the heaviest. So what is not relevant? For example, a baby event when my youngest child is already in elementary school… a cigarette/gambling event when I don’t smoke/gamble and I’m actually against smoking/gambling… a dog food event when I have no dog… and so forth. I also decline if I don’t ever see myself using the brand, product, or service. What is not interesting? Sports events in general bore me (that includes popular Pinoy faves like basketball, boxing, etc.), lol. Sometimes PR will tell me, oh it doesn’t matter if it’s not relevant to you… it may be relevant to those reading your blog. That is so not the point. I like writing about things based on my personal experience but I can never personally experience something that I cannot or will not use. How can I tell you that this brand of dog food is so great when I have never had a dog to feed it to? This is still a personal blog after all, not a magazine or broadsheet which relies heavily on advertisements and advertorials to continue running.
2. The venue is too far.
Really. I have actually tried being glued to the same spot for an hour during a traffic jam and it’s not fun. It’s a colossal waste of gas and time too. I live in QC and so I usually decline events taking place in say… Alabang or Paranaque… unless it’s for a sponsored post or if the inviting party is a paying advertiser.
3. The event coincides with my kids’ schedule.
I drive my kids to and from school so if whatever it is gets in the way of their dismissal time, I will most probably decline.
4. It’s my car’s coding day.
I can’t hog the spare car when it’s my coding day because my husband needs to go to work and the kids need to be driven to and from school.

Please don’t take it personally if I decline an invitation. For starters, it’s physically impossible for me to accommodate each and every one (there are times when anywhere from 2-5 events are all happening on the same day). Then there are all the reasons I stated above. I am posting this so that concerned parties can get their information straight from the source and not speculation or hearsay (chismis, lol!). I appreciate every invitation I get though and I would like to thank everyone for the trust.

Disclaimer: I am only speaking for myself. Other bloggers have their own ideas and standards as to how accommodating they are when it comes to events.


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