So… who is to blame?

I saw this post being shared by a number of blogger friends some days ago. It’s the sad story of a media event in BGC which gave all attendees P500 worth of yema gift certificates as token. I’ve tried attending a BGC event using GrabShare (take note, GrabShare and I was sharing with 2 other girls both ways). It cost me almost P800 to get from QC to BGC and back. That said, I can just imagine how much people had to spend for transportation in order to attend this event.

Yema GCsRealistically speaking, most (take note, I said most, not all) events do not pay media attendees for coverage. The common practice is to give worthwhile tokens — usually products and GCs (gift certificates). It goes something like this… if you go to a restaurant launch, you’re usually given restaurant GCs. If you go to a cosmetics launch, you’re given a set of cosmetics… and so forth.

When a blogger is invited to an event, all that is asked for is an RSVP. Will you attend or not? While some organizers will tell you outright what to expect when you attend, most will not. What you can do is base it on their past events. Have you ever attended an event by this brand or PR? Was it worth your time? If you had a good experience in the past, you would most likely say yes.

In my case, I ask myself:

  • Is the event interesting or relevant? – If I don’t like whatever it is being launched, forget it.
  • Am I free on their specified date and time? – Self-explanatory. I fetch my daughter from school everyday so I am usually not free 3pm onwards.
  • Is it my coding day? – I don’t commute and I don’t like using Grab. If I can’t drive, pass.
  • Were this brand/PR’s past events worthwhile? – If I’ve attended their events in the past, I will try to recall what my experience was. Good? I will consider. Bad? Forget it, lol.
  • Where is this being held? – Distance is a big determining factor for me. I’m situated at the QC-San Juan area so if the event is happening in Alabang, SM Mall of Asia, SM Fairview (you get what I mean) I will probably decline.
  • What am I getting in return? – These days, I don’t really care anymore if people think I’m mabilang. My point is, if you have the gall to demand or use my time and energy, I have a right to know what’s in it for me. I’m not a charity and this isn’t a one-way street where I do all the work and you get all the benefits lol. Plus at this point, I’m beyond caring if I’m invited or not. Event invites don’t pay the bills so they’re really not that big of a deal.

Of course, there are also sponsored events where you are paid to attend and deliver specific output. However, there are a lot more “free” events compared to sponsored ones.

Given all the factors to be considered, who is to blame if people attend and cover a media event only to get a P500 yema GC in return? I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve worked as a PR consultant and as a blogger. As a PR person, it’s my responsibility to ensure that the people I invite are treated well and given tokens that are worth their while. As a blogger, it’s my responsibility to ensure that I do not fall prey to brands and PRs who are just out to take advantage of me. Due diligence is needed whichever side of the fence you find yourself at. So then, who is to blame?

Remember, blogging isn’t free.

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11 Comments

  • Reply Pau A September 26, 2019 at 9:56 am

    500 Yemas?! Grabe. Sana they should give kahit 200 pesos for the fare. I agree with what your write here Miss Rowena. I also don’t attend places that too far away from me. Lalo na sa traffic these days. Thank you for this informative and very relevant blog feature. ❤️

    • Reply Rowena Wendy Lei September 27, 2019 at 7:36 am

      I’m picky with events na because I don’t like wasting time, kaya matagal-tagal na din ako di nakakaranas ng ganyan. Pero yes, it happens. I heard from blogger friends na meron pa ngang event na ang token sa iyo literal na bato, halaman, eco bag. ballpen, etc.

  • Reply Aulie September 26, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Errrr. Seriously? Parang ang sad naman. Covered man lang sana at the very least yung transpo. Parang double edged dagger din tuloy for that yema brand nangyari since ma a associate sa bad press yung brand nila 🙁

    If hindi pa sana kaya ng budget nila, sana they pushed the event to a later date kesa sa ganito 🙁 try nila ibayad yung yema sa grab or cab ewan ko lang

    • Reply Rowena Wendy Lei September 27, 2019 at 7:37 am

      There are a few (like really few) who shoulder transpo, so you really have to discern which events are worth attending. Eto pa yun, it wasn’t a yema brand event.

  • Reply Sherry ann gole cruz September 26, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Im not a blogger but i get your point,nakakadismaya talaga if you exert effort,time,money and the same time expect to much that a certain brand would be galante because of the event..

    • Reply Vanessa orain September 26, 2019 at 12:21 pm

      Nakakalungkot lang na ganun ang nangyari. Kahit din akonkung nagbuhos ako ng effort pumunta sa place na malayo satin at sobrang traffic pa ganyan din mararamdamn ko.

    • Reply Rowena Wendy Lei September 27, 2019 at 7:38 am

      Talagang due diligence is required on both sides.

  • Reply may palacpac September 26, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    yep, these events don’t cover the bills talaga…so i just stopped.

  • Reply Liz Pe September 27, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    There should always be transparency, pag wala parang ni mi mislead mo talaga ang mga tao 🙁 SAD, para lang masabi na successful ang event & marami and dumalo.

  • Reply Worst Blogger Tokens Ever - Animetric's World October 2, 2019 at 11:00 am

    […] Gift Certificates – Please refer to P500 yema gift certificates for a non-yema event […]

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