Dealing with new PR people.

First off, I’d like to thank the old PR groups that have still been sending me invitations even though I haven’t been able to attend events lately. You’re still my favorites and I still only go to your events (when I can manage). I also realized that I’ve become more active in microblogging than actually sitting down and writing a decently sized blog post.

For the new ones…I’m sorry but I’m going to sound like your old college professor here because I’m going to be on lecture mode:

I realize that there are new PR people carving out a career path for themselves but there are reasons why I simply don’t respond to many of them. The reasons:

  1. Many don’t even bother to check the profiles of the blogger they’re addressing. I’ve received messages addressing me as “Sir”.
  2. I’ve received “mommy event” invitations. I am not married. I don’t have kids. Unless you want to consider my college students as my kids…? Much as I’d like to have a niece so I can write about diapers, I can’t. This fact is actually as frustrating for me as for anyone who wants to have kids but can’t. Yung iba dyan sinabihan ko na, namimilit pa. Konting sensitivity naman diyan. Kakaloka.
  3. Some were waaaaay too familiar when introducing themselves and went ahead to address me by my nickname. I am not comfortable with such familiarity, whether it be in person or online. That’s why I have been using the nick “skysenshi” (or my full name) for more than a decade now. It prevents unfamiliar people from using my nickname.
  4. I’m not very fond of the “pa-post” messages, especially from PR people who have just introduced themselves.
  5. I’m not very good with demands, especially as I don’t blog for a living.
  6. Because I’ve accepted the fact that I’m agoraphobic, the only events I usually attend are the ones where my blogger friends will most probably be.
  7. Sent freebies do not guarantee a space in my blog. I never ask for them and there really are stuff I don’t use or eat. Like deodorant or pork or chocolates. I can’t endorse something I don’t use.
  8. I tend to promote my friends and students (who are starting their businesses) more because my attachments to them are personal. That’s what blogging is for, right? It’s always personal. I do have a soft spot for new small business owners, though…I’m all for supporting Filipino small business owners.
Regarding #3 and #5, I am primarily a research scientist — not a physician but a doctor nonetheless. Think Dr. Gil Grissom of CSI and Dr. Jane Foster of Thor. My secondary job is that of a game developer, which my researches on behavioral science and communication also center on. My third job is that of an academic, and we are conscious about how we address people (I call the dean “Dean Menchu” or “Ms. Menchu” and she calls me “Doc Bea” or “Ms. Bea” and we don’t address people as “professors” unless they’ve actually attained that highest rank — that’s about as close to nickname calling as we can get). Call me traditional but I like putting up a wall of propriety between me and people I don’t know. If I already know you and have been talking to you for a while now, by all means, use my nickname. (I sort of blame my obsession with Japanese culture for this little quirk but it can’t be helped. I’m uncomfy with overfamiliarity in any form.)
So yeah, I won’t be very good with taking orders, especially when blogging is supposed to be my way of having fun with life. Obviously, I don’t update as often as I used to and am probably not as popular in the local blogosphere as many of my friends are. Recently, I’ve been more of a microblogger (usually on my official Facebook page) and because of the nature of my work, I’d be more likely to maintain my anime-gaming blog of 16 years than my local blog.
I know this all sounds so arrogant but I’ve had my share of being belittled even by traditional media practitioners just because they thought “ay, blogger lang.” I’ve also had my share of being left alone in a sea of unknown people and treated badly, as if I was being given a favor. Free food and loot bags? LOL. I’ve walked out of badly handled events without touching the food or the loot bags because I felt they were a waste of my time and blog space. Many people have this mistaken notion that bloggers would grab anything that comes their way, or do anything for freebies (right, I can buy those and have them delivered to my office, thank you very much) and that we don’t have day jobs or lives outside of blogging. Most of us do. We are all busy. And the sooner PR newbies realize this, the better.
Of course, I can’t deny that there are shady bloggers who are really after freebies (if they computed the amount of gas they spend for those events, maybe they’d behave better)…but I think newbie PRs should also do a bit of research in order to avoid those and to protect themselves as well.

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