Marketing,Public Relations,Wine

Trending PR, is this the way of the future or just a guise?

I got to thinking about an Email exchange that I had last week, and couldn’t help but ask myself if this was trending PR or not.

I’m going to just share the exchange and you be the judge.

INCOMING EMAIL: Editor Deadline: Need Holiday Recipes

Hi Jo,

My name is Bob and I’m with Family Stories (I’ve changed the names), a syndicated content provider specializing in the creation and distribution of lightly branded food content for newspapers, magazines and digital outlets.

Due to editorial demand, we’re currently on deadline for holiday food section stories and are looking for brand/product recipes to fill some editorial gaps. While there is no guarantee of placement, there is also no cost to you. Because there is strong interest in holiday recipe content for food sections, competition for these spots is high and decisions will be editorially-based.

If selected, you would earn millions of impressions and hundreds of high-quality placements in media outlets across the country.

To submit a recipe for consideration and learn more about how you can get guaranteed nationwide coverage, click here.

Here’s an example of one of our co-op branded recipe stories:

Okay, it looked good, and while it was outside of my day’s workload, which meant I would have to really hustle. I looked up the Website and found the above image… Grass Roots Marketing? Is grass roots marketing the new trending PR? I wanted more information.


Hi, Bob

Regarding “we’re currently on deadline,” do you have an end date? It takes time to put something like this together, when it’s an initial query and I wasn’t preparing for this new way to get content for a digital marketing company.

This is not to say that I can’t help, but I have so many project deadlines already before me that I need a specific date, before I can begin anything new.


INCOMING EMAIL with a red !

Hey Jo,

No worries. We are doing a “Free” Holiday Round-Up (Gift Guide and Recipe Round-Up) – see attached.

This is just to reach out and gain interest levels on clients. We have had over 100 submissions- so we are closing this down to review all products and begin the best layout and spec. no guarantees to anyone on being picked.

We are however selling spots on these Round-Ups. We are doing several of these types of Holiday Recipes/Gifts guides due to popular demand.

$3,500 per spot

These do come with minimum guarantees, deliverables, placements and impressions.

Deadline to purchase a spot and materials would be Oct. 24th.


Reel ’em in boys… within the first Email arriving at 8:33, my response by 2:58 p.m., just six and a half hours later, 100 recipes flooded his inbox; but only for you and a few others, we’ve reserved $3,500 placement spots. (Their website states $5,000 for the placement.)

Okay, I get it. I didn’t respond. Only $3,500 to become part of a story in whatever publications I can’t even imagine. Good money, if you can get it in this world of continuing to evolve PR options, which are really marketing guises.

On their Website, which is still tempting people into submitting for “free?”:

Want Guaranteed Recipe Coverage?
Secure a guaranteed spot in one of our co-op, holiday-themed food section stories for $5,000 per brand/product recipe. (Promotional offers may be available.) Contact your Account Manager or sales@familystories.com for more details.

Do you have any idea how much time it takes to set up a photo shoot, which also includes the costs of shooting?

Oh, please and no thank you…

4 Responses to “Trending PR, is this the way of the future or just a guise?”

  1. Sue Straight says:

    Hi Jo,

    I get these kind of “offers” too. Grrrr. It reminds me of “pay to play” situations with bands, primarily in the Los Angeles music scene. Club owners will charge bands to play gigs at their clubs and the bands pay to play, because it could be good publicity. The operative word here is “could,” because it usually doesn’t pan out.

    I hate this kind of shit. It pisses me off. We work hard for our money, have built reputations as respected professionals and we are expected to pay to play?

    Just say no, people. Working with clients who want you to work for free, or even have to pay because of potential exposure lowers the bar for the rest of us.

    Just say “no!”

    All Best,

  2. joanne says:

    But Jo!!! How often do you get a chance to save $1500? What a bargain they are offering! You must be very special to be offered a deal like that. ha ha ha

    I’m sure someone they contacted will take them up on this, too. Who is it who said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” ? (and no, it wasn’t P.T. Barnum.)

  3. Jo Diaz says:

    Sue, You’re so great at sugar coating it! (I love your candor, don’t stop!)

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    Joanne, I always thought it was Barnum:


    There exists a family of closely related expressions with a long history. Here is a sampling together with years of occurrence. The first item listed employed dialectical spelling. The word “flat” was a synonym for “fool”. The abbreviation “attrib” means that the words were attributed to an individual, but the evidence was indirect:

    1806: there vash von fool born every minute
    1826: a new fool is born every day
    1839: there is a flat born every minute
    1877: there is a fool born every hour
    1882: there was a sucker born every minute (attrib anon con man)
    1885: there was a sucker born every minute (attrib Hungry Joe)
    1888: there is a sucker born every minute (attrib Artemus Ward)
    1889: a sucker is born every minute (attrib Mike McDonald)
    1890: a fool was born every minute (attrib P.T. Barnum)
    1892: there was a sucker born every minute (attrib P.T. Barnum)

Leave a Reply