Just so you don't get me wrong, I am happy when one of my guest writers get noticed - don't get me wrong. And I am even happy when my, umm, cranky blurts over new media PR miscues get others talking. But this email received this afternoon from a new media publicist has got to be the pinnacle of presumption as to we beer bloggers and our place is the discourse - again with the names removed to protect the innocent..except for that of Travis, of course:
In these hard economic times, a more money conscious trend is being followed by beer consumers. Nowadays 60% of consumers are taking a more affordable route by enjoying luxury beers in the comforts of their own home rather than spending their time and money going out to bars and restaurants. I would love the chance to meet with you to discuss this recently adopted mentality amongst beer consumers and how [my client's brand] can enhance their drinking experience at home.
I am also eager to hear what new topics you might be exploring in the upcoming months. Hopefully, [my client's brand] can be a helpful source of information for you and your blog. Are you available the end of this month to chat over some [my client's brand]? If not, is there another time that would be convenient for you? I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Wow. I am sure "[my client's brand]" would make a very helpful source of information but this really has nothing to do with "[my client's brand]" or apparently anything to do with me. I, in fact, have a soft spot for "[my client's brand]" as there was an insane 24 hour heat wave in Nova Scotia back in the mid-80s which saw temperatures get into the mid-40s C which was only endued by a five gallon buck of ice water filled with "[my client's brand]". Next time Canada replicates the surface of the planet Mercury, I'm making sure I have plenty of "[my client's brand]" on hand.
But what, dear brewer, is the point of all that. Did you want to call me Travis? It seems to me that if you are a brewer or another player in the beer trade and want to have a relationship with me or any other beer blogger you really should be thinking advertising. Then "[my client's brand]" become, in fact, my client's brand. Think of it this way. If you are a brewer or a bar or a an author or a movie maker or anything else beer related and you want to get as much bang for your buck, why pay a PR firm to speak to me when I can be spoken with directly? Likely for a fraction of the cost of professional indirect communication, advertising placed through the glory of semi-professional direct communication means you have a real relationship with a someone who has dedicated years of their life and hours of each day writing about beer culture for the heck of it.
That means if you are a brewpub in south-western Michigan get out there and, in return for an ad placement, support the best beer blogger of south-western Michigan with a stack of five dollar bills and a free growler on Fridays. Likewise, if you are a brewer in Scandinavia or an exporter from the land of reindeer and herring who wants to sell into the English speaking world, pay for space at Knut's place and buy him a drink plus a trip to your city for the weekend. Why this has not occurred to anyone in that part of the globe absolutely mystifies me. Likewise (and no doubt once again), consider Ron. How it remains that Ron Pattinson is not on a pension funded by the sidebar ads from the brewers of the world is beyond all reason. It simply boggles.
I do not suggest this to mean we can be bought. We can't... or at least can't be for the most of the time. But each blogger worth his or her salt is publishing a daily trade periodical and has the right reach, especially for the price charged. We know how to place your ad, how to tell your actual good news and, yet, also how to tell you off for your own good. We offer value. We can also tell when you are seeking to present your business's advertising copy as "news" of some sort and are wasting your precious ad dollars filling up my email's deleted file. And unlike that pricey PR new media intern, it is actually the web 2.0 thing to do.
[Ed.: ...and just like that it looks like we have caught a new opportunity with our appeal to the market place...]