Press Credentials for Corporate Bloggers – Coverage at any cost?
Some conferences seem to be loosening the standards by which they decide who will cover their shows as members of the press. One reason may be to embrace new media writers and online mechanisms (e.g., bloggers, tweeters, etc) amidst a pool of shrinking journalists. The other reason may be one of desperation by conference promoters who want coverage at any cost.
I’m not talking about the “traditional journalists vs independent bloggers” debate. Instead, this new trend involves granting press credentials to corporate bloggers – often full-time employees of a sponsoring company – as well as for-hire marketing consultants who may or may not be former editors.
For example, I’ve been told that this year’s Design Automation Conference (DAC) will open its press ranks to a much wider – some might say looser – range of “writers.” As of yet, I have not received verification from EDAC that this is truly the case. Indeed, a quick read of the “46th DAC Media Credential Qualification Guidelines” suggests that the opposite is true:
“Media accreditation is limited to those acting in an editorial capacity for relevant print, online and broadcast media. Publishers/associate publishers, sales, advertising, PR, marketing, market research, technical support staff, consultants and exhibiting company personnel are not eligible for press credentials.”
Still, several trusted colleagues have told me that DAC is indeed extending press credentials to corporate bloggers as well as marketing consultants. Those of us in the business understand the reasons behind such a move, but that doesn’t lessen the serious long term implications.
Before I delve any further into the potential consequences of such a trend, I’d like to get your opinions and thoughts. Please share them with me directly via the blog or discreetly at: firstname.lastname@example.org