Bloggers: Don't bring a keyboard to a knife fight

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PhineasSwann's picture
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09/25/2012

I thought this Dublin innkeeper's response in the past to vegans was pretty childish, but I fully support him in his war against preening bloggers trying to type their way into free rooms. 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5297031/Dublin-hotel-sends-YouTuber-INVOICE-5-289-000.html

For those scoring at home:

  • 22 year old plays the "let me stay free, I'll blog you a great review" card
  • Innkeeper writes post reprinting her request (without identifying information) and his epic response.
  • Blogger decides she wants to go to war, outs herself and then gets harassed for her efforts, blames innkeeper.
  • Innkeeper sends her 5 million pound bill for all her free publicity

Epic. 

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dumitru's picture
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10/07/2013

Both parties involved in this "scandal" have immensely benefited from it all.

The blogger became "that girl" and had her 5 minutes of Internet fame.
The hotel, besides all the publicity, now has a credible way of combating any negative future reviews. They can now just say that a negative review is caused by this event, and not by a genuine negative experience.

We live in a wonderful day and age. In their pursuit of "entertainment", people focus on useless stories like this one.

Meanwhile there are islands of plastic waste floating in our oceans... 

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Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Sometimes we just need a break from the plastic island floating in the ocean. We can laugh, shake our heads, and then go back to saving the world. 

Seriously. I could not handle 24x7 real news. I need to watch a couple of housekeepers pretending to be curling at the Olympics using a dust mop and an iRobot.

And I totally agree they kept at it for publicity.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

It's a violation of the law if they don't disclose they stayed for free. And it's useless if they disclose because then everyone knows it's a paid advertisement. The end result.... is simply NO.. except It's really an F and not an N. 

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PhineasSwann's picture
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09/25/2012

We've gotten a few requests and on one or two occasions when it was slow times tried it. It was never worth it. Usually the "reporter" was a high-maintenance guest and we never tracked any business to the "exposure." 

Likewise, most of the time we get these requests are for busy holiday weekends.

We say no all the time now. Unless someone can reinvent the major metro newspaper Sunday travel sections, there too many of them and none have the numbers to justify a free stay. Plus, in the old days of legitimate travel writers, most had ethics policy that prevented them from receiving anything free. How times have changed. Truism #23: Kardashians ruin everything.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

The one and only time I accepted a travel blogger was when the person was supposedly vetted by the local tourism agency. 2 night weekend stay in July. Guest got free everything - room, dinner, tickets to amusements.

Trashed the room. Then called to ask a couple of questions and based the whole write up on those questions. Never asked if we catered to families but there was a grandma staying with her grandson so the writer said we were family friendly. And that's where the article was sold - a family friendly travel blog.

Tom
Tom's picture
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10/11/2009

Our local tourism agency contacted us to host a couple for 2 nights as they were "writing" about bicycle touring (we are on a Trans Am trail).  The couple only arrived to crash, didn't eat the breakfast and disappeared without any journalistic effort.  They had scammed the tourist agency too, I believe they never met with them.  The tourist agency felt bad about the misrepresentation and actually paid us for the room nights the freeloaders used.  We have never received any return for industry comps.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

I like the ones who email and ask for a photo for a story they are writing. They copy the text from my website, pop in the photo I sent, bingo! Nice travel article written with nothing taken up but my time.

These are not used on the front page of the magazine blog, they are filler. But if someone is reading the big story, they may wander around looking for other info on my town.

And, I get to state on my website 'recommended by...' big name magazine. (Big in New England anyway.)

Better still if they link to me, most don't.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

back in 1999 I got above the fold in the Sunday travel section of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette with my then Inn-to-Inn rail-Trail package. Lucked out with the pitch - one of their reporters was from Shinnston and wrote an awesome article. She said she was not permitted to accept a freebie because she worked for the paper. That was back in the Olden Days.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

We get requests often.  Travel writers, magazine writers.   Pretty sure we always deny.    They generally ask sometime around 4th of July.   Our busiest weekend.

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notAgrandma's picture
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07/07/2017

I read an article about the initial incident and also fully agreed with the innkeeper. I never thought about how much exposure this blogger has received because the exchange went viral. I feel awful that the innkeeper received a bunch of fake reviews sabotaging his business. While I think the 5mil invoice is brilliant, I really wish he'd sue this whiny blogger for damages!

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