Friday, November 26, 2010

A counter-press release from Beirut/NTSC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Beirut, November 26, 2010:
I am pissed: not "pissed" as in "drunk" but pissed as in "upset". In the last few days my inbox has witnessed a flurry of press releases from different organizations. Which I don't mind because it keeps me abreast of news and I keep track of what is going on in the market. Now here's the upsetting part - I learnt that these people who sent them actually EXPECT me to publish the press releases.
Now, let us examine the facts:
If you were to publish a press release in a "traditional" media concerned with advertising and communucation (ArabAd and Communicate come to mind) would they have accepted to give you the space for free? Would you have expected the space to be given for free? Let's face it, if they give it out to you pro bono it is because you have bought massively or at least regularly advertising space in their publications and this would be their small token of appreciation for making them heaps of money.
When was the last time you bought advertising space on Beirut/NTSC? When was the last time you contributed financially to the effort I am putting?... Sure, as we say in Arabic "mish 3am rabbe7 jmile" which roughly translated means "I am not emotionally blackmailing you". If I do Beirut/NTSC and spent hours upon hours (highlighting for additional effect) archiving, writing, commenting, explaining, and all the yada-yada, it's because I want to do it. No one has twisted my arm to do it, it was me who decided to fill that gap in the market.
But I suppose that this last bit is so taken for granted from organisations that actually make money (another highlight for additional effect) out of this - whereas I do not. When I met Nathalie Bontems at an event earlier this year (her official title is: Beirut Operations Manager at Mediaquest (which owns Communicate), her unofficial title is "friend" :) ) I greeted her and said: "Here comes the competition!" To which she replied "we don't compete with one another, we complement each other" and I retorted "yes, and only ONE of us makes money out of it."
So ladies and gentlemen, I don't mind you keeping your news coming and letting me be at the center of events, but if you intend to show off my blog to your clients or whomever is paying YOU for this, either A) Pay me money and let ME have my part of the cake, or B) Do not have unreasonable EXPECTATIONS from something that is done on solitary basis more than anything else (whereas I am endebted to other people's contributions - specifically visual - I am still the "one man army" behind the blog).
Bottom line: I am still "pissed." Pity the blog name "Angry Arab" has already been taken!
- ENDS -
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