Recently, one of my clients was approached by an editor about a potential advertisement and story opportunity with his publication. After careful research about the publication and advertising budgets, my client declined to contribute for an ad placement, but suggested a news article.

Accordingly, we reached out to this editor on behalf of our client, and sold him on a story about my client’s innovative technology and the numerous applications to entertainment, medicine and a number of other uses. The editor even came back with several questions regarding the system specifications and wanted a quotation or two to complete his story.

Yet then at 1:37 a.m. EST, he sends the following nasty-gram to my clients:

{President of company}:

I’ve been thinking about {your innovative} systems. You said my magazine would be great fit for your products, which is why your pr agency has contacted me several times to publish a story. But I’m still unclear about a few things. It sounds like you want me to publish a story for my 38,000 readers about your products, but you have no intention of ever supporting this or any other magazine because you have no advertising budget. Is that your position? You want all of the benefits of my magazine and others, but you aren’t willing to support them, right?

{Pissed off editor}

Whoa! Not so fast.

If we wanted to do an advertorial, we would have inquired about one when you first approached us. We were clear that we did not want to run an ad, and you were clear that there was a potential story opportunity. But now you’ve gone and attacked my client? Big mistake

This is exactly the type of publication we would NEVER want our clients associated with. One that only lends its credibility to the monthly advertising billings. Apparently you don’t have enough trust in your journalistic prowess, nor do you believe that compelling articles and fair reviews are what your audience wants. Instead, you think that building a “magazine” that is completely full-page ads is journalism that any company would want to be associated with.

I’m sorry, but pay-for-play is not our cup of tea. We believe that it completely devalues and discredits any story that might have run. I understand that you may have sales goals. But you should first and foremost have quality goals.

We don’t care if you need an ad now, we care about the quality of story that you might publish. If it’s a great run, we might reward you next month with an ad buy. But if you’re setting paradigms where coverage is only guaranteed or warranted by an advertising contract, adios.

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