Sky Full of Bacon

Should I take the (teeny tiny) Boeing?

So, I got two invites from PR folks recently to events. One a meet and greet with a winemaker, one a dinner at a steak house I’d barely heard of before. I’ve gotten them before, but somehow a sports bar in Downer’s Grove was a resistible temptation. These, I’m a little less resistant to, but at the same time, I wouldn’t mind hearing anybody’s feedback as to whether or not I should do these things.

• Could be fun (and one is a definite networking with other food bloggers thing).
• It’s not like I’m getting paid any other way.
• I don’t feel I have to follow newspaper-biz standards of anonymity/objectivity, obviously I’m already compromised to an extent Phil Vettel couldn’t tolerate whenever I make a video about somebody, I figure you’re smart enough to get that I’m not exactly purely objective on a place like Mado or Blackbird, but at the same time, my enthusiasm is clearly sincere to anyone who watches my videos which are plainly sympathetic to how they approach cooking. As long as I don’t write about these places for some publication that demands higher standards, it shouldn’t be a problem.

• Won’t my midwestern good manners make me want to say something ever so slightly nice even about a place I hated, hated, hated? Can I be objective, or am I a bit too much of a conciliator (yes, I often am that in life, no matter how I may seem to be riding a momentum of snark sometimes in my writing).
• Some bloggers have already demonstrated they can be bought very, very cheaply at these things. Maybe it’s better to just steer clear of the whole thing, avoid the taint.
• I’m not really a steakhouse guy. I will probably be ennh. Then I’ll piss off the PR person, who won’t invite to something I’d at least like better. (In other words, don’t sell out now, save doing so for something really good!)

Anyone have any thoughts?

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6 Responses to “Should I take the (teeny tiny) Boeing?”

  1. Eddie Lakin Says:

    I got invited to the steakhouse thing, and I’m going (2nd night). I inquired about their expectations wrt blogging about it and they were like ‘whatever’. I’m in the same boat as you, essentially, but figure that if I can meet up with some other bloggers and have a decent meal for free, what’s the harm? I also value the integrity of my blog and wouldn’t write about stuff if i didn’t genuinely like it. Hope you go. It’d be great to meet you in person.

    email me if you’d like to further discuss it.

  2. Michael Morowitz Says:

    I used to get a lot of this stuff when I was doing I went to a few but it generally annoyed me. Basically, the test I applied was, “If I wouldn’t otherwise consider writing about the place, then I wouldn’t go.”

  3. Jon in Albany Says:

    I’ve been following your blog since the headcheese video got mentioned on Ruhlman’s blog. I’ve seen all the movies and read all the posts since then as well as some of your archives.

    The minimum price to “buy” you or your blog is clearly greater than a free steak or wine party. If I had to guess at a price, it would involve your retirement and several offshore bank accounts in the tax-free Bahamas.

    You are right – the steak will be mediocre at best. I’m sure you could do better grilling one at home. Maybe some of the wine will be good. Who knows? But, if you are interested in meeting like minded bloggers in person…then go meet them.

    I can’t speak for everyone in cyberspace, but knowing you ate a free steak and drank some free wine will not stop me from following the blog or watching your next movie.

    Just my 2 cents…

  4. Michael Gebert Says:

    Yeah, I’m less concerned about any crude monetary form of compromise (ie, being bought) than in feeling that I need to be nice afterwards, or at least a little generous or forgiving, since I met the people in person… that’s the weakness I fear in myself. (Mark Bittman may doubt it after that review, but really, it is.) Anonymity protects in more than one way.

    The most tempting part of this now is now that Eddie (E L) will be there. As it turns out, though, my wife’s out of town that week anyway, which makes it tough to figure what to do with the kids, so… hey Eddie, maybe we just need to go grab a bite sometime, and pay our own way.

  5. E L Says:

    Good call, Michael. I’m actually not going now. The contact wrote me and said that due to limited response, they were canceling the wednesday dinner and just doing it on tuesday, which I can’t make.

    I like your idea better. Maybe we should try to get some sort of informal chicago blogger monthly dinner going or something….tuesday and thursday nights work well for me, if you’re at all interested.

  6. Sky Full of Bacon » Blog Archive » Annals in Schmoozing: #33 Roof, #34 State and Lake Says:

    […] code of ethics that foodbloggers signed onto (let alone wore a badge for).  When we visited it the time before that, I was debating whether or not to attend a PR event for a restaurant (as it turned out I […]