What Is Inside The Pay-For-Post ICO Industry? - Part 2

Continuing from the earlier post we bring the thoughts of experts on the ICO industry. In particular, how are journalists being influenced by it? The whole account is quite interesting. 

The Continuation From The Earlier Post

With each spot having its price it is often noted that in the low hundreds of dollars it means that those spots are therefore mostly pay-for-play anyway. No PR company promises coverage whereas the many pay-for-paly folks have mentioned that in their communications while hiding it in plain sight as the snippet had originally appeared in a contract for work from one of the pay-for-play providers whereas it is evident that you’re paying for something they cannot guarantee to get and interestingly the PR company calls their product an IO which is insertion order as the language used in ad sales. Taking great pains, they are explaining that it is almost impossible to achieve what they promise. 

Is It True That Journalists Should Never Expect Money For Coverage?

Many do.

According to Brittany Whitmore, the CEO at Exvera Communications, they have lately worked on the number of blockchain technology pieces as they have encountered a wide variety of theses tasks. Seeming to do a lot of pay-to-play there is a lot of new smaller blockchain-focused outlets trying to capitalise on the ICO gold rush as the strangest request received was that the outlet would, therefore, do an article about the news for free, whereas they have to be paid over $1000 to promote the article with ads. 

Jon Christian had explored this world in a detailed article on the Outline and found many writers receiving small sums for a single brand mention in the story as a sort of SEO flogging that rarely helps.

According to him,

Speaking on condition of anonymity an unpaid contributor to the Huffington Post was quoted that they would be pretty disturbed in case their name got out there as he included sponsored references to brands in his articles for years on the Huffington Post and other sites, on behalf of six separate agencies. While some agencies were paying him directly, he mentioned it was in amounts that can be as small as $ 50 or $175 whereas others have paid him through the employee’s personal PayPal account to obfuscate the source of funds. Therefore, it was in a statement that Huffington Post said that using the HuffPost Contributors Network self-publishing paid content violating their terms of use where anyone discovered to be engaging in such abuse has their post to be removed from the site and banned from future publication. 

Thereby the writer in the Huffington Post described specific brands he had written about on behalf of the agencies ranging from a popular ride-hailing app to publicly-traded site for booking flights and hotels to the large American cell phone service provider. According to him, this comes to be the classic example of payola invoking the term being used to describe radio DJs accepting payments from record companies to play certain artists on the air. 

Many influencers, furthermore are folks selling their Internet fame to the highest bidder masquerading as journalists asking thereby for outrageous sums flogging an ICO on their YouTube channel or the Instagram page while pay-for-play services are putting out organic content like this in hopes of appearing in the news. 

As the rule of the thumb comes, paid posts, as well as native advertising, is simply not journalism whereas ultimately those who charge for coverage are marketers. Several disreputable news organisations are making the rounds as no one at any reputable news organisation will ask for cash. 

When It Comes To ICO Spamming/Don’t Do It

All the discussion doesn’t answer the question which is relevant here to be should you pay-to-post?

In this context, the short answer according to Kevin Bourke of BourkePR is no and he gets asked all the time and in fact, turned down another request as he advises his clients to decline these offers as well. 

In a way that is familiar and desirable to any modern-day entrepreneur, the pay-for-post disrupts journalism as the middlemen being knocked out everywhere as the brands are approaching consumers from every angle that includes native ads in Instagram and Twitter with the value of coverage which is real coverage from a journalists perspective is observed to be the opportunity to explain complex ideas to a ready audience. It is far more important that while posting a picture of a blockchain on Facebook as well as hoping for clicks is one strategy explaining the views, opinions, and insights in case you approach it from a mercenary position. 

As Bourke says, when you start paying for placement, then you remove objectivity and credibility while in his opinion it is the reason to look for coverage of the company/products in the first-place influencing readers/viewers understanding the temptation for start-ups. It is here that you come to believe that all visibility is good visibility as he can just agree with that. 

The Final Thoughts To Sum Up The Discussion

He further explains that he sees the trend toward paid placements, paid awards and he can’t stand it particularly with the trade show awards in high tech completely devaluing the Best of Show awards in many cases. It, therefore, comes to be typical that the big companies with budgets can afford them whereas many of the smaller ones with no money but amazing products get left out understanding that the publishing industry, therefore, needs to figure out new revenue streams as they come to be difficult times for them. 

In his opinion, they have to figure out smarter business models while maintaining the integrity of editorialised content built on the opinions and perspectives of journalists and influencers.  

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