Sneaky-deep public relations #Marketing & PR#marketing#public relations#sponsored posts February 20 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatariel Photo by Luxerta used by CC license Because I have a background in copywriting and marketing, I've been known to accidentally hawk products on my blog … like when I once wrote on my personal blog about how I strangely love the crappy Olive Garden salads, and several people commented that now they wanted to try one. I was like "But wait! That wasn't the point!" I think Olive Garden sucks, and I hate myself for liking their crappy salad. That's what I wanted to write about, and yet somehow the post was persuasive. But then there's the flip side: this is part of how print journalism works, too. Every known a music journalist? They have all the free music they could ever want. Ever met a magazine gadget editor? They have laptops laying all over their apartments, each one given to them for review purposes. I myself push the lines of this. I often work on trade, for instance with Wai Ching on Offbeat Bride. I was transparent about it (she's very clearly listed on the site as a sponsor, and all her posts are sponsored posts), but then I fell in love with the dress she made for me and talked about it on Flickr, too. Was that dishonest? That's not a rhetorical question. This, I think, get the root of the difference between advertising/marketing and public relations. If it's an ad or marketing, you know. Really good public relations, you have no idea you're being influenced … it just slips right into your psyche. It's sneaky-deep, and while pay-for-post placement can seem creepy, bloggers are only following the footsteps of print journalists before them. This is part of why I originally made the step to doing copywriting … I used to edit a music magazine. Every single issue the publisher would ask me to feature someone or something related to an advertiser. Magazines are paid for by advertising, of course. That's all they are, really … ad delivery systems. The content supports the advertising, and the advertising supports the content. When I realized this, I had an aha moment … why was I getting paid crap to basically be a shill disguised as a magazine editor when I could be making decent money working in marketing? And thus, a hack was born. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS Bothersome comment types NEXT Our editorial process Show/Hide comments [ 0 ] Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.