It’s Sarah Lockard, food blogger for AroundMainLine.com, which I’m not going to link to because I’m not sending the greedy thang my page views because she’s giving us all a bad name… and that’s something I can accomplish just fine on my own, thank you very much.
Earlier this week – as ably and dutifully chronicled by Philly Mag and JimRomensko.com, who can receive my clickitals – Lockard sent the following email to local restaurants so she could get some free shit on Christmas Eve:
From: Sarah Lockard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: December 9, 2013 at 9:17:32 PM EST
Subject: Host the Awesome Lockards on Christmas Eve!
Every Christmas Eve my family enjoys an amazing night dining out and this year I am offering you the exciting opportunity to be our restaurant that hosts us!
The host restaurant will receive approximately $1,000 in PR with AML:
1) 2 Facebook posts on AML’s Facebook page promoting the respective restaurant as the restaurant of choice for AML’s family for Christmas Eve
2) 5 instagram photos during the dining experience
3) 2 AML enewsletter ads in Jan and Feb 2014 (reaches over 3,000 unique individuals)
4) listed in our Christmas Eve dining guide published Dec 10th, 2013 on AML.
We are asking for the following in turn:
Dinner for 5 drinks and food compensated, we will tip according to the value to the server.
This is a VERY innovative and effective way to promote your restaurant on this very competitive evening and reach tens of thousands of local foodies through AML’s channels.
Please note this is first come, first serve.
I am excited to hear from you!
Be THE top restaurant we recommend this Christmas Eve to our HUGE audience!!!!
Your Online Magazine Covering the Main Line and Western Suburbs
Providing Online Advertising, Marketing, Events, Social Media Consulting and More!
Organizer of Main Line Restaurant Week
Cliff notes: She wants a restaurant to comp a dinner for her and her family on Christmas Eve and, in return, she’ll give them all sorts of free advertising and exposure.
First of all: There’s nothing wrong with an advertising swap. The meal has a monetary value and so do the ads. That’s fine. But offering to Facebook post and instantly gram positive things about the restaurant without making it known that, yeah, I’m whoring myself out, is where she went wrong here.
This happens more often than you’d think, though. There’s an entire subset of people – socialites – in Philly whose images are constructed atop disingenuous PR stunts and photo ops. I get invited and solicited for a lot of that shit and generally ignore it because A) I’m lazy and B) I’d rather stick an icicle in my eye than spend every weeknight at some fundraiser slash publicity stunt just so my picture turns up in a magazine. But even those people are, simultaneously, more discrete about soliciting those things and more transparent to followers about them being sponsored events and products. Sexting restaurants for a freebie swap is pretty much the worst way to go about it.
Second: But even if you still want to go that route, there’s a much more subtle way to do this, Sarah. Watch: Boy, I’d really like to take Ms. CB out for a holiday dinner at a high-end steak joint in the city, but I’m just not sure it’s worth it what with the economy and all. I’d love to tell you how great my porterhouse from, say, the Capital Grille was, but it just doesn’t seem worth the investment. Oh well.
Or, you know, just have GM loan you a free, spectacular – did I mention spectacular! - Cadillac for no apparent reason:
Anyway, that’s how it’s done. Just exist, Sarah. Mention a few things in passing, and you’d be surprised what happens. No need to spread your legs to the highest bidder that you solicited with one of the dumbest emails ever written by a human whose annoying existence is basically having credible opinions on places and products.
But hey, it was a just a mistake. Poor judgement. I get it. It happens. It’s not like you’re a bitch or anything…
… ohhhh. Well now this is awkward.
I read this three times just to be sure that I was interpreting it correctly – that Lockard threatened to charge businesses (and individuals?) $75 just for occupying a small slice of her inbox – and, yep, she did.
You’re not a good person, Ms. Lockard. And now all this misplaced anger toward you has me hungry. Boy, I could really go for a Dinic’s Roast Pork sandwich sometime soon.
H/T to Hall of Fame CB Reader (@PhillyPartTwo)