Re: An ethical question

Subject: Re: An ethical question
From: Emily Berk <emily -at- armadillosoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 17:45:11 -0700

On Mon, 15 Jul 2002 08:29:41 -0400, Peter <pnewman1 -at- optonline -dot- net> wrote:
>Bruce Byfield wrote:
>>This week, a PR person contacted me about "collaborating"
>> with a company. At first, the comments suggested that the intent was to
>> produce some marketing collateral. However, further e-mails made clear
>> that the point was to cooperate in writing reviews about the company's
>> products. ...
>Bruce, normally the answer to any ethical question is: "If you have to
>ask, it is unethical." YOur name and reputation ride with every review you give.

Hmmm. I guess I am not as ethical as you all.

One thing I realized long, long ago, and very, very soon after I started to write for mass-market technology magazines, was that everything in every magazine is, essentially, PR.

For example, when I wrote competitive reviews of products, whichever vendor came in last was always absolutely shocked, shocked. As I've gotten older, wiser, more averse to conflict and more appreciative of a regular paycheck, I've learned that it's always easiest (on me) to review products I LIKE and to just avoid mentioning products I don't like.

So, Bruce, if I were being given this opportunity, what I would think about is, "Is it possible for me to be quite positive when I discuss this product?" If so, I would take the project.

I'm not saying that I would not mention any deficiencies in the product, because I probably would. But if I could ascertain up front that I did have significant nice things to say about the product, I WOULD take this project.


~ Emily Berk ~
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