06 August 2007

Cash for questions...cash for answers...

...cash for simply turning up.

Apparently, in China, it's normal practive for hacks to receive cash payments - known as 'transport money' - from PR companies for attending press events.

I read that the practice has been criticised as it "skews coverage in an increasingly competitive news market". It also seems, however, to enjoy official endorsement as the payments - also know as 'hongbao' by hacks (or 'red envelopes') - are based on rates agreed with China's Public Relations Association.

I think it's a great idea. Hacks get to supplement their pitiful incomes, PRs can guarantee a nice piece of coverage. There's no downside.

There is..? Editorial intewhat? Don't know what you're talking about.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not so unusual. Trust an old IT hack, this one wasn't unknown in the UK past. Add to that offers of prostitutes as well as cash expenses and even, believe it or not, wacky baccy and cocaine for the games journalists.

....the world's leading.... said...

Wacky baccy..? Cocaine..? In the PR industry? Are you sure?

I had it down as being as clean and healthy as a three-week cycle ride through the French countryside.

Anonymous said...

prostitutes, coke, waccy backy, cash bungs - damn I was born into this IT journo game too late. Either that or I'm too naive

Anonymous said...

TWL said:

"Hacks get to supplement their pitiful incomes, PRs can guarantee a nice piece of coverage. There's no downside."

True, true - but isnt that what press trips are all about?

Anonymous said...

Anyone else sick of having to order water at press lunches too?

Anonymous said...

Last 3GSM there were quite a few (substantiated) rumours of a couple of hacks asking for ££s to turn up to briefings.

I believe the going rate was around £100 - but I was a little unclear as to whether it included coverage.

Anonymous said...

The name Guy Goma springs to mind there, or something similar . . .

Anonymous said...

Anyone else sick of having to order water at press lunches too?

Yes I do too darling.

Anonymous said...

In China, it is not unusual for less-than-honest journalists and people in power to look for payment in kind, particularly from attractive young ladies.

A formerly well-known UK PR agency in the mid-to-late 1990s was said to have a reputation for providing a similar exchange. Not exactly prostitution, but definitely services provided above and beyond th ecall of duty.

There were also some journalists who described stories as 1, 2 or 3 gram stories. I don't know if anybody given into this form of solicitation.

It is well known that some industries such as music and entertainment still provides 'additional' entertainment to their media contacts.

artichoke said...

Well blow me - I never thought I'd see the day when being a hack in Maosville would appeal. Bring it merrily on I say!

For the record I like being schmoozed and you lot don't seem to do it well enough these days. You know not to call me of an afternoon, so where exactly do you have to dash off to before I've had a chance to order Cognac?

In fact I'm making a stand. If any of you lot turn up for lunch with your client and try to fob me off with mineral water you'll get nowt out of me from now on. Hit me with three stars and a decent Bordeux and I'll personally kill the sub and the ed and put you on the front page.

And before some smart AE asks, no I'm not going to reveal who I am. You'll just have to treat every single journo like royalty from now on..

Anonymous said...

I suggest the press request the PRs to hang around after the briefing to 'discuss further opportunities'. The client leaves happy, thinking they are going to get some great coverage and the PR can happily order from the wine list on the client's expenses. As long as coverage comes out of it, everyone's a winner.