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  1. #1
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    Is CJ Trying to Limit Press Coverage of CJU?
    Revenue Magazine reports on their blog that they were denied a press pass (free admittance) to CJU.
    I was told that regardless of being with the press (which never, ever pays for any events since they are there to cover them as news) that I must fork over $695 to attend CJU. I was told that all the press passes had been given out and that I was still welcome to attend, if I wanted to pay. Several of CJs top affiliates suggested that I pass and said they might do the same.
    http://www.revenuetoday.com/blogs/index.php?m=20060823

    IMO, this is a huge mistake on CJ's part. Seems they're biting off their nose to spite their face.

  2. #2
    15 years and counting
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    Seems like Lisa Picarille is seeing an other face of Affiliate Marketing.

  3. #3
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piscarelli
    ...that I must fork over $695 to attend CJU. I was told that all the press passes had been given out
    CJ doesn't want Lisa and/or Revenue Mag there?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    CJ doesn't want Lisa and/or Revenue Mag there?
    Nope, they don't. Maybe they know about an upcoming article that isn't putting them in the greatest light.... but you would think they would want "equal time" to show their good (eh hem) side.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    They have a hood side?
    Freudian slip meant good but there were so many h's in Loxly's post
    IMO, this is a huge mistake on CJ's part. Seems they're biting off their nose to spite their face.
    Totally agree with this. WIth all the stuff they have been getting press about lately, I would take any chance I could to spin you right round baby, right round.
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
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  6. #6
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    No Entitlement to Press Passes
    As a former journalist, I can offer some insight.

    In the past, most companies that host "public" conferences and events absolutely LOVE press coverage, and give out press passes to any credible journalist. There is no "standard" for the number of press passes given out, nor for the credentials required to qualify as a journalist. When I worked full-time for BYTE and InfoWorld magazines, I never had any trouble getting a press pass to any computer industry event. During the years when I was a "freelance writer," I still had little difficulty getting free press access (occasionally I had to show a copy of an article I'd written within some recent time period, or a magazine's editor's letter stating that I was assigned to attend the event).

    However, there have always been specific companies and specific events that were more limited, and for which press attendance was restricted or prohibited. Indeed, when I ran a couple of small conferences in 1998-1999, I think I took the position that anyone from the "press" would need to pay the same nominal fee (to cover the cost of setup, rental, lunch, and some give-away items) as other attendees, and that "press" would be excluded from certain sessions to encourage frank discussion by participants.

    As much as I despise CJ, their conference is a perfect example of the type of event that may require restrictions on press attendance. First, it is a huge profit-maker, and has a limited number of seats for attendees -- every press pass means one less paid attendee. Second, the company may choose to disclose information to affiliates at some sessions which it does not want to be public. Third, the company may want to encourage frank and open feedback from affiliates, which might not happen if attendees fear that their words will be reported in a magazine (or CJ may feel that press coverage would deter its staff from asking hard questions that might generate frank discussion). Fourth, the company may have set up a policy for press passes some time ago, and set a fixed limit on the number of passes, and this particular reporter's application came in after that number was already issued. Fifth, CJ may have set a limit on the number of press passes issued per publication, and perhaps other reporters or editors have already filled those slots.

    Another issue that has emerged since 1994 is the issue of "who is a journalist?" Is someone who writes a blog (and no other publication) a "journalist"? Who should decide which "journalists" will be allowed free admittance to events? (This doesn't seem like an issue for a reporter for a print magazine like Revenue.)

    Of course, since I despise CJ, I certainly think it's possible that the company might want to discourage press coverage in order to prevent reporting of negative information (for example, criticism of its recent failed link transition effort, or defaults by its merchants).

    Keep in mind that most publications have a firm policy barring journalists from attending "junkets" or other events that could be construed as "bribes" or "influence." When I was a reporter for BYTE, the magazine paid for my expenses to several events which we considered to be "junkets" (including a Motorola weekend seminar at a luxury resort in Arizona). When I was a syndicated newspaper columnist, my partner and I paid our own expenses to attend an annual seminar event for legal journalists by West Publishing, despite the company's offer to pay all expenses for all attendees.

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    My opinion... they... (jack nicholson voice...)... can't handle the truth.

    See page 120 of Revenue mag's July/August 2006 issue.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I suppose there is no chance I could talk CJ into a free pass.

    Yeah, probably not. Would have to change my avatar to something much more positive (as well as edit a few dozen posts).

    But I am looking forward to hearing from folks that go as to how it went. If anyone going can give us a day by day blow, that would also be appreciated.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Mark, that was a lot of information that likely does not apply in this case, especially the part about issuing multiple passes to one news organization. I doubt that Revenue Magazine is a large enough organization to be sending more than one reporter to CJU and if they were, Lisa would have mentioned that in her blog post. Even with a free entry, there are still a lot of costs incurred in travel and taking the reporter away from his/her other responsibilities.

    As far as open discussion that could be compromised by the presence of the media, since press passes have been issued, that certainly would not apply. The reason given was clearly a financial one.

    As to your comment about CJU being a "huge profit-maker," I seriously doubt that, especially in a city like Santa Barbara where costs are very high.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I never even considered it being a profit maker. I guess I always thought or hoped they were doing it close to cost because in the long run it would increase sales by having better educated affiliates, as well as the opportunity to link affiliates with merchants at CJU. I'm sure they don't want to take a loss, but doubt (or hope) it is not short term profit maker just for the event.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  11. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If anyone from the press should be there, it would be Revenue Magazine. They're the only industry magazine. It seems rather short-sighted of CJ to not give Revenue a press pass.
    Michael Coley
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  12. #12
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    I agree, but look closely, every ezines in Santa Barbara will be there.

  13. #13
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    Is CJU Profitable?
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    As to your comment about CJU being a "huge profit-maker," I seriously doubt that, especially in a city like Santa Barbara where costs are very high.
    Perhaps you're right -- perhaps CJ pays more to put on the event than it earns. I really doubt it, but as I've mentioned often, I despise CJ.

    But do the math.

    Revenue:
    - $595 per attendee, which does not include travel or hotel.
    - Event sponsorships by 12 merchants.

    Expenses:
    - Even assuming one of the more expensive conference-center packages in San Francisco (such as the downtown Marriott), complete conference facility rental and service staff, including all meals paid, should not cost more than $100 per person per day (assuming typical meals; lobster costs more). A competent meeting planner could keep the event cost much lower. Event space in Santa Barbara is generally less expensive than San Francisco, but I suppose you could pay more if you wanted to.
    - I don't know if CJ pays for the expenses of any of its non-employee speakers (such as airfare and hotel), nor if it pays fees to its speakers.
    - I don't know what kind of "goodie bag" may be given to attendees, nor whether CJ pays for any of the contents.
    - I'm not sure how you'd account for the time spent by CJ employees at the event, but certainly the per-person event costs would include them.

    While I haven't arranged any conference events lately, I covered all my expenses with a fee of $49 per person for my last all-day event in a San Francisco hotel in 1999, which included multiple breakout rooms plus breakfast, lunch, and break snacks for all attendees, plus a program binder with 400+ pages.

  14. #14
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    At $595 a head, I doubt that they make very much on the conference, though up until revently LS did theirs for free in NYC but that was only a day. It's awfully tough to keep anything announced at a conference from getting out and with bloggers all over the place as a speaker and probably as a company you have to be a lot more careful about what you say.

    It used to be nice to be able to go to a conference and really share some details, "secrets" up on the podium and to some extent you still can but since no conference is really closed door anymore I think speakers tend to be a bit more reserved about what they say.

    As for press passes, if this thing hasn't sold out yet, there can't be a shortage of available slots and the incremental cost to hand out a press pass is zero if the slot has already been paid for by CJ and it's not going to be sold. Maybe they are just picking and choosing who they want to go or maybe the Rev journalist missed a deadline?

  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    If anyone from the press should be there, it would be Revenue Magazine. They're the only industry magazine. It seems rather short-sighted of CJ to not give Revenue a press pass.
    I know that Revenue was at Affiliate Summit, Revenue was at Andy's Affiliate Manager Certification Seminar, Performics' Client Summit and I believe they were at the LinkShare Summit. It seems to me that the $695 CJ would be waiving for the press pass is far cheaper than buying space in Revenue magazine. Press coverage is press coverage. Michael is right, not supplying a press pass to Revenue, is very short-sighted of CJ.
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Everything about CJ lately is looking more and more short sighted.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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