Nuffnang turned 5 on Monday and I was really honoured to be part of the birthday celebration 🙂
And the saga continues...
The restaurant issued their press statement. For those who can't view the pdf file, I copied and pasted for your easy reading.
Press Statement – 24th Aug 2010
Private Affairs, Singapore – This is a formal statement in response to the article by Yahoo News Singapore, “Food blogger who demands free meal sparks outrage online”. This statement represents strictly the views and stands from the Private Affairs management (hereinafter referred to as “We”)
As we were made aware by the unexpected said incident occurred at our Sunday Brunch on last Sunday, 22nd Aug 2010, we did not expect this unfortunate episode to spark into a fiery debate within the local food blogging community and eventually led to the attention of our local media.
Nevertheless, we sincerely thank each and every individual, who have showed concerns and expressed valuable opinions relating to this incident.
Despite the unexpected publicity from this incident, we have no intentions to exploit this incident for the fame of any individual/s or property involved as suggested in some comments; therefore, it is critical, we want to make an official statement and clarifications with regards to this matter before it escalates into potential repercussions that may affect our restaurants’ credibility or cause any further unnecessary unhappiness or discontent to any parties involved
The candid remarks and unacceptable responses from the said blogger were certainly uncalled for. We were not impressed by his behaviour, action and mannerism.
Private Affairs, a 40-seater restaurant serving Modern European cuisine with Asian touches, is a quaint gem that has caught the attention of many food lovers. Our little success was the credit of various media coverage since its opening in October 2009.
We have always extended media tasting invitation to avid food bloggers based on recommendations of reliable sources. We embraced food blogging and believe there is a certain extent of social integrity, moral and professionalism inculcated in every blogger.
However, we also want to highlight, the food blogs about Private Affairs are based on individual blogger’s real experience and is not in any way altered or influenced by Private Affairs. The food bloggers were clear and transparent in stating that their gastronomy adventures were invited sessions.
We hope this incident does not discourage the food blogger community to pursue their passion in food blogging. We feel that there is a lot of integrity and clout in this community and we can bring our similar passion which is great food to the people. We will continue to support and promote the spirit behind the passion of food writing and sharing with food lovers.
More importantly, we want to take this opportunity to suggest a possible formation of a governing body or an association/society, which cultivates and promotes the appropriate manner of blogging and blogger’s etiquette. There should be some guidelines and policies implemented to avoid any similar incidents from occurring again.
The Management and Staff of Private Affairs Kitchen & Bar
People were asking me on what's my PR take over the whole press release? To me?
Just bloody hell say its a miscommunication/misunderstanding between both parties, admit that it was a genuine mistake, played the "bigger man" card and move on lah!
Hey, if you wanna be showy, even take a picture with the food blogger at another food tasting/makan session and show that all is good and forgiven.
Like I said, bigger man card. But that's just my take. What's yours?
[I'll be talking about this as a PR point of view]
So much hoohah has happened within a span of 48 hours.
[The background] Ladyironchef (from now known as the food blogger) was invited by a PR girl from Private Affairs for a food tasting session some time back and he was unable to make it. The food blogger then informed PR girl on another date where he will be able to make it. PR girl then asked if he would be bringing another guest in which the food blogger said yes and he would be bringing another two guests. PR girl acknowledged him.
How come PR girl didn't tell the food blogger that the two additional guests would have to pay? While it might be industry standards to just bring a +1 to a food tasting session, shouldn't PR girl not assume that the food blogger might not know the industry standards? She could have gently informed the food blogger that.
OLD MOTHER STORY: Last time when i was working in a PR agency, my colleague Jiayi and I were incharge of both the traditional and digital media for a certain beauty expo. I had invited a beauty blogger and she had asked to bring 3 additional guests.
Did I say no? I did not. I checked if they were beauty bloggers too, they were! I saw it as more mileage (but never to assume that you'll get guaranteed publicity okay!) and to my advantage and I told her to bring them by all means. Jiayi and I were more than happy to host them. Hey, why not? I get more bloggers to add to my "database" (such an ugly word but you get what i mean) and I might even get more coverage out of it.
And you know what? All of the guests blogged about the event. It was a win-win situation.
In any case, if the restaurant could not (or would not) be able to cover the costs (or include two more guests), gently tell the food blogger (or any other blogger) so. [If it was me, I would have gently told him the restaurant could only cover him and his guest but we'll be more than happy to offer a 10% discount to his 2 other dining companions.]
[My (as a blogger) take] Many a times when I was invited for events, I would ask the PR person if it's possible to bring a guest or two. I have had situations where the PR person would gently tell me it isn't convenient to bring said guests. Did I take offence? Not at all.
[Okay, back to PR take] So not only was this not handled well, (I'm not saying the food blogger has no fault in it, he does too. He should have clarified with said PR girl if it was fine bringing the two additional dining companions and not tossed his credit card on the table), the PR girl FAILZ by not informing said food blogger and did not do her job well to ensure such negative publicity is not "leaked out".
The question is: How did the (other) food bloggers and media find out about the whole situation? A PR person's jobscope is to manage reputation, and salvage the brand image and name, no?
What I see is that this is a huge misunderstanding. While the PR girl has FAILZ in not informing the food blogger about the additional guests and the food blogger may not have have responded in the most desirable manner, shouldn't this NOT be publicised? Naming (or shaming in this case) the food blogger (or any other journalist) isn't going to help you gain cookie points with them. You'll never know when you might need/meet them again.
Well, unless this kind of publicity is the kind that Private Affairs like to have about their restaurant? And here I thought publicity about one's food was supposed to be the best kind of publicity for a restaurant.
Perhaps I should add this in my How to engage a blogger? post.
p/s: I'm not going to talk about how the other food bloggers posted about Ladyironchef. They probably did not know better after hearing just a one-sided view from the restaurant or whoever who spoke about the incident.