Chad Parkhill visited Italy as a guest of Gruppo Campari
So, journo gets a freebie. And they are fun freebies, a wander around Italy, decent meals, nice hotels, visits to distillers of amari, wondrous actually. The quid pro quo being that you’ve then got to get a piece or two describing the underlying subject, amari, into the papers.
How, The Guardian, hmm, what angle?
What kind of carbon footprint, I wonder, is contained in the average bottle of Averna or Bràulio? And how could anyone ever know, given that the recipe is such a closely guarded secret that neither Fici nor Peloni can answer any of my questions about which other parts of the world provided the base ingredients for their amari? (Gruppo Campari responds to my queries about the sustainability of their products with general comments about how the group has “always invested in the quality of its products, the health and safety of its workers and in safeguarding the environment”.)
Climate change! A week in Italy and a decent Guardian fee are secured!
Yes, this is how newspapers work.
Or as I put it over there:
Just to let others know how this works.
So, Campari organises a PR trip. Oooh, something like a week long all expenses paid trip around Italy for an Oz based journalist. Nice lunches and dinners, decent hotels, go see one of our amari producers in Sicily, another at the other end of the country, in the Alps, you know, a very fine press jolly.
The quid pro quo being, get our products into the newspapers. Please. No pressure, of course. But we’ll be running another jolly about, say, vermouth, next year as well.
No, really, this is how it works. One Spanish city once invited me to an all expenses paid (only within Europe to be sure) three day jolly for an announcement about their installation of solar powered LED street lights. Woo Hoo!
Really, these things are the journalistic equivalent of “What I did on my holidays” essay we all faced in the first week of September at school.
The trick is to find something to say about the product so as to get a placement in a paper. Thus the climate change angle. You know, whatever gains the space because there are more jollies next year.