NYTimes blogger asks PR firms to pay for expenses
A writer for The New York Times “You’re the Boss” blog has been requesting thousands of dollars in “expenses” and travel airfare from a public relations firm trying to get its clients covered in the Times, according to emails obtained by Gawker’s Nitasha Tiku.
Tiku writes, “‘This is a minimum investment and shows the company has some skin in game,’ wrote the blogger, Cliff Oxford, in an email last week to a PR executive representing tech companies. ‘My daily rate is 10 grand per day so I am putting my time on line.’
“Oxford, a former VP at UPS who sold his technology outsourcing company in 2003, once tried to run for senator in Georgia and currently manages an education company called Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. He also writes for ‘You’re the Boss,‘ a group blog on the web site of Times‘ business section that dispenses advice on how to grow companies. The Oxford Center’s homepage prominently links to Oxford’s Times posts at the top of the page.
“When a PR executive representing tech companies reached out to Oxford in January to try to get his clients covered in ‘You’re the Boss,’ Oxford responded by asking for the tech company to cover his travel costs. As the two continued discussing coverage, Oxford’s demand increased to $1,188 per company for travel expenses, including flight, hotel, food, parking, and car.
“Oxford’s blog posts may seem like an odd choice of publicity for budding tech companies, but the value of a New York Times logo to your small startup’s press page can’t be overstated. And he does occasionally mention outside companies, like Tumblr. ‘That’s what I call a winner,’ he wrote of the CEO of an indoor trampoline park company. In December, he profiled an ear, nose, and throat facility in his home city. Oxford also devoted an entire post to an accounting firm that sponsors the Oxford Center, noting the relationship in a parenthetical disclosure.”
Read more here. The Times was looking into the situation, reports Tiku.