At the BlogHer Food conference in San Francisco, I passed a booth where I could either take a free water purifier (and lug a bulky box around all day) or have one sent to my address.
My husband Owen and I discussed getting a new water purifier recently. Our old one was crusty from deposits in the water, and no amount of scrubbing removed the stains. So without thinking, I forgot about the third option available to me: keep walking. I gave the public relations person my address.
Back at the office the following Monday, going through cards and flyers, yet another company offered to send me a free chopper and grater. I thought about whether I could use it before acknowledging the truth: my site doesn’t review or mention kitchen products, and I have no business taking one. Then I realized I had no business asking for the purifier either. I felt my throat tighten.
When the cardboard box arrived on the porch, at first I was excited by having a mysterious package show up when I couldn’t recall ordering anything. This must be what the big food bloggers go through everyday. Inside, wrapped in dark blue crepe paper, was the purifier.
I did not want to touch it. Owen immediately removed it from the box and set it up, delighted to have a fresh, new pitcher.
But I felt unsettled, and now there it is, on the kitchen counter, to remind me. You probably think I’m over-reacting. Yes, it’s not that expensive, and the public relations person offered it with no strings attached. Besides, she reported to her client that she sent a purifier to another “food blogger,” and she is hoping for a mention or a giveaway. (I once did p.r. as a break from magazine editing, so I know how it works.) Well, here’s the mention.
There will be no giveaway. A Google search found almost 4,000 contests (most closed) online, so I clicked around to see how much free press bloggers were willing to gave away for the price of a water pitcher. Here’s an example of too much at Katie’s Nesting Spot.