New food-industry site mimics HuffPost‘s “influence as compensation” model

If it worked for the Huffington Post, why can’t it work for Food & Drink Digital? The latter publication’s public relations manager, Jeremy Vara, is sending a message to potential contributor that asks for them to share their expertise with Food & Drink Digital’s “exclusive audience.” Jim Romenesko posted the email he received from Vara in full on

In addition to specifying what writers can submit, the email promises two forms of compensation (neither of which involve, um, actual money). The first is the suggestion that this unpaid work may lead to future paid work, and the second that posting their work to Food & Drink Digital for free will drive readers back to the writers’ own sites:

We are unable to offer compensation at this time, however there may be paid opportunities available in the future. It is our goal to provide our audience a unique perspective on the hottest topics surrounding their industry and in return, we will direct our readers to your personal web pages.

Emphasizing the exclusivity of its readership—”98% of Food & Drink Digital subscribers hold executive level positions within their respective companies”—the recruiting message targets both writers seeking influence and writers seeking paid work. Whether the writers who decide to take part in this “opportunity” will get either of those things is doubtful, but based on the thousands of writers who contribute to HuffPost for free, enticed by promises of exposure and brand-building, it’s no mystery why Food & Drink Digital is giving the model a try.

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 10:56 am by editor · · Tagged with: , , , ,

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  1. Written by Suzanne Boles
    on October 25, 2011 at 11:38 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Shame on them!

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