What is it with ruddy press passes?
I see people swanning around conventions with them hanging round their necks like it makes them special. They interrupt people talking and push to the front on signing lines and monopolise the creator like angry toddlers.
Then I watch and wait...nothing? Nothing? Seriously? Where is the supposed piece that they are mean’t to be writing or podcasting about?
Over the years I have been lucky enough to be given a press pass to conventions, movies, talks and even gigs. I feel the heavy responsibility of getting a piece out asap as I walk away from the event. often I’ll even stop on the way home to hammer something out about the event. I’ll even sit in some of the events with a notebook on my knee jotting down things as the occur to me. In other words I feel that I owe something back in return.
Sometimes the payback comes in the form in assisting with the promotion of the event. as a pal of mine often reminds me, ‘The Like button and the RT button are right next to each other....go on, you know what to do.’
I remember being at the first London Super Comic Convention and queuing up with the other press pass holders as we watched the writer/editor from a particularly tawdry site badger one of the volunteers for a good ten minutes. This person was insisting that he be let in early - he is clearly a special case?
So I reached out to some organisers in the UK and beyond and asked them what their experiences have been.
One person said that they are very careful who they give passes out to but often fail to get any type of return from these freebies. One said that they get a ‘poor return’ from these passes and that the best press and feedback comes from the actual exhibitors. One stated that they ask for some promotion prior to the event but see very little after the event.
Some are of course better than others. But come on, we all know who these freeloaders are. They like a press pass because it gives them access for free and some credibility when getting commissions or interviews for their sites or magazines. Their bare faced social ineptitude makes me cringe at nearly every event I see them at. We are better than this surely?
So if you are a so-called ‘comics journalist’ think about what you are doing? It’s not just a way to avoid lining up to get in and avoiding an entrance fee. Help with the promotion. A lot of these events depend on the social media/blogging/website crowd to sell tickets!
Many thanks for reading....