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Is this Okay? Photo of cake printed in newspaper without credit?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, to start, I am a long time "lurker" but first time poster.  I'm kind of the quintessential wallflower, but I really need some advice from others within this field...

One of my brides (and a close friend of mine) ended up having her recent Halloween themed wedding featured in the Flair section of our local metro newspaper, which we both thought would be a big deal for my business.  The bride gave the reporter my name and business name and the same reporter asked for it again at the event when I was setting up the cake.

Now, I knew my cake had a good chance of having its picture within the section, but I was blown away when a snippet of it made the FRONT page of the entire newspaper and then a HUGE, full color picture was printed on the front of the Flair section taking up most of the page itself.  This would have been a huge step forward for my small business, but then I noticed something that made my heart sink...  There was not a single mention of my name or my business' name.  I'm still stoked about it being in the paper at all and even more so that it was on the front of the section in full color, but I can't help but feel a bit upset that they gave me no credit in the paper, on their website, or their Facebook page.

However, to be fair, I looked through the rest of the section at the other featured weddings in the article to see if any other vendors who had pictures of their work taken were credited and they were not.  So, it wasn't JUST me, but I still don't know whether this is normal or not.  I also do not think a correction would be done since this appears to have been a deliberate choice to leave out all vendor info.  Granted, why collect info from the vendors and then not use it?  To say I'm confused is an understatement...

 

​The bride is VERY upset that they didn't include my name and plans to mention it to the reporter, since she is a professional wedding photographer herself (which is how we know each other actually) and she doesn't think it is right for them not to credit my work.

So far, I have been sharing pictures I took of the paper myself on my business' FB page and website, sharing the online article with the pictures, and making a couple polite comments from my business' FB page essentially "thanking" the paper for featuring my cake and how much of a blast it was to make this cake on the paper's FB post and online article containing the picture.

 

So, my questions are - is this normal?  Is this okay?  And how would you handle it?  Should I not have done what I have already done?  Should I stop where I'm at?  Or should I send an email to the reporter expressing that I'm a bit upset that she did not credit my work?


Edited by NerdGirl88 - 10/27/13 at 10:34pm
post #2 of 22
Don't know if this is this particular newspaper's policy, but it's been my experience that they don't like to offer free advertising ...especially if you don't advertise with them!

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post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok View Post

Don't know if this is this particular newspaper's policy, but it's been my experience that they don't like to offer free advertising ...especially if you don't advertise with them!

Bingo. The only reason newspapers are in business is because they sell ads, and the article was about the wedding, not the vendors. Unless they write an article about your business specifically (if you offer something unique this can certainly happen) you probably won't be mentioned by name. Lots of info is collected when writing an article, and it's not unusual for a good amount to be left out.

That said, if you wanted to publicize this you could consider getting a press release created and distributed. A site like PRWeb.com can help you with this.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

See I wasn't sure about the way this kind thing works.  Prior to being a cake artist, I actually worked in politics (boo hiss, I know!) in media relations.  So, "earned media" is an actual thing that does occur in that realm.  So, I was a bit taken aback when the only photo from the whole wedding was my cake (there wasn't even a picture of the BRIDE!), but there was no mention of my business.  It was just confusing.  However, I suppose you both could have hit the nail on the head about the advertising thing.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Regardless, does it seem appropriate for me to have posted a short comment from my business' FB page on both the Facebook photo and online article for this paper?  They haven't removed it, but I just wanted to make sure it wasn't inappropriate.  I just don't want this opportunity to go to waste.  This is what I posted:

"So excited to see our cake for the _______ Wedding featured! We definitely had a blast making this one! :)"

I also responded to a few people who specifically asked WHO made the cake.

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NerdGirl88 View Post

Regardless, does it seem appropriate for me to have posted a short comment from my business' FB page on both the Facebook photo and online article for this paper?  They haven't removed it, but I just wanted to make sure it wasn't inappropriate.  I just don't want this opportunity to go to waste.  This is what I posted:


"So excited to see our cake for the _______ Wedding featured! We definitely had a blast making this one! icon_smile.gif"


I also responded to a few people who specifically asked WHO made the cake.

I don't see a problem with that. In fact I would share the story on your own FB business page to get more exposure.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Already done that actually, jason_kraft!  :)  I just worried I may have taken it a bit too far by posting on their "turf."  However, I figured it would be a way to get my name out without causing a stink that could end up making ME look bad.  I've also been reigning in the bride and a few friends who are a bit upset about my business' name not being included.  I didn't want them making rash posts that could also come back to look bad on me.

post #8 of 22
If this was the Richmond paper I know exactly what you're talking about, you don't need to be cagey and not print their name, they don't care. I know the girl who wrote the article, she actually emailed me to see if I knew of anyone who was doing a themed wedding and I didn't, so I sent an email blast to my wedding association to see if anyone else knew of brides she could interview.

I saw the article and thought that it was really weird that they didn't print the vendors names. They usually do list people, and I was pissed off for the person who did the cake and didn't get credit! It was strange to me too.

I doubt that it's an advertising issue. They wanted to interview the vendors who were involved in the weddings, so I don't know what happened in the final edit. Since you brought it up (and not knowing if this is the same newspaper or something similar) I'll email the girl who wrote the article and see why they didn't list vendors. If there's no specific reason she might be able to add or info to the online article since they do put those online.
post #9 of 22

Had to go to the Times-Dispatch website after reading your post and all I can say is WOW!!  Your cake is fabulous!!

post #10 of 22
Holly wrote back and said that she's on the news side of the paper, so when they write stories they focus on one aspect of the weddings. In this case it was the couples and their reasoning for having a Halloween wedding, so she didn't interview the vendors. The flair section is more lifestyle articles, and the Celebrations section is the advertising section that would list vendors' names. She said that the news side isn't as focused on making sure every vendor who's shown is also listed as a credit the way that Celebrations would be. And that if she mentioned one vendor she'd have to mention the dressmaker, catering, rentals, etc etc.

So that's the reason, and knowing how the paper works it makes sense. The celebrations section is focused on selling advtertising, pretty much every article and column in there is a moneymaker for the paper. The section that the article was in isn't, so they don't go into writing the articles with the idea of naming all the vendors.

On that note, you can buy all the publicity you want in Celebrations if you have the cash. There isn't one article in there that isn't a paid placement. They've been replacing a lot of the local articles with syndicated stuff recently because they already pay for the syndicated ones, and they have to pay a freelancer to write local stories. They're cutting costs left and right over there, and the syndicated articles have really taken over the Celebrations section. I contribute to some of the syndicated articles that are printed around the country and one happened to make it into the paper just by chance, but there's no local writer connection to them.
post #11 of 22
I meant to add, go ahead and link to the online story if you want, the newspaper doesn't care, and it brings more traffic to their website too icon_smile.gif
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
costumeczar, You guessed correctly! Thanks so much for your post and going the extra mile! I kept going back and forth on whether to send a polite inquiry about this to Holly, but also didn't want to seem stupid about how things generally operate or make her feel like I was angry at her personally.

I didn't mention the newspaper or reporter's name initially because I wasn't sure this was abnormal and didn't want to cause them any issues. I've never experienced something like this as a relatively small, unknown cake artist. Plus, I tend to be the kill them with kindness type rather than make a stink about something, but I just wanted to figure out whether I was right in feeling a bit confused about my name was not printed after being specifically asked for it. Holly actually did get my name, business name, and a quote while I was setting up the cake. However, I had simply come to the conclusion that it was a choice made later to remove all vendor info to focus on more so on the wedding, but I just wanted to know how to proceed! icon_smile.gif

I have been sharing the article because, in the end, I'm still stoked that my work appeared in the paper like it did. I was expecting a very small picture tucked somewhere within the section, but nothing like THIS! >.<<br />
Oh I knew they wouldn't care about me sharing, since it does bolster their traffic. I just feared me going onto their "turf" and making comments, no matter how polite or well-meaning, may have been too far, but I just didn't want to completely lose out on this opportunity.
Edited by NerdGirl88 - 10/28/13 at 9:26am
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, now that the paper's name and such is already out, I suppose I can post this to help everyone understand my complete and utter SHOCK after expecting a small photo tucked away somewhere.  Just to reiterate, I'm a very, very small cake artist...  I never in my wildest dreams expected something like this!

 

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks, bernerluv!  :)  I will say the one awesome thing about the anonymity of this experience was being able to listen to people's objective critiques.  I've always been confident in my abilities, but I'm also somewhat of an obsessive perfectionist in everything I do.  I'm never completely happy with my decorating work and that has led to me stressing and downplaying myself and my business quite a bit.  My family and friends try to encourage me, but you can never know for sure whether their bias is clouding their objective opinions.  So, getting the opinion of people who don't know me from Adam has been a bit of an eye-opener and self-esteem boost.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NerdGirl88 View Post
 

Well, now that the paper's name and such is already out, I suppose I can post this to help everyone understand my complete and utter SHOCK after expecting a small photo tucked away somewhere.  Just to reiterate, I'm a very, very small cake artist...  I never in my wildest dreams expected something like this!

 

Wow...that's awesome!  There really should have been a credit line somewhere if they featured your cake like this.  I know most newspapers will run a cut line under a photo saying if it's one of their archive photos or something from their generic free stockpile.  I can't imagine that people weren't wondering where it came from. 

Yes,  you should promote this like crazy.  Great job!

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