The other day, regular contributor to SMS Text News, SE Fanboy, posted this comment:
How much does 3 pay you for bigging them up? (apart from your free contract three handset, inc bills)
It was after reading my post Questions to Mark Allera, Director of Sales for 3UK.
It was, I think, a justified question/assumption — I’ve been writing a lot about 3UK recently. I think I need to be a lot more clearer with my position at times. I don’t like to pepper posts with continual disclosure statements. I’ve listed a load of disclosures on my about section instead.
I’ve recognised that the coverage we’ve been giving to 3UK has been pretty continual recently. There’s a simple answer why, though: Nobody else talks to me — and I think 3UK are, generally speaking, doing a good job. I haven’t been afraid to hop up and down in annoyance at, for example, their N95 delays and the market opportunities I believe they lost as a result.
However, when I’ve talked to other operators — in the UK and beyond — they don’t reply. I have written emails and, on occasion, made phone calls to PR departments. Generally speaking, they don’t want to know, or don’t know how to handle interaction with a blogger.
That’s perfectly fine. I do try to deliver balanced perspective. For example, I’ve often had a dig at Vodafone’s data prices and 35p/per min cross-network call plans. I do recognise their positive elements when I can. In particular, I do recognise that the new data plans are a step in the right direction and for that I’m quite excited. But, no one talks to me from Vodafone. No one picks up the phone from o2 to challenge my ‘el Chumpo’ labelling of them. Again, that’s perfectly fine. I just make my own assumptions and viewpoints. With 3UK, I’m able to ask them questions and solicit their viewpoints to inform my writing.
3UK do pick up the phone to me. Their PR (external and internal) are very responsive. They called last week and asked if I’d like to talk to Marc. They called three weeks ago and asked if I’d like to talk to Fergal, their Director of Handsets. They phoned up a while ago and asked if I’d like an N73 device to review — I explained I already had one, but then recognised it wasn’t factory-fitted with X-Series, so borrowed the device and handed it to Ben Smith who wrote a brilliant summary.
So, 3UK coverage here on SMS Text News will definitely continue — more so if they continue to react and communicate with me as they have been doing. I’m always excited to meet industry executives, irrespective of the brand they work with.
Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and o2 coverage will arrive on the blog whenever I am minded to do so or whenever I spot a piece of news or something relevant to talk about — or, as is often the case, whenever a reader emails in with a viewpoint.
I’m not paid by any operator, unfortunately. 😉 If I was, they’d be a sponsor on the blog and it’d be fully disclosed, and we’d be giving away new handsets every week (and one for each attendee to the Unlimited Drinks), as I’d definitely make that a sponsorship requirement.