A Philadelphia blogger named Sarah Lockard has an interesting proposition for area restaurants on Christmas Eve: Feed her family of five for free, and she’ll promote the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.
Lockard helms AroundMainLine.com, a Philly blog devoted to food, entertainment, and lifestyle news. On the current front page, there are several stories about upscale boutiques and giveaways to fairly posh restaurants. On Monday, she sent the following email out to some local restaurants, with her pitch:
Every Christmas Eve my family enjoys an amazing night dining out and this year I am offering you the exciting opportunity to be our restaurant that hosts us!
The host restaurant will receive approximately $1,000 in PR with AML:
1) 2 Facebook posts on AML’s Facebook page promoting the respective restaurant as the restaurant of choice for AML’s family for Christmas Eve
2) 5 instagram photos during the dining experience
3) 2 AML enewsletter ads in Jan and Feb 2014 (reaches over 3,000 unique individuals)
4) listed in our Christmas Eve dining guide published Dec 10th, 2013 on AML.
We are asking for the following in turn:
Dinner for 5 drinks and food compensated, we will tip according to the value to the server.
This is a VERY innovative and effective way to promote your restaurant on this very competitive evening and reach tens of thousands of local foodies through AML’s channels.
Please note this is first come, first serve.
I am excited to hear from you!
Be THE top restaurant we recommend this Christmas Eve to our HUGE audience!!!!
Lockard likely saw this as a way to get press for her blog, and a couple commenters on the Philly Mag piece applauded her for her “innovative” approach. But the majority didn’t really take kindly to her self-centered quest:
“The soup kitchen would be a good place for her to start and help. Maybe she will learn something there. It’s free and I am sure they could use some publicity.”
“It’s simple Sarah, draw some lines between your business and your personal life.”
“Frankly your potential clients/advertisers should NOT need to wine & dine you and your family members to become partners, on CHRISTMAS EVE no less. Visitors checking out your “e-magazine’s” Instagram photos should NOT see sweaty half-naked selfies of you at the gym.”
These sorts of “business” exchanges happen often, in every area of media. However, Lockard’s blog caters to a very specific demographic, and apparently her clueless self-promotion isn’t new. Sure, a struggling business might bite at her offer, but not every family gets to experience an “amazing night dining out” every Christmas Eve. Perhaps Santa will bring Lockard some empathy?
An email asking who’s taken her up on her offer was not immediately returned, and her voicemail was full.
Photo via Phanatic/Flickr