If you live in bloggingland like I do, you have heard about the dinner ConAgra did for some food bloggers. The New York times wrote a scathing article about it (however, I have yet to see one article in the New York Times that actually talks highly of bloggers). Basically, in New York (I think the location was their first problem. I can see this going over way better here in Chicago), ConAgra put a dinner on at a restaurant. They said it was a night out with a celebrity chef. For dinner, they had lasagna. It ended up being a Marie Callender frozen lasagna. Once told, some of the bloggers there were mad. In a nutshell, that’s what happened.
ConAgra invited foodie bloggers (now, technically, I could be considered a foodie blogger due to my cooking blog. However, foodies would actually turn their nose at somebody who recommends buying a can of pasta sauce for a casserole which I do all the time.). That is #2 where they went wrong. The bloggers they chose weren’t a good fit. You’ve got a busy mom blogger who has a food blog — heck yeah I’m going for a dinner. If I’m busy growing my own organic veggies, not so much a good fit. They also opened this up elsewhere, because people got invited from all over. Bloggers were able to bring people and/or give away tickets too (#3 of what they did wrong. As a blogger, I would have been a little upset to have misled my readers. They lost control of their invite list.) I also didn’t hear if there was any swag given away either. They also didn’t have an alternative menu for those who didn’t eat meat. Lastly, I can’t tell if they ask if anybody had dietary restrictions. (I add this because on of the posts I read complained about his wife being allergic to food dye and this could have been really bad).
Now, you may be wondering why I am an expert on this. Well, I’ve been invited to one of these dinners myself. Last year, I had dinner at Ben Pao that really was Wanchai Ferry. Did I throw a hissy fit on Twitter for my 25,000 followers? Heck, no. I actually used the coupons in my swag bag and I’ve bought Wanchai Ferry since. I thought it was a great idea and I didn’t mind having to drive to downtown Chicago (they covered the valet parking) and getting a free dinner with my husband. If you click the link above, you’ll find that we thought it was funny and would happily do it again. So ConAgra, I’ll happily have you send me some dinner 🙂