The popular tech site even called out one firm, and its director, by name.
Apparently, TechCrunch staff heard one PR agency was charging clients $750 for landing a story on the site (and about $400 for placement on “lesser blogs”).
“While we’re not in the business of advising PR people on their pricing, we think that making press coverage this transactional crosses an ethical/editorial line and diminishes the integrity of our brand and our writers. Startups and investors, you shouldn’t be paying for [TechCrunch] articles, or any press coverage for that matter, you should be paying for the help with your message and communications, which, if you have a good and/or compelling product, might result in more coverage. And while a (legit) PR team can be useful in many cases, a direct and fair relationship with our writers is always the best way to get on TechCrunch.”
If TechCrunch staffers hear of any firms following this practice, it will ensure they’re stories don’t appear on the site. (One wonders, if that PR firm were representing, say, Facebook, would the site have a change of heart?)