Ralph Jensen Defends Lots of Gifts From ManufacturersBy: John Honovich, Published on Sep 18, 2015
Some trade magazine editors quietly take gifts from manufacturers.
Others flaunt it.
Ralph Jensen [link no longer available] is the self-proclaimed poster boy for the latter.
But first, here is Jensen being wined and dined by his 'friends' at Genetec:
[link no longer available]
Earlier this year, Jensen wrote a defense of his addiction, titled "All In A Day's Work [link no longer available]" where he boasts:
"I couldn’t be bought for a pair of running shoes."
"Many editors in our security industry are asked to join in on trips sponsored by product manufacturers. The trips, more often than not, are paid for by the companies. The attendees are almost exclusively editors; rarely an industry analyst. I have been on a lot of these trips over the years."
"It provides precious one-on-one time to learn more in a casual setting than having to compete for time at a tradeshow."
Instead of the hard work of actually researching, doing tests, emailing or having phone calls when questions arise, Jensen prefers the 'casual setting' of a few days of an all expense paid wining and dining tour.
As one member observed in chat:
"Even though Ralph denies being influenced, he doesn't deny the vendors intention of trying to buy off people. So I guess the manufacturers are stupid and Ralph is just laughing all the way to the bank. But that would seem kinda seedy in itself."
Speaking of 'stupid' manufacturers, the Milestone incident showed who the real mark was. In 2014, when we posted about Milestone Going to IPO?, Jensen was on a sponsored trip to a Milestone conference where their CEO spinned / lied about the IPO preparation. Jensen rushed to the defense of the manufacturer sponsoring him, declaring "Milestone Not Preparing for IPO [link no longer available]", which was 100% false, something Milestone's CEO was obviously content to let Jensen run for him.
Though, in fairness, Jensen probably is getting the best of the manufacturers here. Jensen's free Security-Today.com website gets [link no longer available] an average of 70,000 page impressions a month, which is less than what IPVM's member site gets in an average week.
In terms of impact and impressions, modern social media sites are far superior than throwing gifts at trade magazine editors. Related, see LinkedIn's Emergence as a Video Surveillance Marketing Power.