May 25, 2013

[Technicolor Musings] Whence The White Party Manila Press Kit Came

Photo from O Bar's 2012 Pride Party
So this week I received a "press kit" for the White Party Manila 2013. And I'm pretty used to receiving various press kits and press releases for various events - it's part and parcel of the blogging experience.

But when I opened up this particular email I was left feeling rather...confused? Bothered? Annoyed? Words fail me.

First, it was pretty much just a press release and not a press kit - there were no other images attached and other promotional material that the organizers expected us bloggers to use. Second, the grammar and sentence construction was just...bad. Like really, really bad.

And while Tobie has already written about this release, I figure that I need to weigh in for my own peace of mind. After all, feedback is a gift in the writing game. And I really feel generous right now.

This is going to be a long blog post. Be prepared.

Let's go over this in chunks...
White Party is the name of a number of circuit parties held every year all over the world catering to LGBT communities.
Believe it or not, this is the lead sentence. It's a basic statement of fact with no call to action or effort to catch the reader's attention. It also sets a precedent for the rest of the post for the author's on-again, off-again relationship with the article "the" - as in the White Party.
In the Philippines, White Party started in Malate 12 years ago as a marketing tool for Malate Business Association.
Wait, what? The writer thinks that the White Party started solely as a marketing tool? First, someone needs to read up on local LGBT history. Second, why would this sound like a good way to promote an event? Does the writer think that pushing the "marketing" function of the event will get folks more excited? And it's not like the Malate Business Association formally existed back then.
Over the years, LGBT organizations are directly involve in its creation. Like most White Parties held every year in Chicago, Miami and Palm Springs, White Party Manila also served its purpose as a catalyst for empowerment, pride, freedom and unity for the LGBT community. The concept of  all-white clothing theme was chosen by co-founder of Miami White Party Frank Wager because, as he said, "White stands for purity. White is elegant, non-political, non-combative and makes people look just plain beautiful".
Here's the obligatory Wikipedia reference - the last sentence is practically a perfect cut-and-paste job. And it's sad since the guy didn't bother to read the rest of the Wikipedia article and cite maybe (1) the first White Party in Chicago and (2) the fact that a number of these parties (including the Miami event) are also fundraising events for key causes like HIV/AIDS research. And the writer's battles with the English language have expanded from the article "the" to the letter "s".
This years' White Party Manila will be a celebration of feats won by the large majority of LGBT.
Wait, feats? Like juggling acts? Most number of guys in a daisy chain? What amazing feats are we talking about here? And what does the writer have against apostrophes?
The passing of RH Law from whence the community is strongly supporting is one of them.
 And this is why I used the word "whence" in the title of this blog entry. And at least I used the word correctly - I don't know what had the author deciding to use the term "whence" in the middle of everything. If we go all thesaurus mode here, whence is also the word "from" at its most basic. So "...from from the community..." doesn't make much sense. And why the RH Law of all things? It's a key piece of legislation, yes, but it's not a core LGBT-related issue nor did the LGBT community make it a key cause to rally in favor of.
While it is true that majority of Filipinos are now embracing and gradually becoming passive about homosexuality, it is also true that majority are still unable to accept the very core of LGBT's existence.
Wait - so are majority of Filipinos embracing the LGBT community or are they becoming passive about it? The two terms are contradictory! And this doesn't even factor in the fact that the sentence ends with stating the majority do not accept the LGBT community. So how many majorities are we talking about here?
The driving force for this year will be Acceptance. This year,  White Party is trying to reach out not only to the community they are catering but also the majority of the populace, homosexuals and heterosexuals alike.
To be fair, taking homosexuals and heterosexuals together would probably result in "majority of the populace" like the guy said. Let's not nitpick about forgetting about the bisexual, transsexual  and transgender members of the community - plus all those folks who hate labels!
Chelu Productions, the group working for the event, believe that engagement outside the community is a potent force in educating the populace about gender and equality.
Take note - Che'lu is pretty much the only gay club left in the Malate area, so I guess it makes sense that they're claiming ownership of putting together this event. I did write about how I feel Malate is already dead even before Bed Malate ceased operations.
Like most White Party celebrated in the world, the main purpose of the event is to educate all members and its allies about current issues that involves homosexuality. HIV awareness among others will be one of this years' highlights.
Okay, so we forgot about the whole Acceptance theme as soon as we got to the next paragraph. Now we're talking about education. And let's throw in HIV awareness for good measure!
Attendees for this years' White Party will expect the best music, the best performers and the best authority in the LGBT community. Support groups and other LGBT advocates will also be putting up booths at the event venue significant to the community.
Translation: it is already the end of May and the organizers have not booked any big names or talents for the event. So instead, they will just blindly claim that everything at the event will be "the best". And what does "best authority in the LGBT community" even mean? This should have been the most important part of the press release - the paragraph that tells everyone what to look forward to at the event. Instead, we get all these empty statements about "the best" everything. And we have a wandering apostrophe to boot!
The event will be held at the birthplace of the country's  first White Party in Orosa-Nakpil, Malate, Manila on June 29, 2013. Gates will be opened by 8PM. General admission is Php 150 (entrance only) and VIP tickets are at Php 1000 with unlimited drinks.
Let's ignore the fact that the first White Party in Manila was not held at Orosa-Nakpil for a moment. Instead, we'll focus on the fact that (1) entrance fees are back after the Malate Business Association was so vocal about how it would ensure all future street parties in the area would be free and (2) WTF P1000 for VIP entrance? And this is for a street party?

The "press kit" was signed by the "Head - Communications and Public Relation" - one relation, not public relations mind you. And when I tried to look up this guy's profile information online, his geisha blog includes this description of himself:
[AUTHOR] is a self-employed blogger from Manila, Philippines. He stops counting his age when he was 20 years old which makes him a 20 something blogger. With coffee running through his veins,he enthusiastically battles each day, one blog post at a time. He was born with three legs and was removed when he was young robbing all his super powers. Unable to use his powers, he worked as a Reservation Specialist for an international chain of hotel from whence he earns a dime.
Ah, there's that whence again. I think I now better understand why the press release was done in this manner. Plus the official White Party Manila 2013 blogsite has article titles like "Our GUEST" (singular) - and with marketing like this, I would be surprised if the "GUEST" list included more than one name, really.

The lack of effort and professionalism put into this "press kit" does not bode well for the event. When you do something big like this, you should do it right or not at all. And this clearly isn't putting the best foot forward in terms of the organizers. WE CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER, PEOPLE!

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