In the Interest of Full Disclosure


Adapted from my post at Public Relations Matters from March 8,  2014.

UPDATE 3-31-2014: I have withdrawn from the Genghis Grill’s 2014 Health Kwest, and I have made all posts about that contest private on my blog for the time being.

As someone who had taught public relations for more than two decades, I should have known better. But I got caught up in the excitement of being part of a contest, and I have neglected to provide full disclosure with every post/photo/video I have I uploaded as a constant in Genghis Grill’s 2014 Health Kwest that the restaurant chain is providing me one free meal a day. And not making this disclosure goes against recent FTC guidelines. (There is wording about this in FanCorps, where we accept our daily “orders,” but like many, I just clicked right past it without reading carefully.)

NOTE: I am not a lawyer, nor am I giving legal advice. I am just sharing my understanding of the guidelines.

So I am making that right now. I will go back and edit as much as I can to include a disclosure I created at the website.

Here’s how to create a disclosure of your own:

  1. Go to and sign up for an account as an Individual Advocate.
  2. Choose which type of compliance you need. For my participation in this contest, it’s #3.
  3. Add specific language for your circumstances. For me, I added “The author of the message that directed you to this page has the following material connection: the author was compensated (via a giftcard worth one meal a day) to promote Genghis Grill as part of its Health Kwest 2014 contest.”
  4. Then use the unique URL that provides in everything you post that is based on being compensated. Mine is .

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