I've arranged a trip to a resort for later in the year. I let them know that I would be writing articles on my stay. Then I was put on hold for a while and told to call corporate and speak to someone in marketing to have it approved. Does this mean that if they say no, I can't write about my trip? Or, does it mean I can't sell the articles to magazines?
You can write whatever you want about your stay. I would have not told them your going to write about it. Anyone can write anything they want about their experience with a hotel, event, product or whatever.
What you CAN'T do, or may get in trouble if you do, is use slander. That itself is open to interpretation. Let's say you had a bad stay at that place.
You can write what you personally went through, and why you thought the stay was bad, from what happened to you.
Slander is when you just come out and say" Hotel XXX is a horrible place that treats everyone like crap so stay away from it!"
As long as you write what you yourself experienced, good or bad, you can write whatever you want.
But if the hotel is a horrible place and treats people like crap then it would not be slander - would it?
The first, and most important requirement for a statement to constitute slander is that the statements MUST be false. Next, the statement must be one that would tend to cause injury to your reputation or cause others to disassociate with you. Finally, you must show that the person making the statements knows, or should have known, that the statements were false.
If the statements that this person is making are, in fact, TRUE but they are still injurious to your reputation then slander would not be the correct action. Rather, you may have an action for invasion of privacy. Specifically the type of invasion of privacy usually called "publicizing of private facts"
Yes it would, in the eyes of the law. You may think it's bad, but that's only your opinion. Even if it's clear that it's a bad place, saying so can be seen as slander, or defamation.
So it's safe to just say what you yourself experienced. You can say:
"As soon as I got in my room I saw mold on the tub. It reeked of smoke, the bed was crap and overall it just gave me the creeps. It was one of the worst rooms I ever had. So for me, hotel xxx was a bad place."
This could be seen as slander:
"My god what a cheap, piece of crap hotel this was! I would not wish my mother-in-law to stay here one night, and that's saying a lot for that old hag! Don't ever, ever stay at hotel xxx, it will be the worst place you will have ever stayed!"
Thanks so much for your generous information, guys. I thought it was true that you could write what you wish as long as not to slander. Even so, I'm looking forward to a great stay and sharing it all with you.
Since you mentioned they were going to transfer you to Corporate, I assume it's a branded chain. In that case, whoever you spoke to had to abide by policies that direct them to transfer you to either the Marketing or Public Relations group. It's no big deal. They are the ones to give a formal "quote" or arrange a tour or give a freebie. It has nothing to do with whether you can write for them or not.
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