If you read my blog at all, you know that this type of post isn’t normal for me. This is my family blog, and I like to keep it that way.
However, after receiving yet another not so nice form rejection letter from a company I had pitched for a possible review and giveaway, I feel like I need to say two things:
- BLOGGERS ARE CUSTOMERS TOO!
- PRODUCT REVIEWS ≠ FREE PRODUCT!
BLOGGERS ARE CUSTOMERS TOO!
I think that PR companies get a lot of BAD pitches, and I know there are bloggers out there who don’t view working with a company as a privilege.
However, there are more of us who do. Most bloggers take time to ensure your companies product gets good exposure, honest reviews, and spend hours getting it done. If you receive a personalized pitch for a product review, or even for potential ad space on a blog, please remember bloggers are customers too!
We care about how we are treated, and expect the same common courtesy we give companies. Sending a form letter degrading bloggers for asking for “free product” is just bad customer service.
In the email behind this post, I sent a personal pitch to a company requesting to work with them through a product review/giveaway. Had this particular product worked as it claimed to it would have most likely made it into all of my baby shower gift baskets, not to mention my must-have toddler product list.
I think a lot of companies forget that even though we are bloggers we are also customers. Just because we have an opportunity to review a product does not mean in anyway we will not purchase it. In fact, of all the product reviews I have done, if I loved the product there is a good chance I have bought it since and given it as a gift.
Sending a rude form letter in response is just like having a bad experience in a store. Even though you like what the store sells, after bad service you are most likely not going to continue shopping there.
PR firms and companies need to remember every interaction you have with a blogger, you are having the same interaction with them as a customer.
PRODUCT REVIEWS ≠ FREE PRODUCT!
I love working with companies. I would say 95% of my experiences working with companies have been positive. If they had not been that way I wouldn’t continue to do it.
I have had the opportunity to try things that have seriously changed my family’s life for the better that I most likely wouldn’t have known about or been able to try had it not been for hosting reviews and giveaways.
When I work with companies, I view it as a privilege not an expectation. When I approach companies I never send form pitches and work hard to make my pitches as personalized as possible.
When you write me back telling me you don’t have enough product to give everyone who asks something for “free”, it is insulting. I never asked for free product.
I have no problem with you saying you have filled your quota for product reviews this month, or that you are not doing product reviews at this time. That is different then saying you can’t give “free product” to everyone who asks.
First of all, free implies just that – free. No work, no compensation, no ROI. Product reviews are not the same as free product. Product reviews take time and effort on my part. When I do a product review, there is mutual compensation. While I don’t take money for product reviews, I do see the product as compensation. In return your product and company is getting exposure, advertising, and most times sales.
I take the time to review the product, to write about it, take pictures, and share on several media channels. That takes time and effort on my end. Which in my eyes means the product was not “free”, and that your company is getting something in return as well.
I think Bloggers and PR agencies can work together much better. If both give the respect that you expect in a customer/business forum I know that there would be a lot less “form” letters on both sides which would result in better working relationships all the way around.
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