*glares into the bright Mac screen*
The whole PR thing.
I’m not happy because I do not enjoy repeating myself. Broken records…not my thing.
But sadly, here I am, fingers to the keyboard again.
You see, I recently was added to a list of bloggers to contact via a rather large firm. It’s a totally legit deal, legit firm and I thought it would be legit fun because I was thinking about doing a tiny bit of reviewing. Just on things that strike my fancy. Particularly shoes, handbags, clothing, hair product, jewelry…you know, stuff.
As soon as my blog name and email hit their database, I began receiving pitch after pitch.
They ALL sound eerily familiar, despite being from a whole slew of different PR firms.
Dear Melissa (in some cases…Blogger),
Brand blah, blah, blah. Information about the brand making it sound fabulous and totally alluring. Link to the site where brand is located.
If you are interested, we could provide you with high-res images or samples.
from blah blah pr.
On a few occasions, I’ve responded because OMG…the product seems cool and something I’d REALLY like to check out.
I tell the PR person thank you for reaching out. I tell the PR person that OMG…that sounds awesome and I’d love a sample to write a review on. And, I sign my email.
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME…
Thank you so much for your interest. We have no samples but would love to provide you with High-Res images.
High res images?
To review a product?
Who in their right mind would accept a review…for $0.00…based on nothing but a HIGH-RES IMAGE of the product in question? Oh, and some information via the email.
How can that review even be trust-worthy? Transparent? Written with integrity?
You aren’t able to touch, see, smell, hear and whatever else you would do with a product to even be able to vomit out a single word.
And because of these pitches, I’m starting to really wonder about some reviews. Are disclosures being made that UM…no…there was no product nor payment, that a review is being written based on a photo, bio and assumption?
Yeah, I’ve tweeted and FB status updated about this. And yeah, I’m still receiving pitches offering High-Res Images of the product.
You know what, I’ve begun to respond to EVERY SINGLE ONE of these pitches in my own, standard, obnoxious form…
Dear BlahBlah PR,
Thank you but I can not, in clear conscience, write a product review based on a High Res Image unless it’s a review FOR a High Res Image. Because, kind PR person, without a product in hand to review, there can be no review.
Thank you and have a nice day.
And then, of course, I sign my email.
Friends, I’ve written about similar things before.
I mean, you do what you want but just know this…you’re worth more than a High Res Image. Really. The only future work with these lovely people…more High Res images to review. And if you note at the very bottom of the email, under the signature and contact information…even if you get a sample to review…which, they never seem to have…you have to return them. Yes, the elusive samples must be returned. Even after you’ve used, worn or whatevered this product. The person before you who used, wore and whatevered the product had to send it back, too.
I’m not talking cellphones or devices.
I’m talking about clothing, shoes…personal items.
Would ANYONE think this would be of interest to us bloggers?
Receiving NOTHING…only a sample (on rare occasions) or a lovely High res image.
I think I’m going to take a High Res image of myself scowling and doing the tsk tsk and attach it to my standard response.
Stop, please, for the love of blogging advancement…
Don’t accept these types of reviews.
Because somewhere down the line, if no one is accepting anymore, something is bound to click within the PR and brands they are working for. I hope.
Something is bound to dawn on them. I hope.
Something, like an epiphany, will enlighten them that if blogger outreach in the name of product review is part of their campaign then maybe, just perhaps, there should be product to review and funds set aside to compensate them for their work.
It’s common sense, not rocket science.
Disclosure: This post received no compensation of any kind, not even a high resolution image. And yes, I’m entertained by the pitches because I’m curious about the brands but I will NEVER, EVER do a review unless there is, at the very least, a product that goes along with it. And pictures don’t count…