Recently, I posted The Power of "Thanks, but I’m Not Interested" in Response to a PR Pitch. I do truly believe in responding to most PR pitches but what do you say when the pitch is a product review offer?
You may have seen another recent post of mine called, Blogs are a Business Too, Damn it! The situation I found myself in with that particular company has me evaluating my approach to accepting product reviews all together.
When it’s a product I don’t find relevant to my blog I simple thank the company, let them know I’m not interested and why I’m not interested. However, if it is a relevant product I do like to accept and evaluate it but I need to let the company know that I reserve the right to review the product any way I see fit, if at all.
I now respond with a specific review policy like so…
I’d love to try them! Just so you know, I only post reviews (negative or positive) and mention products that I feel my audience will respond to. Meaning, I reserve the right to post a completely transparent review giving my honest opinion. I also may decide not to write one at all depending on my experience with your product. If you are ok with these terms please send samples to…
This response let’s the company know that
- I only do honest reviews,
- that it may be negative and
- I may not write about their product at all.
Sometimes I think we, as bloggers, feel pressure to write a review just because a company sent us a sample when the truth is that company is the one taking the risk, not us. Of course you shouldn’t accept review samples if you don’t think you are going to write about the product. But if you agree and then find the product not to be relevant or worthy of your audience, by all means don’t feel pressured to review anyway. Let them know up front that it is ultimately your decision, because it is!
Have you ever felt pressure to write a review you didn’t find relevant to your blog? How did you handle the situation?