As I’ve been getting a lot of emails and requests from PR folks about their products & services lately, I figure it’s time I disclose my policy regarding this kind of thing. I’ll post it here in the blog once, and I’ll keep it as a page in the sidebar for easy access. That’s where I’ll keep a current version as long as it’s necessary.
Here’s the rules of thumb:
First of all, thanks for your email. I appreciate that you consider me a good judge for your product.
That said, here’s how I’m going to go about it:
- I will always fully disclose if I review anything in response to a request.
- Obviously I haven’t, and won’t ever, accept any financial incentives in exchange for any kind of review or write-up. Please spare both of us the embarrassment of even asking.
- This is my personal blog, so I feel free to write about whatever I’m interested in. I’m part blogger, part consultant, part journalist, but other rules apply here than in other publications. For example: Here, I don’t have to be as strict about rules regarding PR as when writing for a paper. But I also don’t have to be as objective.
- This is my personal blog. Don’t even try to ask me to pitch something about your product to editors I’ve worked with, or to pitch it as an article to any other publication. I won’t. Ever.
- If I don’t reply to your request, please don’t take it personal. It’s not. I might have been to busy, or I might have decided that our PR/Blogger Legos just don’t click. If I don’t reply, don’t follow up more than once, ok? Thank you very much.
- Don’t put your message into the comment section. If there’s a PR link in the comments, I’ll treat it as spam. Because it is.
- Before you get in touch: Please try to check if you really have the impression that your stuff might resonate with me. It’ll save both of us time. Thanks.
- If you decide to send me any kind of hardware (or access to a service), I’ll treat it as a free gift, no strings attached. Don’t expect a review. I may write one, or not.
- If I find your product interesting, I’ll try to give it a thorough testing. Maybe I’ll try to break it. (Which is one of the reasons why I’ll treat your stuff as a gift no strings attached: It might break.) Depending on the results, I’ll try to either share them on the blog or give you proper feedback.
- If your product sucks, I’ll make that very clear. If it’s cool, I’ll make that clear, too. If I find it personally interesting, I’ll try to give you feedback.
- I’m more interested in beta testing than in press releases. If you want me to beta test your stuff, drop me a line, but don’t just send me an obscure link.
- If your product or service is cool or supports some kind of worthy cause (like something non-profit, open source, or charitable), chances I’ll review it are much higher. You rock. Drop me a line!
Ps. If you’re Sony, you’d better have a pretty darn good explanation for contacting me. You folks really screwed up big time, and from what I’ve experienced, Sony service sucks big time.