I just got an email from a
PR drone “Viral Communications Manager” (yes, that’s really what the email says!) asking us to flog her company’s new product here. Here’s how she puts it:
We would like to offer your readers a chance to win a 1 year free subscription (grand prize) and 2 secondary prizes of flash drives. In return all we’d like you to do, is post an entry outlining the product features, link back to our site, and an image of the boxed product- all content I can quickly provide to you. We’ve had successful contests with blogs in the past, and it’s proven a great way to add traffic to your site, and generate awareness about our product(s), in other words a win-win for both of us. Most blogs have posted the content we provide and then post the contest information below- your readers can comment to enter to win one of the 3 prizes.
In real, non-PR English, that means:
Send your readers to our site in the hopes that they might win something! Chances are, though, they’ll get nothing, and the more people you send, the smaller everyone’s chances will be. We get their valuable contact information in order to send them marketing messages in the future. You get nothing whatsoever, except the hope that your readers aren’t offended by the obvious product push.
Just to let you, our readers, know: we don’t play that game. Yes, we recommend products here from time to time. 100% of the time we do this because we think the product is worth recommending. Some of the time we also get some compensation—for instance, our Amazon links give us a small kickback if you buy something after you follow the link.
We also have advertising; companies pay to put links over on the right-hand side (via Google and TextLinkAds). Pay, and unless we think your product/site/message is offensive, we’ll carry the ad.
Our promises to you:
- We never recommend products sight unseen or products we wouldn’t use ourselves
- We don’t run advertising without labeling it as such
And our promise to ourselves: we’ll never, ever run advertising for free.