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Ok I have gotten swamped with PR companies wanting me to advertise tons, If its a site that I think has merrit to my readers I have no problem writing something up. Same thing with reviews, I dont charge for them and dont plan on it as long as I receive a sample products and/or the sponsor pay for shipping. But There have been some lately that I just have zero intrest in doing. They are not products/services that I think go with my blog. The question is then how do you tactfully say no. I am never good at saying no to begin with but how do you respond? Right now I have an email I need to reply to but im not sure how, I dont want to ignore it,and I dont want to bite the hand that feeds me.The company may have something in the future that I would love to work with them on. Thanks ladies!
I don't know if I have a good suggestion, as I am in the same situation. I am getting more and more small companies asking me to just do a review (that there is no product for)...mostly online things. It's hard to say no, but I think we'll just have to toughen up a bit. I don't mind doing a "press release" if I think it's a company I might want to work with in the future, but I don't want my blog to become just one big advertisement. It is time consuming, and if they don't want to send a product for me to review, I'm going to have to learn to say no. Otherwise, that's all I'll be doing eventually!
I would put a Guidelines page on my blog/site explaining how you review products, what type of products, and the standard procedure for submission and reviews. Direct the companies to those guidelines. There may be times where you deviate from the guidelines, but at least it establishes (in clear communication) how your work.
I reply with my ad rates. I say something like - thank you for telling me about your site/product/company (then I say something I like about it.) At this time a review/feature/giveaway doesn't fit with my editorial schedule/goals. If you would like to reach my smart mom readers, may I suggest purchasing a banner ad? Then I attach my media kit / rates.
Often the recipient is a PR rep and they don't have authorization to buy ad spots but they say they will pass on the info. I don't know if they really do or not but I hope they do. I asked on PR rep on twitter if she would be irritated by this and she said no. She said her clients often liked getting this info and it makes it look like she's doing her best for them by passing it on. So that's what I do. So far I've had one person ask a follow up question but no sales (via this method). I'm going to keep doing it though. Doesn't hurt to pass the info on - you never know where it will end up!
I think that honesty is the best policy. I usually say something like. "Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, I don't think that this product/service/etc. is the best fit for my demographic (moms of preschoolers). Please keep me in mind for future opportunities. Thanks."
However, if there is a specific reason that I won't feature the item, I'll let them know (so that they won't pitch me similar items in the future). For example, last week I turned down a request to do a review/interview with a famous author because she was psychic-based. I simply let the pr person know that I don't promote psychic products on my site. She totally understood and I'm confident that we'll work together in the future on other book promotions (I love reading!)
Just tell them that you don't feel their product or service fits your needs at this current time and thank them for their interest in advertising on your blog. Plain and simple. Its not rude to decline just tell them that in the future if they a product they'd like to offer to shoot you an email again.
Be polite and professional and let them know that the service offered isn't currently inline with your reader base but you'd like to do business with them in the future when they have products that do interest your base.
Most of the pitches I receive aren't even worth replying to. They just seem to be trying to get the word about their product or website. I only do book reviews, so I always reply to those. I don't do product reviews and I have a standard cut and paste message that I reply with saying that it isn't my policy to do them. I refer them to another product review site that I am friends with.
I have found a few people reply when I turn them down and try to debate me. Now that is annoying.
I have also replied and told them that they are welcome to buy an ad space if they want to promote their product/website on my blog. I haven't actually received any advertisers this way yet, but it might work. I know that they are just looking for free publicity.
Just say, "I don't believe this fits with the direction I am going right now. Thank you for considering me." Or something like that. You could also give them a time to try you back, a few months, a year, whatever.
I do what Maternal Spark does.
If it's something I really like and they are sending me a sample, I do it for free.
If it's more of a press release, I send them my media kit and rates.
If it's something that really doesn't fit, I send them my alternate media kit. There is only one advertising option, a link way at the bottom of the my and a nice size charge for it.
If it's something that I don't agree with or endorse, like payday loan companies, I simply ignore it.