So there really aren't any written rules so let's chat about what is proper and what isn't! I am on both sides of this as someone who owns a business and someone who does reviews. I will offer up some questions:
Do you respond to all requests even if the answer is no?
What is the proper way to approach a review blog?
Do you provide stats and are you honest? (I ask because I receive requests and can clearly tell by viewing the blog that the stats are inflated) I don't think this deserves a response.
When a Sponsor asks for details do you respond promptly?
Do you do your homework before approaching a company?
From a reviewer stand point here are my responses:
My stats are provided upon request when asked and they are truthful, I have had a rep contact me and say "wow look at your stats" before I tell them what they are and I am left wondering how they found that out. So I know there are ways for them to do that if they know how, besides lying gets one nowhere in life.
I answer all email within 24 hours unless I am going to be away from the computer then its by how fast I can catch up to everything when I get back.
I always research before I approach a company, especially if I am requesting a specific product. I have been caught off guard once in the beginning and learned my lesson.
I am interested in knowing if a potential sponsor wants stats added immediately upon approach or if saying "Stats available on request" is good enough.
I have worked with some awesome PR reps and have in a round about way become friends with some of them. I know that I have 4 or 5 repeats vendors who like the way I have established myself in the blogging arena. I am far from where I would like to be but we can all dream right?!?
I like stats up front and google page rank is a very important factor for me, I also check alexa but if this information was provided to me it would cut down on time, I get so many requests that some could slip by me.
These are some good questions. I am always honest with my stats. It doesn't make sense to lie to me. I also try to respond within 24-48 hours. I had a problem with some of my mail getting sent to spam. So sometimes I may miss a few. I have only approached a few companies but each time I have did my research. I am fine with being approached by email. It makes it a lot easier when it says request for review in the subject line.
I agree with the "No thank you" it would be nice to get that especially since I had recently been having trouble with my email and was never sure if my email reached who it needed to reach. A no thank you would have made me happy :)