I have been dealing with this issue for years and I really don't know how to respond. I get PR reps from big companies contacting me about their press release, or a new product or service. This would be great, but the thing is, they aren't interested in advertising, or a paid post. Not even a free product.
They just let me know about their great product or special and how my readers would benefit from it. They always offer some coupon that I can give my readers, but that's it.
I feel so insulted that I don't even answer them, but I wonder if there is another way to turn that email around to my benefit? I have often wanted to reply by sending them my media kit so they get the hint that I'm not a free advertising platform.
What's your opinion on this? Are there STILL companies in the dark about bloggers?
Absolutely agree, Tess!
When I get emails from PR's I have a template reply that I copy/paste. Normally their pitches are very generic so I don't feel too bad giving them a generic reply. If they have taken the time to be more personal in the pitch, then I alter my reply to be a little more personal too. But the message is basically the same.
"Thanks for reaching out to ___. Your topic is fascinating and I'm sure my readers would love to hear about it. My post/advertising/review/guest post/etc rates are XYZ. If you would like to proceed, I'd love to work with you."
Sometimes i get replies, sometimes i never heard back. Oh well; when I get one that responds positively it definitely makes it worth the 1-2 minutes it took to copy/paste the reply.
Sometimes I get nasty replies saying I should post the info any way without charging because it would be good for my readers and I should think of them first. Or they try to guilt me saying, "other bloggers have posted this for free for us". well...good for those bloggers. I'm not one of them. And I bet none of them are going to give you the expose you want from a higher traffic blog that knows better than to give you free publicity.
Obviously I don't actually say those words exactly. To those nasty reply emails; I calmly give them one last reply in return; stating that I work hard on my site, and due to high demand I cannot offer free advertising. If they would like to be featured on my site, they must follow the guidelines and regulations I have set up. i give them another chance to accept my rates. If they still refuse and nasty emails continue, I just delete without replying. I've already established they aren't willing to negotiate or work it out therefore I'm not wasting my time.