I was going to let this one go and chalk it up to a bad decision.
A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a popular clothing and gear manufacturer to review one of their products. Not uncommon. I frequently get requests to review gear, host a guest post about an online EMT class etc etc.
They’re all form letters likely sent to any email address that relates to a blog.
I’ve been asked to review helmets, boots, socks, you name it. If the company sends me an honest email and meets my requirements, I review the product, write my honest review and post it.
99 times out of 100 the solicitation is bogus and often includes terminology reserved for Nigerian Princes.
“Please to review our new item!” etc etc.
When a company I respected reached out asking for a product review, I was curious to hear what they had in mind.
What they had in mind was no where close to what I expected. [my edits]
“Hi, [ no name...sure giveaway]
[a person you've never heard of] had initially emailed you [no they didn't but it seems like you missed it, right?] to to [poorly proofread, I mean who wrote this? Me?] let you know that we [we who?] have teamed up with [a company you respected] for a giveaway! [company] is the leading provider for law enforcement and tactical gear and wanted to see if you would be interested in blogging about an experience that you have had using a [company] product. If you have not used [company], that’s okay too! You could also write about a product that you are interested in using. We are doing a [companyBag and yes, the lack of a space between the company prize and the word Givaway is a ... giveaway---->]Giveaway with lots of great stuff for the best blog writers!
If you are interested please a post [again with the proofreading!] about your experience/write about a product that you’re dying to try~!
To Qualify the Requirements are:
1. 300-500 words
2. This must be 100% unique and original content
3. 1 link to the main webpage ([company website])
4. 1 link to the product that you have used or would like to try out ([hint hint, here's a product we likely want to push])
When you have posted this article, please email me and provide me with the URL so that you can be entered in the contest.
This giveaway will start Wednesday July, 11th and the winning blogger will be selected on August 31, 2012. We will enter in the URLs and randomly choose a winner. The winner will be contacted via e-mail no later than September 14, 2012. When you are contacted I will ask for all your info as to where to mail the [company prize, which is never explained] prize giveaway!
We wish you the best of luck!! And we hope that you decide to be a part of this amazing giveaway!
Good luck,[another person you've never heard of]”
An email address not affiliated with the company reached out in Nigerian Prince fashion to ask me to review a product and write a blog post about it.
But wait! There’s more!
If I meet the qualifications listed below I could be entered in a contest with other bloggers to win a prize? All I had to do was review a product I had never touched, write a 300-500 word review and post a few link backs within my post to be entered to win?
I made a snarky comment on facebook soon after and dismissed it as a fly by night internet PR firm’s idea of drumming up site traffic.
Then I got an email today reminding me to get my post up soon to be considered for the contest:
“This is just a reminder about the [manufacturer deleted] giveaway contest. Time is passing by quickly! We know that sometimes there is so much to do that you don’t have time to write a lengthy post. So for those of you interested but don’t have the time, we have a different option that you can do to enter into the giveaway! Please email me for further details. For those that want to take a stab at it yourself, below are the requirements!
Thank you for you time and I wish you all luck!”
No I didn’t email them to get a likely canned “guest post” nor will I. Heck, part of me wants to send this in as my entry to their “contest.”
Some companies understand the blogger, some go the less expensive route and hire a company or a 10th grade intern to dream up ways to drum up traffic.
Sorry, guys. If you were aware of this you lost big points in my book. If you didn’t know about it, you lost even more. Either way this is a letter in your file and I hope one of your folks sees this and thinks, “Oh crap, was that us?”
I will refrain from mentioning the manufacturer, but if you follow me, you already know.