Dear PR people who work with bloggers,
I'd like to say thankyou for all the wonderful products and opportunities that come my way because of you. I do not take them for granted and feel very lucky indeed.
I thought I'd let you know a few things that might make our relationship a little easier on both sides, if you don't mind?
It is seriously awesome receiving packages in the mail. I especially love the surprise packages! If you send me a product and have expectations that I will blog about it, please be sure to communicate that with me beforehand. I love it when I know upfront what the expectations are on both sides. I will admit that when I receive a surprise package and then get an email weeks or months later that basically indicates I am expected to write a post about it, that really takes the sheen off the experience.
I think carefully about the products and services I write about here, and I say no to things more often than I say yes. I owe that to myself and to those who read my blog, so feeling trapped into posting about something I had thought a lovely gift isn't great for relationship building. Conversely a follow up email that simply asks if I received the product and what I think of it opens up lines of communication in a much friendlier fashion.
I don't want to sound rude here, but when an introductory email says 'we don't pay bloggers because we won't pay for opinion', you are likely to get a pretty curt response. You've got my back up and you may not even know why, so let me explain.
Like many bloggers, I charge an admin fee for the majority of my review posts. Sometimes it may be a monetary payment, sometimes a gift card. That fee does not buy my opinion, because my opinion IS NOT FOR SALE. It helps cover some of my expenses in running this blog, it says that you value the time I put into reviewing your product and promoting that post and it tells me that you understand the value of my space. If that sounds entitled I do not mean it to... but my time is valuable too and unlike you I am not paid a salary. I do love many of the brilliant products we have received but sadly they won't help pay the bills.
If you indicate that you'd prefer I not disclose what product/payment has been received for a post then I will walk away. My readers deserve better and so do I. Fair warning.
I've had the pleasure of working with some wonderful PR people, and I am so very grateful for the opportunities that come my way. I've also had my fair share of not-so-pleasant experiences but you won't generally read about that here... I respect what you do and I'd like to think that respect is reciprocated.
With very best wishes,