What Reviewers Look for in a Company

Date Wed, September 16 2009

I recently stopped over at BlogFriendlyPR which is a site which connects companies and review bloggers. I read an article by a PR professional about what companies look for in reviewers and I, like many, appreciated it. Of course, where would the world be without the articles’ counterpart? And here it is.

Professorial Communication: Now, I know that as reviewers we are technically asking for free product to review but that does not mean we deserve any less courtesy regarding communication. Whether you communicate through letter, phone or e-mail, you are expected to act in a professional manner, as long as you are representing a business. This includes courtesy e-mails (with greetings and signatures) in a timely manner or returning calls only during appropriate hours and getting our names correct. Furthermore, we may say things you do not necessarily like things you have to say but you should always remain calm and return our messages. It’s only courtesy.

Realistic Expectations and Appreciation: I know I’m not every blogger but just receiving a product for free does not guarantee a positive review. A quality product is the only thing that gets you that. If your reviewer has a valid criticism you should take it in stride and be thankful, yes thankful, for their thoughts. If you don’t know how you can improve, how can you make a better product? Furthermore, if you don’t want to improve upon your product, someone else will. And when it comes to appreciation, recognize that all bloggers are unique and have something different to offer. We are individuals.

Specific Instructions: Let us know if you want specific links or a certain characteristic of your product highlighted. As long as you don’t want us to lie, most bloggers are more than happy to help you out. If there is something about your product that makes it really appealing, chances are we want our readers to know, too.

Packaging and Delivery: Reviewers don’t expect products to be hand delivered, tomorrow by George Clooney (but, you know, I wouldn’t complain). We do like to be kept in the loop with shipping numbers and prefer that items will ship within an appropriate amount of time. Furthermore, packaging should be complete enough that products arrive in usable condition. Having to return products (especially on our own dime) tends to sour those consumer relations that you’re working so hard to build.

Honesty: This is a biggy. At the end of the day, all those corporate giants are made up of people just like you or I. I know that, everyone does. Ultimately, those people are as imperfect as you or I. I know that, too. Mistakes will happen. Products will not be perfect. Misunderstandings occur. The list goes on. I understand that and I can even accept it as long as a company is forthright about it. Glossing over those little mistakes is a big mistake when people find out about it and word of mouth in the blogosphere can easily reduce your company image. The same goes for facts about your products. Your product may not do everything and the laundry but I’ll be much happier to know what it does do than some unfounded claim. Misleading advertising does no one any good. Just tell us the facts, please.

I think you’ll find that when both bloggers and companies follow some common sense guidelines, the result is a smooth working consumer relation based on trust which can help everyone involved.

Leave a Reply