I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not real bright, but eventually even I get it, whatever “it” happens to be at the time. Maybe not right away, but sooner or later I can figure most things out. Unless, of course, they are mechanical or feminine. With those two, I’m always lost. 🙂
Anyway, I was confused for a while when a fellow named Seth Norman contacted me a week or so ago and sent me not one, not two, but three 1,000 to 1,500 word press releases about a new footstool that he is marketing for RV passengers to use when on the road, in the co-pilot’s seat. The press releases included several studio quality photos of the product. The following (in italics) is from Mr. Norman’s cover letter:
“Nick, I never miss your daily log and love it, and while I am not a subscriber to the highly respected Gypsy Journal, your reputation for excellent unbiased writing is something every RV scribe must envy. I know that with your wide readership in the blog and RV paper you have exactly the audience I hope to reach. I know that good coverage of our product on your part can help us achieve our initial sales goals. Please use the attached photos and product reviews in your upcoming blogs and printed edition. Thank you for being on our team.”
We have a policy that we only review products that we have actually used, or that one of our readers has used and given us a good report on. How can I tell you that the new XYZ Gizmodo works perfectly and will give you years of good service, if I have never seen the thing? We feel that if a company will not supply us with a review sample of their product, it is not fair to our readers to give it our endorsement, because we’d be lying.
I responded to Mr. Norman and told him that if he would send us one of his footstools, we would try it out and write an honest, non-biased review. He immediately e-mailed back and asked for my credit card number, to cover the purchase of the footstool and shipping. Huh? He wants me to buy his product, and then give him free publicity? I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way. I could go broke in a week or two buying everything that gets offered to me for review. I replied that if Mr. Norman wanted to send us a sample footstool to review, we’d be happy to do so, but we don’t pay for items to review. Here is his response:
“Nick, You’re kidding me, right? You want me to send you a $75 footstool for free, in exchange for a review in your paper and blog? And you don’t even have to write the review, I supplied you with three of them! Who do you think you are, the New York Times? You publish a tiny little rag with a limited circulation. Get over yourself!”
Like I said, sometimes it takes me a while, but eventually I do catch on. I guess if I’m giving away free publicity to an audience of thousands of RVers, I have a “highly respected” publication. But if I expect somebody to supply me with a sample of their product to review, it’s just a “tiny little rag with limited circulation.” Very interesting. So I guess this means I’m off his team too?
Well, I tried, but I guess if you want to read about Mr. Norman’s neat new footstool, you’ll have to look elsewhere. We are not worthy. I bet the rest of those RV scribes out there don’t really envy me either. 🙁
Thought For The Day – Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.