Part of Kris’s PR Week! Mommy PR took the floor on Tuesday with this interview!
From Mommy PR
Wow, hum, I believe maybe a few days. It was quite fast.
What is your policy on reviews–do you review everything that comes your way or do you reject reviews? If you reject some how do you determine what to review and what not to review?
We do not review adult items, smoking or alcohol drinks. We also veer from political or religious items. However certain religious items are allowed, such as games or cds because they are for a mere review, not to influence our readers on religious aspects. So yes we do filter what comes in.
How do you come by reviews? Are they offered to you or do you actively seek them?
Both, but it has become more of them coming to us.
What is your best advice concerning reviews?
If you come across something in your review that you are worried about, just ask your PR or whoever you’re dealing with. We have had both ends of the spectrum. Dawn had a company that offered to send her another product since the 1st item was not up to posting standards. Myself..I was allowed to post my thoughts, even though they were not positive. Have fun with the review. Your talking to regular people, regular moms. Be yourself.
How should people make their “pitch” to companies? If you don’t believe in “pitching” to companies–why not?
Be Honest. Don’t lie. Make your email stand out. Be personable. Be confident. Don’t be scared to email someone. The worse they can say is no. But at least you tried! When you write your email, tell them why you are emailing them. Do not send a staged email with nothing to catch their eye. Tell them who you are, and why they should pick you. Remember to attract them in the first few lines. It’s like meeting someone for the 1st time. If you a mess, you’re unapproachable. Make sure your email presents you and your site. If you have to call someone..Just be yourself. Be confident in your site. They know you are a mom…and a blogger. Be professional but calm. You will break the ice in 2 seconds.
What are your thoughts on paid reviews?
I am all for it. Moms should be paid for their time and energy. Moms listen to other moms, this is the time for us to stand and be recognized for what we can offer these places. Go for it moms!!
Do you keep most/all the items you review or do you return them?
We make it mandatory that we keep them all. (Unless it is pre-agreed that it has to be a loaner.)
If there is no product then there is a fee.
What are definite “no-no’s when it comes to product reviews for you?
Lying, over exaggerating and bashing a company or product. Bad language. NO!
What are your thoughts on publishing negative reviews? Please explain why.
I don’t see any reason why not. It’s your opinion on that product. So long as the company your working with doesn’t have a stipulation on that, then your fine. It is our policy to speak with the company before we post a negative review. We give them the opportunity to either not have a review posted or to possibly send a new product to try.
What are some of the pros/cons of reviewing items?
The pros definitely include being able to try out new and unique products Sometimes before anyone else. It can be exciting to discover a unique company and be able to share them with your readers. Cons include the amount of time that it takes to do a review and also you are doing it for free. When you review a product you spending time to test the product and then researching the product and company before writing the review. You can have anywhere from three to six or eight or even more hours invested in each review.
What is the best way to find reviews if you actively seek them? Should one start out with the small stuff and work their way up to the large stuff or just jump in head first?
You should start wherever you feel comfortable. We do a wide variety. No one is too small or too big to not want or need advertising.
Do you have a “PR Policy” or “Media Kit” on your website ( or that you send to potential companies) If so, where can we see it (if we can see it) and what do you recommend putting in it?
Yes we have one. You can find it here: http://www.mommypr.com/?p=3305
Yes , sure go ahead and take a look. It never hurts to add it to your letter. But that is a personal preference.
If you are one of the companies/sites to find reviews I’ve been in contact with–What are some strategies for making your blog PR friendly? Any links to examples?
Post your stats on the side bar or somewhere they can see them. Make sure your email is visible
There are 2 sides to this question I want to make clear about Mommy PR, because I don’t want moms to think they have to have numbers to have a voice in the bloggers world. Wrong!
When Mommy PR looks for bloggers for companies, we are given a criteria for each one. So one company might say ..I don’t care just fine me 5 blogs that you think will like my stuff. So , we find then 5 bloggers regardless of stat.
Then we do have some who will only allow us to find certain high bloggers.
Just know that no matter what, all mom (and dad) bloggers are welcomed at Mommy PR
What is the biggest mistake a blogger can make in contacting someone for a review or in doing a review? Any other helpful hints or warnings of what NOT to do?
Do NOT be snobby or unprofessional. I don’t care if it is the owner of an Esty store, and Ebay store, or the President of Sears. You never treat them with disrespect. They will remember you and your site. Don’t burn a bridge because you don’t know who they know. Isn’t that why you’re a mom blogger? If someone wrongs you, you tell your friend, who tells her friends. Same with companies. Ethics are very important to us, so we stress it to others.
One more thing, always follow through with what you have committed for a company. We have had companies tell us that they have not had reviews posted when promised, or did not hear from the blogger for weeks after the product for review had been shipped. Communicate with the companies that you are working with and let them know when you will be reviewing their product, and then do everything you can to follow through.