You’ve got a new product. How do you get bloggers to review it positively?
- Call it a beta
Even if you think your widget is really, really good, tell bloggers that you’re still in testing, but wanted some early feedback. That way, if they find something that you didn’t know was wrong with it, they aren’t overly surprised or disappointed.
- Offer a free production version later
If the demo model you’re giving out now can’t be kept by the blogger you’re sending it to, promise to send a production version later. The blogger will probably still be honest about what he or she finds, but will usually avoid calling you the Son of Sam in hopes of getting free gadgets later on.
If your think your product might have a couple of warts, mention them upfront. It’s better to hear about problems than to discover them, and it lets the blogger know you’re not a complete idiot.
- Be straightforward
If your product is a really early iteration, and has major problems, present it that way. Tell bloggers that it sucks, and ask for help to make it better. Let them know that you’re not planning to take it to market as is, but are just looking from some good product input.
- Don’t. Just don’t.
Be brutally honest with yourself. If it’s really bad, or just stupid, go sell it on the Shopping Channel or local weekly newspapers or some other meatspace MSM outlet. Don’t bring it within a hundred feet of bloggers, or you’ll lose control of your branding, positioning, and marketing almost instantly. (Assuming you have any to begin with.)
Whatever you do, if you’re tempted to give free stuff to bloggers, think twice. Is it good enough? If not, stop. You’re in for a nightmare. Unless you think no PR is bad PR.
If you ask me, I’d rather get positive spin.[tags] product, reviews, bloggers, blogging, social media, marketing, pr, john koetsier [/tags]