How to best Provide Review Products & Demonstrations
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Promoting your products by phone and/or in writing can be very effective and may be enough to get you the coverage you want, but for some products (and some reviewers), seeing is believing. This chapter discusses review products and demonstrations, the two primary ways to get your product seen by reporters.
Once you send a low-cost product (e.g. software, kitchen gadget, book or the like) to a reviewer, kiss it good-bye. Reporters don’t return such products.
Some companies send product to every reporter on their “A” list, whether it’s requested or not. The advantage of this strategy is that reporters get the product without the trouble of picking up the phone to order it. The disadvantages are the extra costs of producing and shipping the products, as well as not knowing if the products will be reviewed. While we don’t recommend sending review products to hundreds of reporters at a time, there is a benefit to sending unrequested copies/samples to top reviewers, because they may examine it and then write about it.
Before sending larger or more costly products (e.g. a television, lawn mower, motorbike), you should have a signed review product agreement to secure its return. We generally recommend loaning a review product for 30 to 90 days, depending on the product.
Just as with any follow-up, you should call reporters within a week or two to ask if they have received the product, have any questions, need photos and when the review should appear.
If the reporters have not sent the review products back by the end of the loan period, don’t worry. Chances are they haven’t finished their reviews and need to keep the products a few weeks longer. Call a week before the due date to see if the reporters have any questions, need the products longer, or require shipping instructions to return the product.
Sometimes a reporter will fall in love with your product and not want to return it. Many manufacturers have special press prices to allow reporters to purchase review products. The price is generally the same as the dealer price, or just a little bit more so the company can’t be accused of undercutting their dealers.
Template to Use:
Agreement – Review Product
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