Dear PR Person

*Image Credit – whatsnextblog.com

    Today as I was going through my emails I had at least 10 emails from PR companies asking me to “spread the word” about their products or services on Tough Cookie Mommy.  Those of you who are bloggers and are reading this post already know where I’m going with this.  Of course, I have time to spread the word about your product because this blog is just a hobby and I have no other responsibilities besides providing free advertising and promotion to every company that asks me to.  Insert sarcasm here.

    Let me begin by saying that it takes a tremendous amount of work, time, creativity, and money to run a blog.  Yes, I said money.  It costs money to pay for web hosting, blog design, owning a domain, etc.  I’m sure those of you who are not bloggers are probably incredibly shocked to learn this information.

    Also, if you follow me on social media, you know that I rarely go to sleep before 2 AM.  That is because I am busy writing posts, answering emails, fielding conference calls, and promoting my blog.  After all, you are as relevant as your last tweet or post when it comes to social media.

*Image Credit – besocialpr.com

    I’m sure I speak for most bloggers when I say that it is offensive when PR companies approach us and ask us to “share information” about their product but never mention any compensation.  I mean, would they approach the New York Times with a pitch to advertise in their classifieds section without expecting to pay advertising rates?  I don’t think so and I would venture to say that the New York Times would laugh in their faces.

    Additionally, our blogs are very important to us and we stand behind what we say and share on them to our readers.  I would never recommend a product or service that I wouldn’t use myself or that wouldn’t be good for my family.  That would be like selling my blog’s soul to the devil.  It confuses me why these PR firms expect bloggers to share information about their product or service without being compensated.  I wonder, are they getting paid to work in PR?  Of course they are.

    Don’t get me wrong, us bloggers we do a lot of things without being compensated.  We spread the word about causes or issues that are important to us or to our families on a regular basis without any expectation of payment in return.  The point is that WE choose those projects, those projects don’t choose US.  So basically, the message here is this:

  • If you want me to write a post that is at least 300 words long and will take me over an hour to write that is of a commercial nature, see my media kit.
  • If you want to advertise your product on my blog and have me “spread the word” about your brand much in the same way the New York Times would if you advertised with them, see my media kit.
  • If you tell me you don’t have a budget to compensate bloggers but you are having a conference call with me from your Porsche while you are driving through Beverly Hills, see my media kit.

*Image Credit – prnewswire.com

    When PR companies treat bloggers with such disregard, they are undervaluing what we do as writers, as businesspeople, as parents with families to support, and as human beings.  There is no other industry where there is the expectation of goods or services being delivered without compensation besides blogging.  The misconception is that bloggers just want free items and that is enough.  I have a Master’s degree so forgive me if a coupon for a box of cereal doesn’t excite me as payment for a campaign that I spent hours to complete.

    At the end of the day, my priority is being authentic to my readers, maintaining integrity in my blog, and providing transparency with regards to the posts and services that I received compensation for.  If your brand, product, or service is going to compromise any of those three things, there isn’t enough that you can pay me that will get me to accept your pitch. However, I’m no fool and I do expect to be compensated for my expertise and for my time.

    Obviously this post doesn’t apply to the dozens of PR companies that I work with regularly who respect my craft and the craft of blogging.  They always compensate me for my time and work and value the service that bloggers provide their industry and New Media.  However, for the rest of you who are always trying to get a free lunch from bloggers, please help to “spread the word” and let your friends know that bloggers are entrepreneurs first, consumers second, and suckers never.

© 2013, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Carol Jones says

    AMEN.

  2. Well said Maria, and as to the point of costs behind a blog, we also spend a lot of money on continuing education. Learning more about how to be better writers, photographers, on top of social media, and those conferences not only require a lot of time but also an investment!

  3. Alexandra Elizabeth says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE. I thought because I was a small blog that was why pr firms were asking me to post – to post. I used to just ignore, then a few ocassions with places I was familiar with, I asked for compensation, and got it. I get its rare and its insulting that some feel the need to use bloggers for their advantage. We’re running a business and should be respected!!

  4. Jessie Nuez says

    LOVE!

  5. Terry My Journey With Candida says

    It just floors me that some of these companies think we should do their advertising without compensation. While I don’t make money on my blog,.. I do reviews and require product for post. Some of these companies want to give me a SAMPLE… and I do mean sample. .. NOT a full size product. Then…. some of my sponsors are very, very generous. So I guess it all evens out.

  6. @Erin_Havel says

    Exactly. Thank you for this.

  7. BohemianBabushka says

    You ain’t just whislin’ La Guantanamera there mujer!! ESO,ESO, and a great big ESO!!!

  8. Oh, How I just love this post!!!!!

  9. Well said my friend! It is incredible how they keep sending you more emails with messages that seem you’ve had a conversation before or that you at least know each other. I just ignore them and never respond, however, it is annoying to have so much junk mail in my inbox.

  10. Tracy Iglesias says

    INDEED! It seems every blogger has to write this post at some point and that’s a shame. I nicely remind people that they don’t get paid in whatever product they are pitching, why on earth should I?

  11. Travesías aunmejorYO says

    AAAAAAAAAmen girl!

  12. I love it and so agree. I’ve gotten a few of those letters myself and I just tend to hit the delete button instead of responding. Maybe I should refer them to this post next time. Thank you for writing what most of us are thinking. 🙂

  13. Well stated. It amazes me that it even needs to be discussed, but then again, the blogging industry never ceases to amaze me!

  14. Antionette Blake says

    Brava sis, this is definitely a timely post that needs to be “shared”!

  15. I haven’t gotten very many pitches yet, but I am fairly new. This is a great article.

  16. Frugal and Fun Mom says

    You definitely need to be the one to take a stand, and place a value on the work that you produce. I think readers will appreciate this, because the quality of the work will be better.

  17. I so agree! I am not sure what they think we do all day long. But I don’t have time for writing advertising posts for free! If I would do that, I would be busy all day long just writing thinks I don’t even want to write. So it’s like you say it: If you want me to talk about your product, pay me!

  18. kSquaredGlamour says

    love this and agree! I cant stand getting pitches asking me to post content free

  19. Well said! I receive about 10 pitches a day asking me to write complimentary posts. I have a job, a family and other responsibilities so don’t have hours to just “waste” because I’m “bored.” I tell them Bicultural Mama is a business and offer to send them my media kit. Most do not respond, but that’s okay, because I don’t have time to be writing 70 posts a week (10 pitches x 7 days)!

  20. Dawn Spatulas On Parade says

    Amen sister. See my media kit. WHY do they think we will advertise for free? I guess they think we are desperate. Not

  21. Preach it sista! This is spot on! We need a Blogger Union, seriously.

  22. Completely agree – I’ll have a few people I will do something for ‘free’ for mainly as I work with them a lot but some people just want something for nothing. x

  23. GrandmaBonnie A says

    I totally agree with you. Blogging full time is not a hobby its a job. Although I am not making a living from my blog.

  24. Daisy Tremorev says

    I know how much work it is to have a good blog! It’s a small world and PR reps that treat people well have a better chance of being successful. Appreciation goes both ways. I appreciate my good reps and if they ever need a favor, I’m quick to help.

  25. Kelsey Apley says

    My motto is they get paid to find bloggers to work for free.. I find that a slap in the face to all of us BLOGGERS because it seems they can’t take us seriously.. shame on them!!

  26. Crystal Threeprincesandaprince says

    AMEN! There is one company in particular that pitches me a minimum of 3 times a day with “please share materials.” It drives me up a wall, espeically since they haven’t removed me as I’ve requested MANY times.

  27. Great post and every word of it is true! I loved it.

  28. And I am bookmarking it so I can come back for motivation when I need it.

  29. southernmessmom says

    I LOVE IT!! My blog isn’t very big yet so I don’t have this issue…however, I have had a few PR people contact me and expect FREE promotion…some topics I don’t mind sharing for free…if it’s a good charity or cause…companies that I know are making a ton of money while I am making absolutely nothing from my blog right now…I just don’t seem to be motivated to help them for free lol I agree with Madison…my reply email may just be a link to this post from now on! 😀

  30. Preach it sister!!! Well written, I get so many “Spread the message” emails. I usually hit delete unless they disclose any kind of compensation. I love that first graphic, “I want a blogger now”. Funny!

  31. Thanks for posting this! I saw in a facebook group recently that a speaker at an affiliate summit had told the people to look for bloggers because they don’t have enough content to write on their own. Delete, delete, delete!

  32. I have gotten those and they have all been deleted. The nerve!

  33. Melinda Kuffler Dunne says

    I agree. Blogging is a lot harder than it appears and does require money to and lots of time to keep it moving.

  34. This was excellently put. As a blogger starting out I can definitely vouch for it being a lot more work, money, & time than I ever expected it to be. I will definitely be keeping this post in mind for when my nlog becomes so famous i get PR harass emails. 😛

  35. AGREED!

  36. Blogging takes a lot of time. I am not always sure that companies realize this. Great article.

  37. As a relatively new blogger, I literally know nothing about this struggle. But you know what, I do know that blogging takes up a lot of time. It’s not just “sit and write” like people think. Companies are seeking YOUR help because their own PR firms who are paid HEFTILY to get the word out … can’t do the job you are doing by reviewing them in a blogpost. Yet, companies feel like they can treat you like that? Wow. Makes me rethink the whole “reviewing for companies” aspect of blogging!

  38. This is a great post and I think it is a great place to start some really important conversations. Blogging takes time, love, commitment and is often a sacrifice. It takes away from other great things. That is worth some type of compensation for sure…we all share and hope to help great companies get the word out but really it is an issue of fairness, but also on responsibility. I am glad you said what I am sure many are thinking… 😎 I hope the message gets out…

  39. Corinne Schmitt says

    I understand your frustration and I have seen it on the other side too. My friend owns a business and bloggers are constantly writing to her asking her for free product in exchange for a review and she is usually offended that they expect her to give her product away for free in exchange for unknown or unsubstantiated benefits. I think everyone should remember to take your advice and instead of looking at what they want, looking at what they’re offering to the other party when they make a pitch.

  40. Janeth Sanchez Paez says

    Wow, deep! preach on tough cookie. Love it….

  41. Betsy Barnes says

    I can imagine the time the goes into being a blogger. I have been giving it some real thought into having my own blog, however, the lack of time is the main reason why I haven’t. I would probably be very selective in choosing products to pitch, I’d want to pitch things I like so it would have more meaning. 🙂

  42. Mandy Lenore says

    I totally agree! Keep up the good work!

  43. that is an awesome post. It’s amazing the amount of people who expect you to do so much free stuff

  44. WOW! Well said!!

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