We get a lot of emails from PRs telling us about various new products, everything from mascara to software and a lot else in between. I'm an ex-PR - I racked up 13 long years in the business before coming to Dubai and realising that I enjoy a life of laziness far more than a life of ass-kissing - so I know most of the tricks.
I know that it's often a numbers game and any blog with a 'parenting' tag is suitable prey. I know that bloggers are the new hot target for numerous brands; I wrote plenty of proposals in my former life on how to engage bloggers in an effort to gain a foothold in the credibility mountain. I even have a small amount of sympathy for those PRs forced to peddle rubbish; everyone has to eat, after all.
Most of the emails we delete, especially the press releases spinning stuff with no relevance to what we do (guys, please read our blog before trying to flog us washing powder or teen clothing), but there is the odd one that makes us pause.
Up to now we have refused to endorse anything we haven't stumbled across ourselves, nothing on our blog has been PR-generated. But are we right to take this stance? Is sitting up there on our moral high-ground actually depriving us of material? Should we be taking advantage of the PR machine by sifting through the muck and pulling out diamonds that we wouldn't normally come across if left to our own devices?
But there's no such thing as a free lunch. How compromised would we be if we take a PR review freebie and then truly hate it? How would it affect our neutrality? Would you, our readers, want us to give you our opinion on new products coming on to the market? Would you accept our promise to be 100% transparent?
We'd love to hear what you think. Please leave a comment or email us offblog at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.