Recently, I was approached by a company to write about a product on my blog. I found out that I did not fit their criteria, and that really bugged me since they wanted to work on a viral advertising method to promote the product.
Their criteria were very strict, and so I was disappointed. When we were talking about it, they made no mention of needing me to be positive about the product, but they probably would not try to do such a thing with a product that has not tested well before.
I think such things are going to become more prominent with larger and smaller bloggers in the blogosphere as companies look for cheap and effective advertising, and in my mind, word of mouth is some of the best advertising a company can get. Impress a few key people, and you can sway the opinion of many.
This does not mean that I think you should hide the fact that you were approached to write about such product. I think being honest with your audience is the best thing you can do to retain your journalistic integrity. Some people try to hide that the article they wrote was in a way sponsored by a company or service, and I think this is a sad way to run a blog, and a fast way to ruin one.
If you are approached by a company to write a post on a product, be as objective as you can, and don’t just turn it down because if you approach it correctly, you won’t be doing anything wrong according to me.
What do you think though? Can you trust a blogger that has gone ahead, tested a product and written about it on his site?