Over the past 20 + years in the PC/CE marketplace we’ve learned and relearned our job 40-50 times. Every time the industry changes, every time the communications avenues shift; life/opportunities change.

Since the Internet and Web came into their own editorial and promotional outlets/targets have shifted…dramatically. We all read the same studies, the same reports — WOM (word of mouth) is the most effective marketing/sales tool available.


Yet PR people – at the cattle prodding of management – constantly target the same reviewers again and again.  You know – PC Mag, PC Wld, MacWld, Max PC, Laptop, WSJnl, NYTimes, WashPost, Dvice, Overclocked, Videomaker, Videography

There are thousands of these reviewers in the Americas and around the globe.  They must be breeding because every week a new publication, new review site, new “tech” blog introduce themselves to us. Like good little PR people we check them out and give them a try.  BAM!!! add another “great review” outlet to the target list. 

Don’t get us wrong…they’re important. But recently we received a review from Tom, a regular guy we’ve gotten to know over the past year who likes to check out the latest and greatest in technology and talk/write about it.

He discusses it on his morning TV show. He writes about it in his Facebook space. Lately he has added a new dimension to his coverage (at our urging). He publishes his review impressions on the open forum customer review sites. When we read his write up it got us thinking how valuable and how credible his discussion, his analysis really were.

Regular People
Professional journalistic reviewers always slip on their techie reviewing cloak when they test/try a product.  They test, retest, analyze and then write their reviews very carefully, very analytically. But our “regular guy” user/reviewer in Atlanta is like a lot of user group folks — there are over 300 Mac and PC user groups across the country, people who come together and pay dues for camaraderie and to learn more about using the constantly changing technology.

We’ve worked with hundreds of them over time to do product reviews with varying degrees of success. We don’t hold them to strict editorial standards because they’re just regular folks. We ask them if they or a member of their group is interested in reviewing the specific product or service. 

If they agree we ask them to:
        – write the review for their newsletter
        – demonstrate the product at their meeting
        – do something extra for us — post the review in one or more of the consumer review sites around the web — Amazon, CNet, Buy, Newegg.com, others

No Review Review
No you don’t ask to review their write-up before it is posted. It’s desirable but unprofessional and unrealistic! Instead you simply cross your fingers and hope for the best possible results (just as with any review).

Tom gave us a 4.5 star rating on one site and 5 stars on another (ok so he didn’t like the length of the USB cord …sheesh!). His review was fun to read.  It was exciting.  It was enthusiastic.  It was technically pretty darned  accurate.  It was credible.   It was real!

We all know that people who are considering buying a product visit these and other sites all of the time. Their goal is to learn first hand what results and comments other real people have about the company, the product, the organization’s service.


They read these real user reviews/comments/reports and make their decision. Then they tell three people.  And they tell three people.


Suddenly the company, the product, the service have real credibility on the street.
We still like the reviews Charlie, Joel, David, Walter, Shawn, Gregg, Gordon, etc., produce. We also like the reviews Tom, Bill, Sandy, Bev, Lorene, Bud, Jerry, and others do.  Add them to your communications opportunities on YouTube, Facebook, blog, community sites and…life is good.

All it takes is getting real people interested, real people involved. Then all the communications/PR people have to do is stand back and take all the credit.

Hey…we finally understand this WOM thing– this buzz stuff — really works.

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