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July 2, 2004 07:26 AM

Categories: Marketing and PR

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Joined: 06/23/2004

Hello all,

We are interested in getting our SW products reviewed and rated by reputed reviewers. Can someone suggest me some reviewers who review and rate SW?
( Bsides the computer magazines )

Thanx for everything,
Unmesh K

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-5 of 5 | Latest Comment

July 2, 2004 9:13 AM

Hi Unmesh,

There are thousands of people who write reviews of computer software. You can buy lists of them through organizations like Media Map (www.mediamap.com).

Outside of computer publications, look for newspapers, general business magazines, vertical business publications, regional magazines, and consumer magazines. Of course, there are also hundreds of websites, blogs, and portals that post software reviews. And don't forget radio and television.

You'll need to look at each of your products separately, and research the reviewers who cover that type of software. Think through who would be interested in reading a review of that kind of software, and then track down publications that reach that market. Then search through the publication's website to find reviews of similar products and see who wrote them. Or check the "beat list" in the Contact section of the website or the masthead of the print version.

It's not a simple job, but you need to take the time to do it properly if you want to get good results.

If you don't want to take the time, your best bet is to write a press release and post it to PR Newswire, Business Wire and/or PR Web.

July 30, 2004 9:56 PM

While the suggestion of going to MediaMap is a good one, it is expensive. To use the MediaMap database, you must pay an annual fee and last time I checked it was very expensive. A very cost effective alternative will take you a little time, but not much money. All you need is Internet access.

Visit the websites of your competitors. Have their products been reviewed? Look for links to reviews of their products and write down the name of the person who wrote the review. Many articles contain a paragraph or two about the reviewer, including their contact information.

You can also perform searches on computer magazine websites to list articles that have been written about whatever your product does (database, email, document management, etc...) Again, look for the information about the article's author. If it is not listed, you can look at the publication's website and search for the author's name.

Armed with this contact information, you can send the reviewer a short email, referencing how you found them ( I read your review of Product X...) and that you would like to send them a copy of your product for their review. If possible, point out a nice differentiator (our product appeals to smaller enterprises than Product X due to price, feature, feature). The email should be short and at the end you ask for a simple action item - they can reply to the email with their instructions on how they would like to receive the review copy - via electronic download license with a license key - or via physical package (if you have this available).

Another way of soliciting for reviews is to contact your users. Look through your customer records to find "happy" users and see if they would share their experience with your product in written form. Many people shy away from writing - so volunteer to help them. Send them a questionaire to get started and then write a few paragraphs and email back to them to see if they agree or if they would like to make some edits. Inform them of how you would like to use the results (in white paper form, story posted to your website, etc. etc.).

Good luck to you in finding appropriate reviewers for your products.


S Mueller
VP Operations
Lockstep Systems Inc
Developers of Backup for Workgroups - Disk-Based, Client/Server, Backup and Disaster Recovery Software for Networked Windows Servers & PCs

August 3, 2004 10:04 PM

Hello all,

We are interested in getting our SW products reviewed and rated by reputed reviewers. Can someone suggest me some reviewers who review and rate SW?
( Bsides the computer magazines )

Thanx for everything,
Unmesh K

I penned an article on six tips for getting good software reviews - you can find it on my web site www.geibelpr.com under the Tab "Articles" - number 17 - you might find some other useful information there as well.

Jeffrey Geibel

August 31, 2004 11:25 AM

When seeking product reviews make sure you create a "Reviewer's Guide" and manage the review. Having won PC Magazine's Editor's Choice award seven times in a row with one of my companies, I can tell you that the review doesn't always go to the best product, but to the vendor who can properly manage the review process and ensure that his/her features become the criteria for the review.

The reviewer's guide would include the following items:
a) Software package
b) Brochures and sell sheets (piece that goes to resellers (shows category, positioning, SRP and anticipated street price (you never want to use list and have a competitor use street price), promotions, size, etc.
c) Copies of other positive reviews (so they can see other's review criteria (at least that's how you position it (selecting the criteria is like selecting the jury--your attempt to is bias the review in your favor)).
d) Demo script (the fastest way for them to see the "best foot forward" features of your product without having to touch the manuals). This should be in paper format, and video if possible (now you can use a Windows Media format (unless your product is mac) so it can be viewed on the PC). If you are faster, you will highlight the speed. If you have a better URL, you will point out how few clicks it takes to execute a task. If you have a better price (the price/performance leader is often a category), then you will bold the text in red. If you have totally unique features, you will coat them with "the only product to do...", etc.
e) Your product's positioning and unique value proposition.
f) Your "external" Tom Cruise chart (You're better than Tom Cruise because you are taller, have bigger feet, can play piano, less wrinkles, etc. (irrelavant to Tom's girlfriend or biased fans, but still has value). i.e., a comparitive matrix (the external one that shows your good features, not the internal that shows both strength's and weaknesses).
g) Other items that you think are valuable (such as special hotline numbers)

This is not a press release that is supposed to be news and neutral--this is promotion and you are expected to be biased (although not flagrant), which is why you're putting your product up to the test.

By managing the review I mean you must know when to submit, to who, and have access to the actual reviewer(s). If you can give a "quick start" demo it will help. Regardless, you need to ensure the actual reviewer has your reviewer's kit and all the "hotline" phone numbers and e-mails to get any question or problem resolved quickly.

You also have to ensure that folks in the company know the review is occuring, the reviewer's name(s), and the proper responses (which should be to re-direct all "non-public" questions back to you (or whoever is managing the particular review). You don't want future features (or products) pre-announced when the reviewer speaks with support, engineering, etc. Any potential internal contacts (including the receptionist) must be coached.

Winning a review (and then leveraging the results (press release, post on site, list in an ad, put on the font of packaging, immediate leads, etc.) can be the most important single promotional activity you will perform and is too important to be left to the uninitiated (get help).

By the way, other sources for reviews also includes Users Groups. I've identified every major user group that covers my category. Many folks will do product reviews in return for a copy copies donated to their user group meetings. The person/people who receive extra copies have to review it. These often go into newsletters, etc. A great viral approach to getting the word out and getting additional product referencing. Check out the book, "Working with Computer User Groups" (Amazon) if you want more help.

There's more, but I hope this helps.

Ted Finch 512-947-7016 tedfinch att chanimal.com www.chanimal.com (Chanimal - The Ultimate Resource for Software Marketing)

View unverified member's comment - posted by Sharilee

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