TrustedReviews.com aims to stand out from the crowd by emphasising its detailed reviews written by experts. Its independence, knowledge and high position on search engines makes it a respected target among PROs.
Cliff Jones, who joined as editor in April, plans to continue to focus on products and their functionality rather than the lifestyle choices or personalities that surround different gadgets. 'We are not interested in who's been hired by Google. We're interested in the delay of the iPad launch or Windows 7 when it launches on mobiles,' he says.
But he is planning to bump up editorial content, which will provide more opportunities to secure coverage. In particular, he is keen to introduce more group tests and comparative reviews such as: 'What are the top ten gadgets you'd take on a road trip?' He believes this will make the site's content more discoverable.
'If you've got a product that challenges the latest smart phones, pitch it as such,' he advises PROs. 'Tell us why you think your product is better. We know products are launched on the back of others. PROs should be honest about what their product rivals; this helps us with our editorial process.'
Lewis PR's head of editorial David Brown says this strategy will help the site increase its web traffic, which has grown by ten per cent in the past year: 'There's a market for sites to interact more with their consumers. This will help position them as experts in their field and get consumers to comment on issues.'
In January Lewis PR sold in a survey that the general public had a dearth of knowledge about technology. 'It was controversial, generated debate, attracted comments and increased traffic,' he says.
Kaizo MD Rhodri Harries also believes comparison pieces will go down well with the consumer tech market. 'Competitive reviews are always read first by some of our clients,' he says. He adds that the site provides 'more diligent and thorough reviews' than some competitors.
Alex MacLaverty, MD of Hotwire's tech team, agrees: 'It is the most in-depth review site around. It has incredible SEO and is usually on the first page when you search for products. This makes it a powerful site for our clients.'
All three PROs, however, warn that the site's independence means PR professionals should not automatically expect a good write-up just because you have approached it. But neither will the journalists deliberately write a negative piece. 'They give reasonably balanced reviews. I see them as informative rather than trying to pull an angle on you,' says Harries, who represents Flip Video and Buffalo Technology among other product clients.
Jones confirms this view: 'PROs can't influence our perception of the product. But they can give us steers on articles.'
Web hits: 2.69 million unique users a month; 13.8 million page views
Deadlines Constant. Earlier in the week is best.
Publisher: IPC Media Accolades September 2009's Hitwise Top 10 Awards Programme named TrustedReviews the most popular electronics site
Contact: 01344 8988480
A MINUTE WITH ... Cliff Jones, editor, TrustedReviews
- Tell us about your reviews
We thoroughly test all the products. If the manufacturer tells us it has an eight-hour battery life, we will make sure it does. We will also test a product's practical use by taking it out of the office and running applications.
- How does this differ from your competitors?
The generalist lifestyle magazines just won't get to the same level of detail. They will have a journalist reviewing a mountain bike one week then a fridge the next.
- Who reviews your products?
We have eight full-time journalists and a range of contributors. We have a specialist TV reviewer who has a room in his home office just set up for TV. If it claims to have the best compatibility with surround sound, he can plug it in and try it. He will get three or four models in and switch between them. We also have a contributor who exclusively reviews printers.
- What tips do you have for PR professionals looking for coverage?
If a product appeals to our readers we will review it, even if we haven't done something similar before. We have a 'peripherals' section that acts as a 'catch-all' area. This week we are reviewing a Samsung hoover.