I’ve just come across your blog, http://philsworkbench.blogspot.co.uk/, and am contacting you to see if you’d be interested in working with our client, Hornby, on a product review?
We’d love to send you one of their products for you to try. All we ask for in return is a post on your blog featuring the product and a link to the Hornby site.
How does that sound?
If you’re interested in collaborating with them on this, please have a quick browse on their site and let me know what kind of product you’d like us to send you.
This all sounded interesting. After a little asking around, it turned out that I wasn't alone, a couple of other bloggers had received the same offer. It seemed that Hornby had decided to dip a toe into more unusual forms of marketing - bypassing the traditional magazines and trying for some traction in social media.
I replied that I'd be delighted to join in. While I don't really need any more toy train stuff, it seemed a cheap way to bag a few specific blog projects.
After a little discussion, I put my request in for:
- R9643 - Derelict Cottage No. 1 (Unpainted) £11.85
- R9755 - Utility Warehouse - Low Relief £14.99
- R8991 - Water Works Building £21.99
- R8952 - SkaleLighting Bulbs x 4 £6.15
- R8947 - SkaleLighting Power Strip £7.75
- R6631 - RailRoad Breakdown Crane £19.99
- R3283 - RailRoad Bagnall Shunter Locomotive £29.99
Total cost at RRP £112.71
This wasn't quite what they were expecting. I think that most people asked for a big loco, but I decided that this selection would fit in more with the ethos of this blog. Also, I really fancy one of those Bagnalls to play with.
Anyway, all was agreed and I waited. In the meantime, over on Albion Yard there was a very detailed K1 review so I knew models were being dished out.
A couple of days later, it transpired that Hornby were slashing the marketing budget and no longer supplying review items to magazines.
Chasing up the offer, it seems that having been agreed, the pause button had been hit on the whole project.
To quote the marketing company handling the whole thing, "I can confirm that they do want to put this on hold for now, however, I will hopefully be in touch in the near future to pick this up with you."
So, no new toys for me then. I should have asked for a big chuff-chuff.
Seriously though, I'm not worried about the lack of goodies. There is more than enough stuff sitting around awaiting my attention and if I get bored of that, then I have several boxes of kits and projects for my own entertainment.
Maybe if I was a newbie blogger then I'd be a lot more disappointed. After all, it's exciting to be given things for review - I remember the excitement when it first happened to me.
It's a shame that the project wasn't carried though too as it would be interesting to see what the results were. Obviously if you can't afford to send models to magazines where they will garner many thousands of readers the it makes sense that you can't send it to bloggers who might only give you a few hundred.
Mind you, perhaps it's better for mainstream model railway companies to leave the blogasphere alone. Long term readers may remember the projects sent my way by Idealo - who no longer have a model railways category!