Friday, September 24, 2010

How to Get Products for Free Part 7

Freebie-Man reaches his 10th free product and tries to get himself in the papers as a means of getting more stuff for free. Things don't go completely to plan but there's lessons to be learnt in this chapter for any prospective seeker of free products.

Looking for part 1? Find it here

Chapter 7: The hunt for visitors
I’ve always kind of liked the Metro newspaper, no matter what bus you get on
in the Midlands generally there’s a copy on one of the seats, and even if there
isn’t you can count on finding one on the street somewhere or hidden in a
ditch. You see nobody ever reads the Metro first time around, I’m sure people
just go out first thing in the morning and just chuck a few all over the floor
and then people pick them up and throw them somewhere else. By the end of
the day all the Metros have been picked up and the next days issue is just
being finished to be flung down the streets of Birmingham the next day.

So after one day opening up the Metro I had found in a nearby water
fountain I started to wondered if maybe somehow they would mention the
website. After all that days issue had stories on cats stuck up trees and people
digging up corpses so a website about someone getting free stuff must be
high on their priorities.

Just that day for example they were running a story on Page 3 about
‘Geriatric1927’ (which I assume isn’t his real name) an 85-year-old man who
had started telling stories from his life on the Internet. Those stories included
‘in 1940 I bought a motorbike’ and ‘in 1950 I got a haircut’. Now if that
could pass for news I thought I might be in with a chance!

So that day I sat down and proceeded to write a letter to Metro all
about Freebie-Man. I even used an official letterhead and banded about
terms such as ‘Press Release’, journalist and ‘please see attached’ just to
sound official. God I even went to the trouble of taking some photos of
myself wearing two jackets and including them with the press release as well.
The next day I woke up like a kid on Christmas morning and went on
a hunt to find the Metro. Even though I only live 2 minutes away from town I
hoped on a bus at 7 in the morning hoping to find a copy. Then a strange
thing happened, I couldn’t find a copy of the Metro anywhere. I walked all
over the bus, checked roads in the town centre and even looked in the Metro bins by the train station yet found nothing.

Disappointed I walked in to McDonalds and sat down to a morning
meal of an egg, ham and cheese bagel to lift my spirits. And then I saw it; a
Metro, if only it wasn’t in the hands of Jabba the (Pizza) Hut who happened
to be eating his own body weight in bagels. I decided I could wait it out and
attempted to eat my bagel in the record slow time of 20 minutes while Jabba
finished his meal (which was surprisingly slow for someone so wide).
Eventually Jabba finished and set his Metro down on the table.

Reaching over I grabbed his newspaper, wiped off the grease and deep fried
cheese from the cover and proceeded to look through for the Freebie-Man
article. Turning to page 3 I got a shock, ‘Geriatric 1927’ had been featured
again just 1 day after his last article. Worse still I was
nowhere in sight….

Disappointed I started to walk back to my flat and wondered how I
could get the word out on Freebie-Man, after all the more visitors I had the
more likely I would be to ever reach double figures on my quest.
Thankfully I wouldn’t have to wait that long as sitting in my post box
were two board games based on TV shows Lost and the OC. To be honest
they were both a bit pants.

Now you may wonder if I was giving items good reviews just to get
more stuff. And ultimately that’s a choice every reviewer has to make at some
point in their life. Do you massage the text a bit to get a free trip to LA to see
the latest blockbuster, or do you tell the truth and get relegated to seeing it in
a small multiplex like everyone else. Ultimately I decided that truthfulness
would win out, after all a hero who builds their foundations on lies is just
waiting for a villain to expose them. In this case that meant slagging the heck
out of the Lost game, but if I was to attract more visitors honesty definitely
seemed the best policy.

Read the Lost: The Game Review
Read the OC Game Review

10 Down 90 To Go

Read Chapter 8 of How to Get Products for Free

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My Policy

Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).