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Thread: Reviewers Bryan Cardonick and Carrie Hood... Kitsuniverse?

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  1. Default Reviewers Bryan Cardonick and Carrie Hood... Kitsuniverse? 
    #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    500
    Just got an email from these folks asking for free tickets in order to do a review. I realize the old phrase "any PR is good PR" is sometimes true, but has ANYONE even heard of these people? I have never even heard of them, and since they live close it seems as if they just want free tickets to events and then write a review....

    Anyone else deal with them?

    Email as follows....Thanks!

    ------------

    Greetings,

    My name is Bryan Cardonick, aka Kitsune Hazard, and I run the blog/website
    Kitsuneverse which covers pop culture conventions as well Haunted
    Attractions. I'm writing to find out about requesting tickets so that we
    can do a story and review of this year's ********************. We would love to
    come out possibly this weekend to get our experience in early and share it
    with our readers as we have time available and are local to the area.

    That said, this is part of a joint venture along with another blog,
    InSanity lurks Inside, where we've both teamed up for what we're calling
    "Haunt Tour 2013" - 4,000 miles, 40+ haunts. We're a little a crazy but
    after over 20 years in the industry in various positions, a few screws are
    definitely loose. This year we're wanting to get as much coverage for as
    many attractions as we can.

    We've already been invited to and covered such events as Busch Gardens
    Williamsburg's Howl-O-Scream, Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights,
    Busch Gardens Tampa's Howl-O-Scream, Hundred Acres Manor, Ghoul Mansion,
    Netherworld, Rich's Fright Farm and several others this year. We feel that
    adding ***************** would be a great addition to our line up for this
    year.

    Typically our coverage consists of lead up posts, live tweeting/blogging
    and the follow up review of the event. This information is shared on
    various social media sites, our primary being that of Google+ where we have
    a combined 20,000+ followers. Additionally we share our reactions and
    experiences not only to Google+ but also Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.
    Reviews are usually up within a couple days of our visit as well and shared
    to our followers across all networks. Frequently Haunted Attraction related
    articles from Kitsuneverse are featured via ThrillGeek.com and Haunt Topic
    Radio's "The Haunt and Halloween Daily"
    as well.

    Thanks and we look forward to working with you on this project,
    Last edited by NightmareAftershockLLC; 10-24-2013 at 06:40 PM.
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Near Charlotte NC
    Posts
    1,044
    I have done reviews for NCHaunts www.nchaunts.com. Never been an issue for any of the haunt owners when I do reviews, as long as you provide ample evidence that it's legit. The featured haunts in the area are usually sent out a letter prior to the season asking if they wish to have a reviewer come by. If not, they don't go though in an 'official' capacity. I would be wary of someone who shows up unannounced demanding to go through for free in exchange for 'reviews'.

    However, If a pair of free passes will make or break your haunt, you have larger problems than a good review can fix.
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    500
    Badger that isn't the case, we simply want to avoid giving free passes out to a reviewer that won't get us any exposure, ya know?
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    4
    Yes, as a matter of fact- We ARE legitimate and trust me, we don't need free tickets to review a haunt. Most of the cost of what we do comes out of our own pockets. If you don't want to give us tickets, that's perfectly fine.

    You simply could have emailed one of us and asked for a list of references, we would have happily provided them rather then posting our contact information online for everyone to see. We've already contacted the Admin staff here to ask it to be removed, unless you would kindly do so.

    Since you want references, allow me to prove a few of my own.

    Within the last year I have personally worked with, been invited to and published reviews from the following places. I can also provide their contact emails if you feel inclined to check on the fact I am legitimate. You could also have checked either one of our blogs as proof that we do, in fact, review what we claim. We also have a press packet which you could have requested as additional proof with site stats, information and recommendations. You know, that would be the professional way to handle the situation.

    Amusement Parks/Theme Parks:
    Koy or Emily- Busch Gardens Public Relations, Williamsburg, VA
    Published: Park Review, Food and Wine Review, Howl-O-Scream Review

    Travis- Busch Gardens Public Relations, Tampa, FL
    Published: Park Review and Howl-O-Scream Review

    Dagmarl- Senior Office Coordinator for Seaworld Florida
    Published: Park Review

    Carrie- Dorney Park Public Relations- Dorney Park, PA
    Published: Park Updates and Media Releases

    Don- Kings Island Public Relations- Kings Island, Mason, OH
    Published: Park Review, Media Releases and Park Updates


    As for fellow blogger references, you may contact:
    Oni of Oniverse
    http://www.onezumi.com/

    Jake or Josh of Mickey Mutineers
    http://www.mickeymutineers.com/

    Marizela at Potspoon!
    http://scienceforfood.blogspot.com/

    Leroy at Wonders of Life, Eterna
    http://wol4eva.blogspot.com/

    You may also contact:
    Scott at Scarehouse
    Gravely at Castle Blood
    Spooky Girl/Jackie at Haunted Hills Estate
    Jeff at Haunted Hillside
    Eathan at Hundred Acres Manor
    Joe at Ghoul Mansion (Upcoming Review)


    We have both published reviews for each of these haunted attractions in the local area. If you simply would have checked the blogs, you'd have seen this. Generally we try to cover whatever area we are local to every few years, to get their names out there in the wild and help them when possible. I'll also freely tell you the only park or haunt that I don't have a 'good reputation' with is Kennywood. Simply because they put on a bad show and I called them out on it last season for Phantom Fright Nights. I have also called the park out on their declining state of the park and service.

    If you need anything else, you may contact us through the provided and now very public contact information. However, at this point our schedule is incredibly full and it's rather doubtful we'll be getting to much more before the season is over.

    -Carrie
    InSanity lurks Inside
    http://insanitylurksinside.blogspot.com/
    Last edited by Carrie HC; 10-24-2013 at 04:48 PM.
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    500
    Why would you fear your business contact information being published.....? Confused....
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    9,095
    We had this problem this year and I told my PR FIRM we are done... if some blogger or whatever wants to come through and or especially high school newspapers they are bringing like 6 people why? I told my PR FIRM if we want to approve someone its one person that person and no one else. Period. The cost of one ticket isn't that much if their story generates even 10 customers... so its worth it but you just never know when you are being taken advantage of so make a rule that one person only and that weeds out the fakes.

    Larry
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    500
    Larry this was my fear. Period. Glad we see eye to eye on this. Everyone nowadays wants something for nothing, and reviews for any haunt should try to focus on the positive regardless of the negative.... Letting someone in for free to bash a haunt in it's growth stages is shitty and irresponsible, and therefore makes others leery to use them. Additionally, bragging about bashing Fright Nights, a company that has used Dark Rides, tells me that they aren't focussing on the positive of an attraction. Unfortunately this therefore makes free tickets pointless if any haunt is still in its growth stages and may not have a lot of positive amazing qualities yet....?

    Sorry you were so upset Carrie about a public inquiry about a public matter.....?
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    500
    One more thing, maybe build a professional website instead of a little blog to truly display your professionalism and dedication to writing reviews....?
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    4
    Because that is my personal cell phone number as well as my home address. I'm sure you wouldn't like it either if someone posted yours about randomly all while carefully editing out the name or your attraction. It's not only unprofessional but rude at the same time. I'll ask you again, please remove it.

    As for using blogger, it's convenient and I'm no website guru able to build something flashy in a day. Some of the largest and most popular blogs online use that service for the same exact reasons. Plus like many bloggers, I also have real life commitments outside of the internet and my blog which limit my availability to learn then build a website. Yes, I do plan to have one shortly but that isn't today nor tomorrow so it has no point within this conversation.

    Yes, I have called out Fright Nights- Did you read the review? You should because it's everything one shouldn't do. Since it was sold off to Parques Renuidos the event hasn't been very good nor has the overall park during the summer. As for smaller haunts, funny thing. We just reviewed Haunted Hillside in Mt. Pleasant. Their a first year haunt, we had nothing bad to say about them even on an understaffed night. Really, you should read the reviews before you simply keep talking.. or typing as the case may be.

    I'll just guess my 10,000 views per month aren't important and don't matter nor would the business our reviews would bring you.

    A simple "Sorry, No Thanks" would have sufficed.

    Edit: Funny thing, now that I've tracked down your haunt..your haunts owner had no problem allowing us in. I'm now wondering why you do?
    Last edited by Carrie HC; 10-24-2013 at 06:01 PM.
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    I'm replying in my own defense on this one and you should've come directly to me in regards to this. Posting up our contact information, yet blocking out your own haunt name is very unprofessional and I have notified the staff here to remove that from your original post. That is a serious party foul, not only according to us, but also with other bloggers/reviewers out there that we've spoken to about this.

    We may be smaller than some other sites out there, but we are still very legitimate and growing with each passing day. A simple look at either of the haunt review sections on our sites (both linked in the e-mail) or even reading a review or two would have shown that we're not just looking for free tickets to local events and then doing some half-assed review afterwards. We take this very seriously as we have worked and been around the industry for nearly two decades a piece, working at such places a Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights, ScareHouse, Fright Farm, Sleepy Hollow Hayrides and several others.

    As far as reviewing goes, we are admittedly somewhat new to things in that regard. Sure, both of our sites are through Blogger but considering that our main social outlet is Google+, the integration with that platform makes sense. Plans are in the works for more permanent sites, but that's really none of your business to be quite honest.

    Despite that, we have been invited to both Busch Gardens parks for their Howl-O-Scream media and client nights as well as other nationally recognized Haunted Attractions such as ScareHouse, Hundred Acres Manor, Netherworld, Factory of Terror and many others this year alone. Interesting that they think we're just fine, then again some of the biggest and most widely read blogs have similar addresses or use similar services. Go figure, eh? We also have a very good relationship with many well known and new haunts in the Pittsburgh/Western PA area, which only makes sense as we live in the area.

    In addition to that we are both known outside of the haunted attraction community as well (something that would easily be seen if you actually looked at the blogs for more than a split second). InSanity lurks Inside is widely known and regarded well amongst several amusement and theme parks throughout the country. Places such as Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Tampa, SeaWorld Orlando, Kings Dominion, Canada's Wonderland, Dorney Park, Kings Island, Kings Dominion and several others. My own site, Kitsuneverse, is known throughout the Anime, Furry and Pop-culture convention circuit as well as too. Due to this, I have been invited to and covered as official press, Anthrocon, Tekkoshocon, Ohayocon, Anime North, Bronycon and others. Again, taking a few minutes would've revealed that to you and maybe a few folks who may not have known of your event in other circles of interest would've found out about it.

    All that had to be done was ask to see proof of this and we would've gladly supplied it. We even have press kits which are available upon request as well. Again, posting up an e-mail and including personal information was definitely not the right way do this. However, feel free to contact any of the haunts below that have had dealings with us already this year and in the past:

    Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Howl-O-Scream
    Busch Gardens Tampa's Howl-O-Scream
    Dent School House
    Legends: A Haunting at Old Town
    ScareHouse
    Haunted Hillside
    Fright Farm
    Haunted Hills Estate
    Hundred Acres Manor
    Castle Blood
    Netherworld

    I'm sure that you'll find they all hold us in a good regard as far as our reviews and process goes.

    EDIT: Also, to my knowledge none of those haunts are new aside from Haunted Hillside. Even then, we give constructive criticism and do point out the good, even if the event is bad in our opinion. In the case of Haunted Hillside, we actually loved what they did with things. Go figure, eh? (Maybe you should read what we've actually written next time.) The only event to ever get a truly bad review from us was Kennywood's Phantom Fright Nights. The night we attended it was horrible and fraught with problems. Also, to my knowledge, they are definitely not a haunt in it's growing stages at all, they've been around for quite a while and in the past we loved their event (we even said such in our reviews if I'm not mistaken) so it was with a heavy heart that we had to write a bad review. That said, we're honest and report on what we see. If it's bad, it's bad. Sorry to burst your bubble there. If you don't like that, you don't have to let us visit, simple as that but we aren't changing our style just because of free entrance to a haunt. That would be lying in our review, what's the point of that other than damaging our reputations?

    As far as requesting more than one ticket? That's because you get double the coverage. There are two of us (as stated in the e-mail) and as of this writing, over 22,000 people who follow us on Google+ alone. That's quite a few people there that we get the word out to about everywhere that we visit. Our review team only consists of us and unless somewhere offers more, we never expect to get more than that. Not saying that it won't ever happen that we may have a third person in the future, but for now it's just us. Pretty simple really.

    Also, to say that this is a public matter is absurd. This is in no way was a public matter. Writing to you privately and asking about this issue is a private matter between myself and you. You are the one that made it public by posting that on a public forum. This post could've been made easily without including everything else that you did. Again, the fact that you removed your own attraction name is suspicious as well. If our contact info is public, why isn't that? Oh wait, could it be that you're not the owner of the haunt in question? I think it might be since we have talked with them on the phone. While our schedule got a bit messed up this past weekend (on more than one occasion), we were invited to attend the attraction none-the-less.

    Overall, this was handled badly on your end and I get that you were just trying to find out more about us. However, there were much better ways of going about that than what you chose to do. That said, this matter has been reported to the Haunt World forum staff upon discovering it and reported again due to the fact that even after our replies you haven't modified the original post either. Bad form there.

    In the end, we love haunted attractions and through our reviews we hope to get the word out to people about them. Why else would we drive over 4,000 miles and visit haunts all over the East Coast to do this?
    Last edited by Kitsune Hazard; 10-24-2013 at 06:17 PM.
     

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