Over the past several days, the big news in the momosphere has been all about the upcoming “PR Blackout” — a movement instigated by a blogger who runs a mom blog review network, to encourage all mom bloggers to take a “vacation” the week of August 10 – during which they will refuse to do any product reviews, and in fact will not respond at all to the public relations people who contact them. The gist behind this move was that the bloggers were getting so many products to review and were spending so much time doing it, they needed a break. This has created a tremendous amount of buzz, including repeated observations that mom bloggers are not appreciated – and not compensated — for what they do, and I’d like to share a few thoughts of my own:
- In the world of mom bloggers, public relations agencies are not the enemy, and for bloggers to position us as such is self defeating. Product sampling began as a mutually beneficial opportunity for marketers and mom bloggers alike: Marketers generated visibility for their products, moms found a way to create more content for their blogs. This content, in the form of reviews, coupons, giveaways and the like, attracts readers. Which increases blogger visitor numbers. Which creates opportunities — including paid opportunities — for those bloggers. For the mom bloggers we’ve worked with on a consistent basis, this has included profiles on our corporate blog and exposure in our company newsletter (circulated to more than a thousand other companies), fun meets-ups hosted by us or our clients, paid spokesperson gigs, paid consulting opportunities, blogger conference sponsorships and more.
- No marketer ever forced a blogger to post reviews. While some moms were already doing reviews before publicists got into the act, many began separate review sites because they saw the possibilities in partnering with us. If certain mom bloggers are just plain tired of doing product reviews and feel put upon for doing so, they should simply stop – please! We’d all be happier in the end.
- We’re not blind – those of us who have been around for awhile know that as more companies have become aware of bloggers’ value, moms are being bombarded. And we know a proper review takes a lot of time – that’s why we so appreciate those bloggers who take it all seriously and do a great job. We hope they will remain loyal to the companies and the PR agencies that have worked with them from the start and respect the ones that respect them. For those who would rather not, perhaps we PR types should launch our own Blogger Blackout.