So You Want To Talk To Mommybloggers…

I assume by now you’ve seen the bruhahaha? Yes? No?

Go look, I’ll wait.

Back?

So basically there are these big ‘ol corporations who are just salivating to get their money grubbing claws into women online. Oh, wait, I take that back-they are ignoring those of you who are childless, of color, breastfeeding, in need of childcare, lesbian, or anything other than Christian. Which leaves us with what-White. Straight. Jesus-Loving. Breeders.

White, straight, Jesus-loving breeders online are a big fucking deal. Apparently we’re the only ones who can communicate a message and influence other white, straight, Jesus Loving breeders to buy! buy! buy! buy! At least that’s the message I’m getting, you?

It’s a damn shame these companies, marketers, PR flacks and social media opportunists don’t actually READ the blogs of the Moms they target. They would learn an awful lot in a very short period of time if they did.

They would learn you might not want to ask the Mom with the newborn to ditch the baby and screw that whole breastfeeding thing to come try their products for a weekend. They would learn you might not want to ask the Jewish Mom to come celebrate Easter or say, attend an event during Passover.

Oy Vey is right.

But really, more than anything else, they would learn we have voices and our voices equal power. We can praise your product across the globe and make our friends buy it…OR we can trash it and ruin your reputation. It means we are…wait for it…real people. I know you marketing types are used to us just being a ‘number’ or a ‘demo’ but much like everything else in this world, real people can make a difference.

With that said, a little birdie I know was kind enough to give me a peak at the eMarketer Moms Online study. Want to hear my favorite part?

“It is important to be upfront. Tell mothers what you are doing and
that you value their opinion. Reward them with something
tangible. Use word-of-mouth and blog monitoring techniques to
track where mothers are discussing your brand and enlist their
help in promoting it.
Speak to mothers as more than just mothers. In a study of mothers
by Draft Worldwide, 34% said they are often offended by the way
that they are portrayed in advertising. More than 68% said they
would like to be spoken to as more than just a mother and 55%
said they would react more positively if marketers spoke to them
as a multi-dimensional woman, not just a mother.
For web sites aimed at mothers a sea change is under way.There
is still plenty of traction in sites such as BabyCenter, iVillage and
the online destinations linked to parenting magazines. However, a
business model based on published content from experts and
professional writers will be threatened by a new crop of sites built
from content that mothers supply themselves.

That emphasis up there is MINE. All mine. What did we all learn from this? (this is the part where all you PR/marketing types needs to sit up straight and pay attention): Do it how we want or we will do it ourselves.

That means you need to get touchy, feely and join our community and get to know us. I know, sucks for you huh. You have to engage us. You have to even learn to trust us, but more than that you have to make us trust you. And you’re not going to gain our trust if all we are to you is a statistic.

Scary proposition when a few tiny tweets the other day launched this discussion into overdrive.

Another important point that I alluded to above: Women control $.83 of every household dollar. That does not, necessarily, mean a household with children. You assumed it did, right?

Now you’re probably thinking to yourself here, how can I let my big corporation even think about talking to these incredibly influential, LOUD women? Easy (no, really it is) be human and use your brain. If you’re talking to Moms, understand they HAVE CHILDREN that need to be taken care of. If you want their time, their thoughts, their blog love-either pay for it or show them some good faith.

I’m not kidding.

We’re getting pitched all over the place. Just today Plain Jane Mom was telling me a story on Twitter:

I got an email asking me to join some sort of panel where they’d send me stuff to review every couple of weeks. I checked it out and the first thing I was presented with was a looong questionnaire full of things like ‘why do you think ….. you’d be a good fit for this panel? Tell us 5 ways you would work this panel into your life.’ And so on. Seriously? Ask me to be in this group, and then expect me to spend an hour telling you why you should ‘let’ me in? All for the privilege of giving you nearly free publicity on your new baby bibs? Fuck that.”

Fuck that, indeed.

I can’t speak for how these companies go about formulating these strategies to court bloggers, what I can tell you is what has worked for me, personally.

Recently I needed a new laptop and asked my friends via Twitter what I should get. Within a few hours I was speaking directly with Richard from Dell. He never pressured a sale, just asked me what I was looking for and made a few recommendations. He and his colleagues took the time to get to know me. And guess what? We had all been talking about other things like politics and conferences and parenting well before I needed a computer. They were already part of my community. People support their friends, their communities, be they actual or virtual. When I finally opened my wallet, you bet your ass I bought a Dell.

Customer service is not dead, in fact it’s key in this social media space. YOU need to be that friendly shopkeeper from back in the day who knows every customer’s husband and kids’ names and keeps a little something special behind the counter because she mentioned she likes pink accessories. THAT is what wins in social media today. THAT is what will have me yelling “I BOUGHT A DELL’ to the entire world. And hey-I PAID THEM FOR IT and they didn’t have to pay me anything to say it. Funny how that works, huh? Keep in mind it wasn’t all pretty either. I had shipping issues and Vista issues but the entire time the Dell Social Media guys and gals were around, helping, checking in, emailing, making calls. I talked about all of it in public and so did they. TRANSPARENCY.

Another company getting it right-Graco. I’ve chatting with Lindsay on Twitter, watched as they crafted a MOMblog that actually is written by Moms about things Moms write about. It’s not just product discussion. I’m thrilled to say the Graco blog, it’s bloggers, and the other people involved in the effort are part of our community. That’s right, they did it-we gave them the secret handshake and everything. Why? They’ve engaged bloggers in conversations, events, and they kept it REAL.

I really don’t think any of this is rocket science. I have no idea why many of you have turned it into rocket science. I can tell you, however, we’re happy to teach you more-but if there is one thing you’ve taught us is that we’re valuable. So if you want more, feel free to contact us about our consulting day rates.

What can I say-you started it.

Comments

  1. WONDERFUL post – more and more I shy away from the money-grubbing mega corporations, because that’s all they really are. When you can’t bring babies to a J&J “Baby Camp,” you know the world is a messed up place. Anything you can buy from these people, you can likely buy a better, healther version made by a someone you know – support a small business, or a “Mom-preneur” – you’ll end up healthier, with more cash in your wallet, and with better customer service to boot!

  2. Bravo!!

  3. Sing it, Sista!

    And I can only agree about Graco. I’ve been so impressed with Lyndsey and Paull. Now *that’s* how to do it, people!

  4. Queen of Spain,
    Your majesty, I bow in honor of your rein.
    I come to ask of your grace in granting me three small ships so I can map the course to the New World in your name…

    Oh well, enough of the drama..

    I am really impressed with your approach to enlighten the world of the inability PR and Marketing groups have with knowing how to deal with women consumers. I think the word ‘disrespect’ comes to mind in what the corporate world thinks of women as a whole.

    I have seen in your comments some of the Marketing and PR people out here have made some very feeble attempt to defend the process. Having been on both sides of PR and Marketing for more years than I can remember I can tell ya, there are many misguided corporation executives who feel women and mommies don’t have a brain cell one in their heads. I am really glad I am out of all that now and out here seeing if I can make a change in all that crap.

    You keep this issue out in the open…that is the only way anything is going to get changed… Let me know how I can help.

  5. I am new here, via some marketing thread. I am knocked out. How long ’til Oprah gets ahold of this? Heh.

    Food for thought: Cluetrain 1:76 “We’ve got some ideas for you too: some new tools we need, some better service. Stuff we’d be willing to pay for. Got a minute?”

    The Cluetrain left the station and J&J didn’t get on.

  6. THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    As a PR person who does blogger outreach I can’t stress ‘thank you’ enough. Your post (and all the comments) will help me explain to our clients the importance of being involved in the conversation and paying attention to the specific needs of bloggers.

    great job!

    z

  7. Hell, it’s gotten better over the years. At least now, mommybloggers are a good resource for information, feedback, and conversation exchange.

  8. I’m not even a D List blogger. I’m an E List blogger. I barely get any readers and don’t even register on the blogosphere radar. I would love to know what it’s like to be contacted by a PR company, period, much less invited to a conference. I was bummed out I didn’t get invited to Camp Baby because I’m a mommy vlogger and produce a video show for moms on my blog. I’d be the IDEAL mom to target. Video!! Or maybe not, since I have such a small following.

  9. What is funny, now that I have a blog that’s all about cutting consumerism and living simply, I never hear about these things anymore- kind of obvious, duh.

    When a friend (who is attending) asked me if I heard about this Baby Camp, I was totally confused. Really? What is that? They what? Won’t let breastfeeding women attend?

    While I most definitely would have enjoyed going to New York, I can’t say I’d feel comfortable having people pitch me their products (and want me to give them advertising) for a weekend…

  10. That paragraph is very true, they (J&J) develop and market their products to the very close minded people, who’ve yet to have babies, who can still attend these conferences and not worry about child care.

    Once I realized how unethical every corner of J&J is I quit using their products. And on top of that seriously….you cannot have pets and use cosmetics that aren’t cruelty-free and as organic as possible. We MOMS need to start putting our money where our mouths are!

  11. Most excellent points! I love that you use sarcasm and general pissiness to convey your anger, I do that too.
    I had one of those long ass questionnaire things come my way too and I thought the same thing as PJM, “omg, I have four kids and uh, hello? NO TIME to answer your precious questionnaire!”
    I can tell the emails I get to review stuff that are sent from companies who think since I’m a mom I’m none too bright and must be spoonfed tapioca.
    DELETE!
    I’m thinking instead, I’ll reply to those inquiries for my review services with a link to your post!

  12. This one I get! Thanks.

  13. Fantastic post!

  14. sorry, i come from Indonesia. i don’t understand about this blog. but i interest to know about it. i think it is very useful for women and all of mommy in the world. i am single. but i want learn from all of you how to create a sweet relationship with other. i hope, i can be friend with all of you. sorry my English so bad, i just try to speak and communication. thanks a lot.

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