I don’t know much about Mom Blogging that you don’t already know. You’re a mom, you’ve got a kid or two, maybe three, and talk about your new life as Mom, and, if you’re lucky, a community will form around you.
Every day more moms are throwing their hats in the ring. I understand why, too. Publicists are falling all over themselves to toss free things at any mom with a blog. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, I’m simply stating that there’s little quality control involved. Diana is swimming in pitches, and here are some of the stats on her site from Website Grader.
To credit Diana, she is in the top 4% of internet traffic, but, let’s be frank, there are 1,174,686 sites with more traffic than Hormonal Imbalances. That means almost two million site owners could be getting the same PR pitches she gets. Diana is annoyed with the tone of the pitches, believe me I understand. I have banned a huge PR firm from my inbox. I’ve had phone calls with Senior Vice Presidents who have assured me that I’ll never get a pitch from them again, yet I still get invited to their events.
Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Up until a few months ago I used to get over a thousand pitches a week. My inbox was overflowing, and none of them were relevant, they were a terrible waste of time for me, and for the poor flacks who sent them.
Sometimes I would reach frustration, and lash out via email. Well, that didn’t do anyone any good at all. Finally I set up a “thank you for your pitch” page. I send a super quick email with a link to it, and if they’ve asked to pick my brain, I send them to Nichole Jordan’s fabulous post that explains why you may not pick my brain.
I’ve been blogging in some form for a number of years now, but I’ve never seen PR and mom blogging interact quite like this. I’ve also never seen so many people call themselves publicists. In 2006 Peter Shankman sent me some flavored thing for kids medicine to review, it was startling, and I don’t think I had another review item until early 2009. It simply wasn’t being done on a large scale, and I’ve never had anyone give me talking points, though I hear about it happening. For lack of a better term, we may be jumping the shark. With masses diving headlong into review blogging, the value simply is not there. Review only bloggers are not trusted, and I can’t come up with any good reasons why they should be. If the only content on a site are multiple reviews and coupon codes do we have to call that a blog?
Back to Diana’s frustration. She has a nice blog. A bit of baby stuff, mixed in with some reviews… I have to admit I’m not a daily reader, but I can see how it’s engaging, and she has a community that is clearly interested, and that trusts her. She’s doing everything right, except she lost her cool.
I’m sorry, but unless you’re paying me, or sending me the product so I can review it before I pitch honestly it to my readers – whom I love – I don’t have any interest in working with you.
And – I’ll be blogging on this. Thanks.
There are two problems, and they are tiny. Starting with “I’m sorry”. Why? Why is she sorry? Why on earth should anyone be apologetic about being unwilling to work for free?
Then there is the “I’ll be blogging on this…” I’m guilty of this on a number of occasions. Ladies and gentlemen, the opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is indifference. Stop giving people attention who don’t deserve it.
I’m going to leave y’all with a few quick things, it’s a starter and not a complete list because I’m not the Welcome Wagon and I’m not prepared to teach you how to run your business unless I’m on the clock.
- Have an about me page that lets people know how best to pitch you.
- Call Constant Contact and ask to be removed from their database. I’ve NEVER had a good pitch come through Constant Contact, and I used to get added to dozens of garbage lists a day
- Set up filters and read press releases a few days a week, they are never urgent, real life is urgent.
- If you don’t have good time and money boundaries go get a job working for someone who does. You will be broke and tired working for “friends” at a cut rate.
If the Public Relations and Blogging relationship is simply untenable, then walk away. There are great publicists, and amazing PR firms, but they are quiet, because the really great ones are too busy making their clients grand to get into these ridiculous messes. Try to ignore it all, because getting screechy is funny for us to read, but it can’t possibly be a good use of anyone’s time.
UPDATE: I just saw a post from the PR firm’s president. Besides being long winded and annoying it included this phrase:
Now, let me address the situation that acted as a catalyst for this post. Diana is a Mommy Blogger who writes a blog called <blog name removed>. The good news is Diana did a great job naming her blog to represent her personality and the rage that clearly lives inside her. Jen, a much-loved Kel & Partners employee, pitched Diana on behalf of one of our clients. Jen is so kind-hearted that we often describe her by saying, “When Jen wakes up in the morning and opens the windows the birds start to sing and butterflies land on her shoulders.”
Totally inappropriate, and were I hiring a PR firm it wouldn’t be one that is deluded about the goodness of it’s own employees, and berates a Mom Blogger, just because they can.