1.20.2012

Call Me A Mom Blogger, But Don't Treat Me Like An Idiot

There are a few perks of blogging... I often get invited to fun events, I get complimentary products to review and sometimes offer to my readers. In turn, a lot of my non-blogging friends comment on the cool stuff I get and how fun it must be. It is fun, but it's also work, just like any other job.

So, while it seems fun and exciting to get all of this complimentary stuff, there are also pitfalls of having the mom blogger label. Like I said, blogging is like another job. A job I am not paid for, but just like any other job, I expect to be treated like an adult and a professional. Calling me a mom blogger is OK with me, though a lot of "mom bloggers" take issue with it. I take issue with the stereotype, not the title.

I'm going to share an interaction that I had with a PR professional last year to give you a taste of the other side of mom blogging. I agreed to REVIEW a product and do a give away. I am blocking out anything that would tell you the name of the product. I am not going to tell you what it was, only that you can take a look at my PR disclaimer and see my reminder to her.

She asked me to include mention of what a great gift I thought the product was and requested more than I was comfortable doing, to which I replied:

Hi "PR Professional,"

Yes, I will link back to your sites. I'll mention the gift stuff, as long as I really believe it. I don't agree to review products that I am not confident that I'll like, but I'm honest.

So, I laid it out clearly, right? A week late I put my post up and sent her the link. Imagine my surprise when I received this email:

Lisa,

Thanks for sending me the link.  I'm a little disappointed that you posted some negative comments.  I don't see how providing you with a free personalized book is going to help my business with this review . :(   The company that made this book has no relationships with a fishing company.  All I have gotten with other Moms have been great reviews on the books I sent them.  I didn't see any mention to our Facebook and Twiter sites - can you pls put that info in.   Sorry this book wasn't a great fit for you family.  I wish I knew about it ahead of time before you posted the review.
Kind regards,
"PR Professional"

Side note: My review was not negative. Basically she is expecting me do something that is totally unethical and I don't believe in, by not including any thoughts that could be read as negative. And she is also acting as if I was hired and my time is worth about $10, which is roughly the value of the product.

My response...

Dear "PR Professional"

I'm surprised you felt this was a negative review. I think that I gave my readers a good review with an overall positive opinion. However I think you need to understand that I never offer positive reviews, only honest ones: http://hannemaniacs.blogspot.com/p/pr.html

Nowhere did I say this wasn't a good fit for our family. I said it has staying power, will work for years, and that our son may have been a little too young to grasp the story and that we weren't into fishing. Had we been given an option of what book would work best, I would have chosen one that
fit, but you never gave me an option.

I'm disappointed that you feel that a blogger should post positive reviews because they receive something for free. I usually receive items that are valued much higher than this and have never received that type of input. If you are looking for someone to "help" your business, you should plan to pay them for it. A book is not payment. I have worked with companies that compensate me in return for partnering with them on a campaign. This was not the case.

I plan to promote the giveaway this week through my Twitter and Facebook pages. Including Twitter and Facebook links were requested, but not part of what I felt was required or works with my post.
There are multiple links to your website within the review.

For what it's worth: I'm really surprised the company doesn't have a relationship with Bass Pro Shops. Their logo was on the jacket and the hat of all the bears on every page of the book and the description of going to the store seemed like an advertisement to me. Telling my readers that I felt it was distracting is my honest opinion. Rather than take that as a negative, I would hope you would value the input from your target audience.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
Lisa


In her response she admitted that she did her homework and she was incorrect in telling me that I wrong about a particular item in my post and learned something about working with Mom bloggers, which I can appreciate. But, my job is not to teach her a lesson on being professional. When I am working at the job that actually pays me, I don't experience this treatment.

When I first started blogging there was a lot of animosity between PR companies and mom bloggers. It was a dialogue that I walked into. I didn't really know what earlier mom bloggers had experienced, so I kind of rolled my eyes and figured most of these ladies were being big complainers. It couldn't be that bad, right? (To be honest, I have always had pretty good interactions with PR companies.) For all of you non-bloggers, the issues are of compensation, being treated like a professional, being valued for your partnership, etc. etc. And with the perspective I have now, they were right on, but things have started to change in the last couple of years. Except there are still people out there who don't get it. Like this "PR Professional."

I do reviews and giveaways, because they're usually fun and it means I can offer something to my readers. I like when my friends and family ask about the blog and are interested or excited about the opportunities that come my way, but here's the flip side. And I don't take well to people who treat me like I'm an idiot. Because I'm not. And neither are most of the other moms out there blogging.

3 comments:

MJ Tam said...

Thank you for sharing. I love how you handled it and most specially love that you said:

"Calling me a mom blogger is OK with me, though a lot of "mom bloggers" take issue with it. I take issue with the stereotype, not the title."

I feel exactly the same way.

tiarastantrums said...

This was a great post. I have been blogging for the past 5 years and have pretty much had great experiences with everyone I have met. Like you, great experiences with PR firms. I had a bad reaction from a winner a couple of months back that really shocked me and made me reevaluate if I wanted to participate in reviews any further. I have taken a step back for sure.

Momma Cuisine said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I too don't mind being called a "mom blogger", but take issue with the stereotypes around it.

Great job on handling the situation!