How to piss off a parent blogger


I was chuckling all day today at the tale of the blogger who got sent one shoe out of a pair to review.parent blogger one shoe review

So much so that by the end of the day I was wondering if it was some sort of reverse psychology PR stunt to make the shoes seem more interesting and desirable. Why didn’t I get one shoe to review? I can hop. I can balance. I can do basic Irish dancing.

PRs, this will not do. What are bloggers supposed to moan about on their secret parent blogger forums if you’re making us laugh instead of annoying us? So here is my definitive cut out and keep guide for PRs on how to piss off a parent blogger:

  • Start your email Dear Mummy Blogger – parent bloggers LOVE that, particularly if they are men.
  • Follow up by getting the name of the blog wrong. Mail merge is your friend here.
  • Then say I love your blog, I’ve just spent all morning reading it followed by a sentence which shows that you have never actually clapped eyes on it in your life.
  • Offer products for review which have no discernible relevance to the blogger in question. Quite a rich seam of parent bloggers will go apopleptic if you offer them nappies when their youngest is 24.
  • Offer content for their blog including four links to your client’s site, and make a big deal about how you’re not going to charge them for this service. This saves the blogger from having to write their own posts which they hate doing really.
  • Play Blogger Beauty Parade – ask too many bloggers to an event, then ditch the ones you don’t want or simply go silent as the grave when they get in touch.
  • Alternatively, offer something really cool to do or review, and when it looks like your blogger has got super excited and told their kids about it, just disappear and never mention it again. It’s not like they’ll bear a grudge or remember your name.
  • Send an invitation at 4pm on a Friday for an event at 10am on the Monday. Tell your blogger they can only bring one of their children to your event. It’s OK, they’ve all got a favourite.

Stay lovely!


PS Anybody got a single shoe they need reviewing? Will consider one sock or some chocolate covered nuts that you’ve licked the chocolate off instead. #prrequest

  • Becky

    Naughty! But made me laugh!

    I was wonce offered a bed – pick any I liked from the site I was told. Being a greedy/opportunistic? blogger I chose a v expensive one told the world all about it and got UBER excited. Then silence , tumbleweeds. Weeks went by.

    Eventual contact.

    A hesistant PR told me ….erm all on hold due to rebranding. Me: so no bed. HIM: no bed so sorry. But PLEASE don’t slag me off to other mummy bloggers he begged.

    The poor chap was terrified! Bless him.

    I never said a word (till now!)

  • Emma

    Oh I had the bed one too, weren’t we told, it’ll happen in the new year definately! I am waiting ……..

  • This just had me falling about laughing!! Brilliant :0)

  • Ohh you have to love the ‘you can only bring 1 child’. What on earth do they think I am doing with the other 2?

    Mich x

  • Hahahahaha 🙂 If there are any shoe PRs reading, I think a single shoe might come in useful here. Small one tends to hide ours under the sofa, so I’m open to spares and not averse to the odd mismatch where needs must…

  • hehehe I would be happy with an odd shoe, my dog loves to taste taste shoes 🙂 x

  • brilliant!

  • Very funny indeed! I once even had an invite to a great event which had already happened!

  • Jen

    Brilliant! Saw the ‘I’ve been sent just one shoe to review’ tweet the other day. You’ve got to wonder! Very funny, a great read.

  • I think I have had all of the above. What does that say about us lol.

  • Thank you all for your comments. @ScottishMum I think you win Top Trumps

  • Karen is that you outing yourself as The One Shoe Blogger? Hop to it woman and review that one shoe to within an inch of its (solo) life. What I love about that story is how the company thought it was perfectly reasonable to send one shoe, and saw no reason to let you know beforehand. Maybe they thought you were a craft blogger and would make a little boat out of it?

  • Crystal Jigsaw

    They really know which buttons to press don’t they! The offers get more bizarre by the day. I reckon there’s some kind of course all these PR’s go on to learn how to belittle and insult parent bloggers, especially the ones who refer to themselves as “mummy bloggers”.

  • I love it!

  • Amy

    Haha! Just brilliant. We really do get some dreadful PR approaches don’t we? I’m forever being offered content that I’m ‘so lucky to get for free’!

  • Wonderful post, I am honoured indeed ; ) Was going to write a post about it myself but my sole is no longer in it xxx

  • Lol at one shoe. The first review I got offered was a barstool! Go figure!!!

  • Really made me chuckle – have had examples of all the above in my inbox! Oh if only it didn’t happen!

  • Hollie Smith

    Chortle! Something to look forward to if this blogging lark takes off! 🙂

  • This was hilarious, thanks for a great entertaining read! x

  • This is brilliant! It’s given me a good chuckle this morning. x

  • So well said 🙂

  • oh Merry that is absolutely dreadful. So sorry to hear about that.

  • I’ve no doubt that that’s the case Joani and I would love to hear the PRs’ take on this. I would be happy to host a guest post here if anyone wants to write about it (anonymously if it needs to be) and I won’t even charge them for it.

    But are we not to say these things? A lot of what is being said here is not so much about budget and more about basic human politeness and telling the truth.

  • Abi

    Thanks for cheering me up this afternoon! Swap a few words around and the situation’s exactly the same in travel blogging 😉

  • Oh you’ve missed off my best experience. Inviting me and my son to a day in London that, having read my blog for hours and really loved it, she felt we would enjoy.

    My son had recently died.

  • Bob

    The last event I was asked to attend was aimed at allowing me to write about how the kids loved the newly opened museum. Except I wasn’t allowed to bring my kids. Not a single child.

    In fact right up until the day I was supposed to go all I had from them was a press release. I waited and waited for my pass as it was quite high profile and when I eventually chased them up to find out what was going on the PR in charge of getting us there had went on holiday a few days beforehand and noone could help.

    Turns out half the displays didn’t work anyway and the lift broke down so just what I was expected to write about I’m not sure. It turned out that when the PR got back he asked me to write it up as if I’d went anyway…

    These days I don’t trust a thing a PR person says to me until I have a product/invite in my hand. Nine times out of ten it’s a load of rubbish anyway so when I say that I never hear from them again 🙂

  • Aly

    Still howling at this and the original post on Blogger Ed.Sharing it far and wide 😀

  • Joani Walsh

    Guys, have you ever thought about how it would feel if the shoe was on the other foot… If you were in a PR’s shoe… You really expect ALL your kids to get invited to events? Really? Wow. Have you not thought about how tight PR budgets have become through this recession and that if ten of you bring your three kids who need space/food/water, that’s probs 30 more of you NFI? OK, lies are never great, but with the sudden explosion in blogging that’s changed the industry so significantly, can’t we give PRs a little leeway in demanding that they must be familiar with every single blog and website as well as print title? I hear it from the other side and there are similarly horrific/laughable stories as above as to why bloggers often aren’t invited back to events. Bloggers aren’t above unprofessional behaviour, either.

  • Tamsin

    YES! It was the whole “offer something to review and then go silent” thing that happened to me three times last year. Especially annoying since I actually do proper review schedules and it was for my client’s site. Then acting as if I am a totally greedy, grasping moron when I chase up to find out why the reviewer hasn’t got the product yet. May send them this link…

  • The Undercover Granny

    This is a great post. I don’t understand how sending one shoe could at all be beneficial to the PR.

    Luckily I’ve never had to deal with any bad PRs.

    Hilarious list of rules!

  • @Tamsin I’m surprised it only happened 3 times as it seems to be very common. And often it’s not the PR’s fault as there can easily be hold ups at their client’s end. But still, a little communication wouldn’t go amiss.

    I was once offered a toy for my son to review, but after I’d agreed was told it would have to be sent back. Only problem was, it was the sort of toy that had hundreds of small bits. The thought of keeping all that together, plus keeping all the packaging pristine enough to pack it all away good as new, plus giving it to my son but having to wrench it away just as he’d got attached to it was frankly too much stress so you won’t be surprised to hear that at that point I turned it down.

  • Great post I hate the dear mummy blogger its a pet hate

  • Hilarious! I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, but lately the PR releases I’ve been getting have changed from the usual new toy/new book/new app/new parenting technique releases that I used to get, to releases about constipation medication and washing powder. Apparently I am suddenly full of crap and filthy! 🙂

  • Katie Vyktoriah (SnuggleBubby)

    This is brilliant. It’s incredible that I went from having NO PR Requests to having one or two a week to now having 15 – 20 a week, most of which are ridiculously irrelevant.

    This week I had a contact trying to give me a product which was way too old for my son, and he got really bolshy when I said I couldn’t review it since I wouldn’t let my kid play with it. He told me I could just PRETEND that my son had played with it and give MY opinion on it… ???

    The mind boggles.

  • Kat

    If I get one more offer to review a pram I just may scream.

  • Joanne, I sympathise – my niche is rather different (London, as it happens) but I do get together with other London bloggers regularly, and we always have PR horror stories to share.

    Because I get so many inappropriate requests, these days I tend to just bin the ones that are way off-base – PRs have to appreciate that for those of us who blog ‘for fun’ there has to be something in it for us! we’re not interested in acting as unpaid corporate mouthpieces for some corporation’s bland product or service, thanks all the same…

  • More comments! Fantastic, thank you all.

    @Kat – I think that the challenge for PRs is that there are many bloggers who would LOVE to review a pram, and if you’ve done so in the past then you can understand why you might get asked again. I guess the only thing you can do is make it clear on your site what age your children are and what sort of approaches you welcome.

    @Pete – Thank you, it’s interesting that this is not really just about parent bloggers, it’s about the PR/blogger relationship as a whole. I do think that PRs are re-thinking how they approach bloggers and many see that the same approach as they might make to a journalist is unlikely to be appropriate for a blogger.