One of the regular features I write for ParentDish is a roundup of the week’s best parent blog posts. It’s been a fascinating introduction to that whole world. Lately, there’s been a row grumbling along concerning the way PRs have been circling the mummy blogs, looking for fresh meat.
In a nutshell, what’s been happening is that the UK parent blogging scene has expanded enormously over the last year. More blogs, more readers, more word of mouth buzz. And now, more approaches from PRs, who’ve been sending press releases, offering products for review or incentives to blog about their products. Some mummy bloggers even got a free trip to Disneyland (being further down the blogchain, I got a trip to Butlins instead).
But for every clever PR bunny, there are many with hearts of cloth and brains of fluff. So you’ll get nappies and baby food offered to reviewers whose youngest is six, and ‘flavoured lubes’ offered to someone who is innocent as they day is long (Me). When I get inappropriate press releases, I delete them. But Mummy Bloggers take a much more visible approach. Attempt to reel in a blogger in a patronising manner and they might well react like this.
The impression being given is that some PRs really do think that mummy bloggers are just silly little housewives, grateful for attention and ready to fall for any old flannel. They aren’t, you know. When you send an email saying “love your blog”, it’s perfectly obvious when you haven’t read it.
This latest PR request, I think, sets a new low (though I suspect there’s deeper to fall). A manufacturer of potato products is running a campaign to educate kids about food (mainly potatoes). They are offering the first 15 bloggers to write about this campaign a whole – count ’em – £20 in vouchers for their potato products.
So your mission, should you choose to accept it – is blogging for chips.
Reminds me of the time I was walking down Oxford Street with my daughter, and we happened upon some male models clad only in pants. Daughter wondered why they were doing this, and I explained that it was their job, and they probably raked in a lot of money for shivering in their undercrackers on London’s busiest street. With her best nine year old wisdom, she replied “Yes, but how much for their dignity?”.
I think PRs need to wind their necks in a bit and be aware that all this gushing forth towards the mummy bloggers may well come back and bite them on the bum. And mummy bloggers need to be very careful about what they agree to do. Don’t blog for chips, you’re better than that.