It’s Still Your Blog – Isn’t It?

Lo que es mío es tuyoThere’s a bit of a hullabaloo floating around the Internet at the minute concerning the Momdot mommy blogger network and their proposed PR Blackout for one week in August.

The topic is being discussed on Twitter pretty vocally and bloggers and PR pros are coming out with their take on both sides of the argument.

Indeed, the flak got so bad that it led to a follow-up post on Momdot asking who’s more whiny, PR or bloggers?

I’m not going to get into the whole “she said, they said” argument as there’s enough of that in the comments of both Momdot blog posts, as well as via the Twitter discussion and other bloggers. The Momdot admins say it wasn’t an attack on PR per se, and reading the original post I believe them.

But here’s the thing.

While the reasoning behind the PR Blackout is sound – giving moms more time with their families and reclaiming their blogs – should it even have come to a blackout call in the first place?

A blog is, ultimately, your baby. Your voice; your home from home. What you do with it is up to you. It can be a personal blog, a business blog, or  you can try make income from it, either part-time as most review bloggers do, or full-time as a professional blogger. But the key thing is this.

It. Is. Up. To. You.

If you want to be a reviewer of products, you’ll be contacted by PR companies. If you want to make money blogging, it is going to be hard at times – it’s one of the sacrifices you make when working for yourself, knowing that hours are no longer straightforward nine-to-five.

Heck, even being “just a blogger” with no reviews and giveaways is hard work and why so many give it up within six months. But how hard blogging is is up to you.

You don’t have to say yes to every review. You don’t have to say yes to every PR pitch. Over at Momdot, Trish makes a point in her Last Word video message that for every one PR pitch you agree to, you get six more.

That’s only if you let that happen.

I know there are crappy PR pros that harass bloggers constantly with pitches, follow-up calls and deadline blackmail. They tell you that you’ll be taken off their blogger list and that their clients won’t be sent to you. Here’s what you do with PR “pros” like that:

Tell them to go f*ck themselves.

If they’re so crap at their jobs that they have to harass the people that are putting their clients in front of thousands of eyeballs, they’re not worth dealing with to start with. Let them go; find the great PR companies instead and work with them.

Make it even easier for yourself – have a visible page on your blog that explains to PR pros how to pitch you, and the process after that. If they can’t adhere to your instructions, then they only have themselves to blame for being blacklisted and ignored.

Blog communities need to do their bit too. If you’re hearing from your members that a PR agency is causing issues, speak with the agency in question and voice your concerns. Good PR pros know the importance of blogger relations – if they can’t accept and work with your concerns, then your duty lies with your bloggers. Stop accepting that agency’s pitches and blacklist them and only put your bloggers in touch with approved agencies.

The buzz (for and against) the Momdot PR Blackout shows there is a growing problem with burned out review bloggers and that’s sad. No-one likes to hear of people’s health and relationships suffering.

But a little bit of me can’t help but feel that if you keep control of your blog, the issues being talked about at the minute would be a lot less visible. No?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Daquella manera

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