This is a guest post from Christina Klenotic. Christina is a vice president at Dix & Eaton who specializes in digital communications, media relations and guerrilla marketing. You can visit Christina on Twitter or visit her on her blog, Beyond Social.
It’s been just over 30 days since Mom Dot launched its PR Blackout Challenge. The controversy was covered by a number of bloggers and mainstream media, including Danny Brown, Dave Fleet, Newsweek and PBS. So what have we learned?
As a PR professional who routinely works with clients on traditional and blogger relations campaigns, my most important takeaway is that pitching media bloggers and working with indie/mommy bloggers are two very different things. Here are four reasons why:
Not all bloggers are journalists
Outreach to indie bloggers who are not tied to a media outlet, like mommy bloggers, should be much different than traditional PR pitching to media bloggers. Think of the word “pitch” as a swear word. Instead, engage bloggers in conversation to forge a relationship and accept their honest feedback when they give it.
For moms who write about their experiences as a mom and occasionally pimp out a brand they love, more often than not a giveaway in exchange for an unbiased review is the way to go. The benefit to a company is that an influencer of its target audience will serve as a one-woman focus group about its experience. Blog followers who chime in after a post with their own feedback are a bonus.
Commercial blogging is here to stay
The evolving commercial momosphere was a hot topic during July’s BlogHer Business conference. While the controversy over the concept of mommy blogging becoming too commercial is not expected to dissipate anytime soon, there is an audience of bloggers who embrace their mommy blogger label and also welcome working with PR pros.
Transparency is non-negotiable
Because mommy blogger endorsements are under the microscope, it’s paramount for both PR professionals and bloggers to disclose expectations and commercial ties up front. Following the FTC’s guidelines for blog product endorsements is the only option that preserves credibility on both sides and is fair to readers.
Strategic targeting is essential
More than ever before, PR pros need to be very savvy in helping clients select the right bloggers to approach who can make a positive impact on potential customers. Mommy bloggers are not homogenized. Some write about their experience as a mom related to a niche such as travel, home improvement, work/life balance, etc. It’s a no-brainer that reading and following a blog is the only way to get a sense of whether a blog’s target audience and your client’s are a good fit.