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PR Blackout?

Filed Under: Life
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Someone [I don't remember who] on Twitter linked to a CNET [LOVE them] story that asked if mommy bloggers need to “grow up”?

*Disclaimer #1: I haven’t finished reading that story yet since I went to the linked MomDot story about the “PR Blackout”.*

I headed over to MomDot and read Trisha’s story and at first thought, “HELL YEAH mommy bloggers do too much” but then I finished reading it and found myself bothered. Not really annoyed, per se, but bothered.

The premise is WONDERFUL.

Ignore all of the extraneous bullshit that comes with being a courted “mommy blogger” and just “blog naked, raw, and back to basics. Talk about your kids, your marriage, your college, your hopes, your dreams, your house and whatever you can come up with for one week.”.

But here’s the deal.

I write “naked”. I write about stuff that happens in my life. I write just about anything that pops into my little head and sometimes I do product reviews. Sometimes I link to PR pitches that I think rock. Sometimes I accept sponsorships that help me not make an absolute ass of myself. I also have ads running on my site which provide me with enough cash flow to maintain this swank lifestyle. *snort*

So if I were to participate in the “PR Blackout”, would that mean that I would also have to pull the ads from my site? I don’t think they’re too intrusive. Sometimes they’re even pretty and funny.

Also, the call to not talk to PR people at all during that week would just plain suck for me.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve become pretty good friends with one of the PR people for Lane Bryant. So, for that week I would have to totally break ties with Ritter. That’s not cool. Not to mention the Spirits PR people that I speak with on a daily basis. But that’s on one of my “work” sites so maybe that doesn’t count? But if you’re going to do “it” you might as well do “it” right.

Right?

*Disclaimer #2: I hate the term “mommy blogger” so I shall put it in quotes because I can’t come up with a better label.*

In the end, my website is the “hawt hotbed” of my business. I write what I want here but I also do reviews about things that I like and things that have a relevant place in my life. While I’m doing that, I still manage to be “involved with our own community”. I have, at last count, 4,324 followers on Twitter and A LOT of them are “mommy bloggers”. I’m friends with a lot of “mommy bloggers” on FaceBook and I think I’m involved in our community.

My kids watch a lot of Little Bear and Olivia and they don’t go the park as often as maybe they should. My house is usually a mess unless I get fed up with it and then I clean it. I am by NO MEANS a “super woman” and have never claimed to be one. BUT, PR people are people too *heh* and they’re just doing their jobs. If you don’t want to receive their stuff then tell them to take you off of their list. I mean, don’t be a heinous bitch but let them know that you’re not interested.

Boundaries, people!

You don’t have to accept every single pitch that comes your way. Really! You don’t. Also, think about why you’re doing the reviews in the first place. Are you accepting reviews because you think that the product might have a relevant place in your life or are you accepting a review because you think that you’re going to get ALL KINDS OF TRAFFIC [!!!]?

If you’re doing it for reason #2 then you’re doing it for the wrong reason.

I totally get why Trisha posted what she did and I respect it but I won’t be partaking and I worry that will alienate me from the women who are doing it.

The more I write, the more conflicted I get on the subject so what do you think?

Should bloggers ignore PR people and reviews and all of that for a week or should they do what they’re currently doing?

Image|Oberazzi

Comments

  1. Well, since I haven’t read the article (and won’t be doing that because I still can’t find my dinky P&S camera so I can edit the video clips so I don’t have time now) But I don’t think that you will be alienated by not doing it. Do what’s right for you, if you at a place where you get decent PR people contacting you then I say run with it.
    .-= Domestic Extraordinaire´s last blog ..On My Way =-.

  2. I totally think that everyone should keep doing what they are doing. I mean whats the point in getting your knickers in a knot? I love blogging because it gives me the freedom to write about what I want. So long as everyone is doing that, even if it’s writing reviews, what’s the problem? Like you said, do it for number 1!
    .-= Sarcastica´s last blog ..A Vision =-.

  3. ritter says:

    i would fight you if you cut me off… you’re like an appendage. i love you.

  4. I’m all for bloggers taking a good hard look at their blogs and what they want out of them. Free stuff? Giveaways that boost your visitor count? Go for it. To each her own.

    I like @resourcefulmom’s “brownout” idea a bit more. I think every blogger needs to decide what’s right for her; find the right balance. Many get caught up in the cycle of freebies, the allure of the attention of marketers, free trips on which they’re pampered like a rock star. I’ve been there. What’s not to like?

    If this is a bit of a wake-up call that causes bloggers to take a more thoughtful approach to reviews, great.

    I do find it odd that this is coming out so close to BlogHer, where attendees are invited to party after party with free food, alcohol and swag courtesy of the PR firms people are claiming take too much of their time. Is that why we “need” to wait until August? Because really, if it’s that much of an issue, I advise people to stay away from the parties and donate the 15 pounds of t-shirts, flash drives and product samples they’ll receive to charity.
    .-= kim/hormone-colored days´s last blog ..10 Commandments of BlogHer Success =-.

  5. The challenge is actually being majorly taken out of context. We did a radio show on FNL and in the chat room there was major buzz about how blog burned out everyone was to PR…so during that hour we proposed time off…we dubbed it a PR Blackout for one week.

    Just a week…a bloggy vacation. No one said quit PR or down with PR…we utilize PR to our advantage quite often. It has somehow turned from that real discussion with a blog burnout and obligation issue to down with PR.

    Many bloggers are sincerely burned out and are afraid to turn down PR or simply take SO MANY opps they forget where they are going, or atleast how they got there. Our goal is to just bring some of that back, a bit of personal, for one week.

    We never mentioned taking down ads or not accepting paid ads, but rather to take a review/giveaway break on POSTING and get personal for those that feel overwhelmed..

    you most certainly will NOT be categorized if you dont participate..its just simply not for you because you balance. But for those that dont, it may help them see the light.

    trisha
    .-= trisha´s last blog ..Wow, are PR or Bloggers more Whiny? =-.

    • Hi Trisha.

      I don’t think that I took it out of context at all. I read your post twice and then read it for a third time while I was writing this to make sure that I didn’t take it out of context.

      And I didn’t [or tried not to] imply that you were saying “quit PR or down with PR”. I said that you were calling for people to be PR free for a week and that would be no good for me since I have a PR friend and my job with b5media requires me to talk with Public Relations people.

      Also, I think that there is still an opportunity for discussion [that's what we're doing right now] and I know that I meant nothing personal toward you with regards to what I wrote. Your idea is a good one for people who feel like that is their only recourse. And, I’m sure those same people are encouraged to know that others feel as they do.

      As far as the ad issue goes, my comment/question about taking down ads was simply a question that I had while I was reading your piece.

      This is going to sound 100% canned but I completely mean it: The wonderful thing about our community of women bloggers [and some men] is that we all have opinions and we can all disagree but we have a common goal – to tell a story. Sometimes that story doesn’t appeal to everyone but that’s life and it would be a very boring place, indeed if we all agreed, all of the time.

      I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment with your views here.

  6. I like the idea of taking a week to rethink your plans & goals and how they fit with what you are doing now – whether we are talking about blogs, parenting, jobs,volunteering, dating, etc. – everyone can use a little time to reorient themselves & re-prioritize their to do list. I think I have twice in 4 years done some sort of review on my blog. Its not what I envision my blog to be about & I am simply not interested in it, so I have no connection really to the Blackout & the controversy. But I think making yourself sit down, clear the decks and reorganize every now & then is a good thing, even if it is just how many knitting projects and how much yarn you have taken on. Sometimes you get so deep in various bits you fail to see the whole pile.
    .-= Stacey@Havoc&Mayhem´s last blog ..I swear but… =-.

  7. I get where you are coming from because I too don’t post many reviews and giveaways at all.

    It stems from all the mom blogger review sites who are overwhelmed and they needed to form an alliance of support to say its OK to say NO for ONE WEEK. I am a part of the MomDot community and feel badly for Trisha because she really has the best of intentions and unless you are a part of the forums there where we talk all day long about the ins and outs of blogging, then you really wouldnt get it…it has a huge back story

    anyway–good post! I think you at least were fair! :)
    .-= Clarissa Nassar´s last blog ..In Honor of my Mentor Trisha Haas =-.

    • I can totally see both sides of the coin.

      I do reviews but not a ton – I take what I think I’d actually use and what I would buy on my own if I had the cash. If I did NO giveways and/or reviews here, I think I would be OK with that but I like trying out stuff and letting people know what I think about it. [I'm an over sharer :)]

      On my work blogs, I write about alcohol and video games and get tons and tons of pitches and press releases and [if I'm lucky] “product samples” heh

      And, you’re right, I’m not part of the forums but believe me when I say that I get that this idea was meant to be a good thing and I think that it IS a good thing if someone feels that overwhelmed.

  8. Summer says:

    I loved your post and I love the CNET one too.

    I say the mom bloggers are being whiny. Quit complaining. If you don’t want to do reviews – don’t do them. (thats simple- isn’t it)

    If you only want to blog about your families- do it. If you lost followers because of it – so be it. If you don’t GREAT.

    You have no one to blame for the state of your blog other than yourself. You can say no to any review at any time.

    And a week? Really? Will your ads come down then too? Or will mombloggers still be profiting (albeit small) at that time while they take their stand.

    Just my two cents.. as an avid blog visitor.

  9. If I had a blog that ran contest/reviews and the like daily, I would need more than a one week “blackout.” I would need an alternate email address, ten more hours in my day, a personal chef/trainer/SAHHubby. Which is why I *choose* to do only 1 or 2 per week. The other days are spent ranting andraving about this or that, or simply are not documented on my blog.

    I love what I have chosen to do. I run a successful business from home, take care of my family, and have a mildly successful blog. I delete more pr pitches than I respond to because most of them think I’m their pwn personal promotions dep’t. I am not as widely known or a “important” (*ahem*) as some of my peers simply because I have kept my blog at a level that is comfortable for me. So it doesn’t feel like work, per se.

    So no need to have an official blackout.

    But to those of you who spend 24/7 on your computers, hell, TAKE A MONTH!!
    .-= Jill Notkin´s last blog ..I don’t know what I’m wearing at BlogHer and that’s ok. =-.

  10. Great stuff. I’ve checked out more blog posts on here and I enjoyed it. Cudos.

Trackbacks

  1. Amy Tucker says:

    New Blog Post: PR Blackout? http://bit.ly/McaEI

  2. RT @Tastelikecrazy: New Blog Post: PR Blackout? http://bit.ly/McaEI

  3. Paisano® says:

    Excellent response to “Mommy Bloggers Need to Grow Up” & MomDot PR Blackout posts http://bit.ly/3aloIq

  4. KimMoldofsky says:

    RT @Feelslikehome RT @Tastelikecrazy: New Blog Post: PR Blackout? http://bit.ly/McaEI

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