I do several types of parenting writing – for newspapers, for websites and (of course) here on the Mom in the City blog. As I have focused more on blogging consistently this year, the response has amazed me. As a result, I’ve met (or e-met) so many great moms, mom bloggers, marketers, etc. I’ve also been able to share what I’ve learned/am learning at various events, panels and such. On Wednesday night, I was honored to be on the NYC Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) “Mother Knows Best: Meet the Mommy Media” panel with the following (amazing!) mom bloggers:
-Sarah Caron: Voice of Mom (It turns out that Sarah went to Barnard, my alma mater’s sister school. Neither of us works in the field of our liberal arts majors…)
-Stacy DeBroff: Mom Central (She is a walking encyclopedia of all things mom media. I took notes!)
-Nicole Feliciano: Mom Trends (She was very warm and welcoming. I need to check out her contributions to Babble.com.)
-Victoria Pericon: Savvy Mommy (I have run into her at various blogger events. She is so sweet and positive. Her “Top 12 Ways to Annoy This Mommy Blogger” post made me laugh. It’s so true!)
(Also, a special thanks to Erica Saviano Tsioutas for pulling everything together and Heidi Hovland, our moderator.)
Basically, the panel was geared towards helping PR professionals figure out how to work best with mom bloggers. The conversation was especially timely due to the whole “Motrin Mom” incident which was one of the items that we addressed. (In case you don’t know what I’m talking about – you can read this USA Today article on the topic. I’m not going to rehash what happened, because it has been written about so much already – on blogs and in “traditional” media. Frankly, I’m sick of reading about it.) Basically, all of the panelists thought that this could have been avoided if Motrin had sought input from the very women that they were trying to target (baby-wearing moms) before putting the ad out. My “two cents”: I have “worn” both of my kids – mainly because I hate using strollers on the subway. Yes, it hurts sometimes – Sean is 26 pounds. However, I would not think to take a Motrin for my occasional back pain because like many other baby-wearing moms, I breastfeed. As such, I don’t like to put a lot of medicines/drugs in my system. Now perhaps if Motrin would have pointed out the safety of taking their product while breastfeeding (if it is safe – I don’t know. I don’t use Motrin), the pitch would have been a bit more interesting…
Moving on … the question and answer part was my favorite. It’s so encouraging to see how many pr people want to get it right. (The room was full!) The majority of questions seemed to be about pitching items/ experiences for review. I thought that the panelists gave some great responses. What I noticed most of all is that you can’t put bloggers in a “box”. Even on our panel of five moms, we had different views on things that we were interested in reviewing. For instance one of the moms mentioned how excited she was to get a package that included some dirty tiles and a cleaning agent because its interactive nature caught her attention. (Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “No one should ever send me any dirty tiles. I have a hard enough time keeping the tiles in my own bathroom clean!”) In any event, it was also great to be able to put some faces to names of pr people whom I have only had e-conversations with in the past.
Personally, I always like to take away a couple of “to do” items for myself whenever I’m a part of a conference/ panel/ etc. On my list from this outing:
1. Get listed in Cision, the media relations database.
2. Read the book Groundswell.
3. Write up a clear “Review” and “Giveaway” policy for Mom in the City and have it posted by 1/1/09.