Pitching Mommy Bloggers

Danielle Donders is an avid blogger who has found herself on the receiving end of a growing wave of pitches from marketers for products and services. She shared her experience and insights with the Third Tuesday Ottawa attendees last night.

2007 10 15 010_edited-1 Danielle began her Postcards from the Mothership blog, which she referred to as her “online shrine to parental self absorption,” in January 2005. Nearly three years and more than 950 posts later, she’s still at it. No blog fading for her.

Why does she do it? “Self-indulgent narcissism. I started to talk about my life and people listened. They liked me. They really liked me. People care about what I say. And I’m totally addicted to it.”

And public relations practitioners and marketers definitely seem to care about what Danielle things and writes about. In just the last four months, she’s received pitches for skin lotion, shoes, coffee, head lice cures, three different cell phones, soup, Nestle Quick, recipe exchange site; public service site about breast exams, contests about writing, yogurt, Bounty paper towels, and books.

Why do marketers care about mommy bloggers? Mothers trust other mothers and look to them for testimonials and referrals to quality services and products. “The mom-osphere is very intimate. Everybody’s unique perspective on issues common to mothers makes it compelling reading for others.”

She says that she can really tell who cares about the bloggers they pitch and those that are just carpeting the terrain. For example, “I got an free pass invitation to go to a fitness centre for teens in Los Angeles. I’m a suburban mom in Ottawa with a 3 and 5 year old. They didn’t read my blog. So, I don’t care” about what there’re pitching.

2007 10 15 001 Advice for blogger relations: “Be a part of the community. That makes all the difference. Get to know the blogger. Show me that you care about what I’m writing, not simply about the eyeballs that come to my site. Follow up afterwards to let the blogger know that you read what they wrote and that you appreciated what they wrote.”

Danielle talked about one successful pitch to her – the Krazr blogger cellphone campaign. “I felt like they cared about what I was blogging about. One of their staff would follow up with me. He made a comment on a post I wrote about the phones.”

Does accepting a product oblige her to be positive about the product? “No. I’m obliged to be polite and reasonable and fair about the product. But if I hated the phone, I’d say so.” Danielle in fact indicated that before the trial with the Motorola phone, she had been offered a trial with a Nokia phone. She found it to be “too much phone and confusing” and she said so.

In her “day job”, Danielle works for the federal government. She has parlayed her experience as a mommy blogger into a full time assignment to help her department figure out the intersection between social media and government communications. She believes that social media can put a human face on government.

How should government approach bloggers? They should absolutely listen. … You’re not going to get an accurate impression. But do you get an accurate impression by reading the Globe and Mail.”

“Government is slow. It’s like turning around the Queen Mary. It takes some very strong evangelists. … They are so risk averse.”

A great presentation from an engaging personality. Thank you Danielle!

  • Sorry about not making it, Joe. I was hijacked by an annual report.

  • Thanks again for the opportunity, Joe. I’ve been doing a lot of social media evangelizing to the uninitiated around here, so it was a real delight to be able to share information, ideas and perspectives with a crowd that really “gets” it.

    Thanks for this great wrap-up, too!

  • Chamika

    This was my second Third Tuesday event and I really enjoyed the speaker, the topic and the crowd. Your summary is very accurate and well-written.

    People who are curious about what Third Tuesday is all about should come and check out the events – I was worried about not meeting anyone or feeling like an outsider but Joe and Ian are great hosts who make you feel welcome.

    Thank you for organizing these events and thanks also for your wonderful words of advice and insight about blogging and taking on social media projects. You offered some excellent practical advice that I will be following soon.

  • Flattered to read that Danielle viewed our campaign and approach as a positive experience – she was a pleasure to deal with and wrote some highly entertaining posts.

    Some great insights for others to learn from, Joe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cynthia

    Thanks, Joe, for organizing this event (my first) and bringing together so many like-minded people. Danielle is an intelligent and engaging speaker and I enjoyed her presentation.

  • I want to second Chamika’s comment.

    This was my first Third Tuesday event and was very impressed. Joe was a great host and made me feel very welcome.

    I think these events are a great opportunity for communication professionals and social media enthusiasts to get together and discuss our ever changing environment and learn from others experiences.

    Thank you Danielle for sharing your experiences and making me ever so addicted to your blog.

  • Sorry to have missed this one … maybe we can coax Danielle over to Montreal one day

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