By Poppy Mason-Watts, account executive, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP Group.
"Blogging about the minutiae of family life to offer a no-holds-barred account of life with children” (Lee & Curcic, 2010) - that’s an ideal description of a mummy blog, although they certainly aren’t restricted to child-related subjects and can include a wide array of topics.
So what is their importance in the PR world?
Mothers are increasingly engaging with online social media tools, and blogging is no exception. A 2010 US study conducted by the two largest interactive online communities for women, BlogHer and iVillage, reported that 73% of women surveyed were active social media users - with blogs second only to Internet searches as their preferred media source for product information.
With this in mind, here are some of the reasons why brands need to listen to them:
- Mummy bloggers are real, have honest voices and insist on upholding what they value most, which makes them so much more effective than traditional advertising.
- Mummy bloggers value recommendations from other mummy bloggers [read our recent post for more information on this]. A large majority of mums read consumer-written reviews online before making even small purchases. They share their thoughts and enthusiasm with other mums and are becoming leaders in the word of mouth movement.
- Mummy bloggers can circulate information both online and offline. They build brand reputation through word of mouth recommendations or criticisms with a community of readers who trust what they say.
But why the focus on mummy blogs?
Having worked on two large projects solely focussed on targeting mummy bloggers, it’s an area that is quite unlike traditional PR in that it’s essential to make friends with the bloggers. Granted you can take journalists out for lunch and have a natter - but when can you chat to a journalist about what shoes they will be wearing to Cybermummy (the largest parenting blogger conference in the UK), or send out flu remedies because you know their child is ill and you happen to be working on a health client?
Yes, my new friends are a little older and have more worldly experience than I do - I’ve never suffered from post-natal depression, or currently house five children under six. But we chat and build up a trustworthy relationship with one another. And that’s the secret: treat bloggers like normal people.
I have a guilty Friday afternoon pleasure to confess: I read my favourite mummy blogs – not just because they have me laughing out loud, but because it’s a huge draw to Mummy influencers if I know what’s going on in their world, so I can target the right people with most relevant products.
So why not take a moment and do the same – and to get you started, here are just a few of my favourites:
The Boy and Me
Who’s the Mummy
Madhouse Family Reviews
I Heart Muthahood
Curly and Candid
Mummy from the Heart
Mama’s Busy World
Mum on the Brink
A Mother’s Ramblings