Ok, so I stopped using that term a while ago, back when it was thrown at me that I was just simply a Mummy Blogger. As proud as I was to be a ‘Mummy’ who ‘Blogs’, I like to think I can blog about whatever I want and not be held down by any particular title. So I let it be known that I was to be known as a blogger, nothing more or nothing less. Just simply someone who blogs. I will however still chuck myself under that term, and the one is known as ‘Parent Blogger’ when I am blogging about something under those references or when someone comes knocking looking for a ‘Mummy Blogger’ to review something. This Mummy is all about the prams and nursery products, it’s what interests me, and it relates most to my blog and me. I’m somewhere who reviews items on this blog and who has struck up many fantastic relationships with PRs all over, some who I’ve worked for a few years now. I’ve started to consider putting them on my Christmas card list.
I read with interest this post I’ve just recently come across from a PR company titled ‘The rise of the mummy blogger and the press sample’ (they’ve since taken it down!) As a ‘Blogger’ or that part-time ‘Mummy Blogger’ I was deeply insulted by this post. They talked about some secret blogger confession; now I confess that whole secret blogger rubbish is something which stinks and was the reason why I told that so-called blogging network to shove that chart number 13 (unlucky for some they say). This post started off with the line ‘Mummy Blogging has become serious business‘ with which I agree, you’ve got blogs popping up every day with Twitter feeds attached with the words ‘PR friendly’ instantly displayed and contact boxes put on the blogs before even a simple bio or even first blog post is published. Mummy Blogging has become more popular, I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and I’ve seen lots go down, I see virtual tears when someone goes down in charts and jealousy as a blogger misses out on a blogging event. Mummy Blogging has become serious for some people, and even for some, it’s started up ways to make a living.
For me blogging continues to be for the very reason why I started all those years ago, it was somewhere to document those baby days. As regular readers may see, for me I especially like to use it to document my pregnancy. Why someone sets up a blog is none of our business, if they want to see up one simply to ‘review’ items then so be it or if they want somewhere to blog. I can sit here and judge and laugh as I see some bloggers cling to #prrequest or #journorequest in the hope they’re going to get that dream holiday to review or tick something off their shopping list.
I think this post by this PR company was triggered by something they read, a secret blogger who talked about how she admitted to selling products she had reviewed. I really don’t like the way the PR rips apart this ‘secret blogger’ which by the way I think is totally made up and to get PRS/Bloggers talking about it/drawing page views. They seemed to of got there backs up over the quote ‘I may not use the products I review forever, I make my reviews good and fair through the research I do‘. They made a dig at the research part, sorry but which bit about a blogger researching an item they are reviewing is bad? For me, I like to Google a product before I say yes to reviewing it to make sure it would be a good fit for me and my blog. That’s called research, isn’t it? And when writing up a review, I like to search everywhere to make sure that review does the product justice. The products website, shops where that product is selling, and I also like to read any other reviews out there to make sure I cover stuff which may not have previously been covered. Think that’s also classed as research is it not?
And as to a blogger selling something she had reviewed? SO WHAT.
This PR company points out that they work on the baby side of PR, let me educate you on something.. Babies don’t stay the baby forever. Shocker. As much as I wish they did, they will not forever be in that pram or shaking that rattle. So I wonder what they think should be done with a product which is no longer being used?
Some bloggers don’t buy products if they have received one to review, but then why should they treat that product any differently to the product that they could have potentially bought? Both of them would of 100% belonged to that blogger (unless the review product was a loan item) and are that blogger’s property unless there’s some pre-thought out a contract where the PR states that the blogger owns it for so and so many years which is unlikely though. Most PRs have heads screwed on and actually understand that when looking at a potential reviewers blog that the item may not be in that blogger’s life for life. Many people sell on prams which they no longer use; they sell on many products they no longer used. It’s the way they make funds to buy new products to replace them or the next stages to things. Take my recent sale of a 3 year old pram that was gathering dust in the garage, funds from that are going towards nursery furniture. Sigh, I wish I could say it was going towards those L.K.Bennett shoes I fell in love with but sadly needs must as funds towards the new baby are my priority. So if that means selling something I am no longer using be it bought by me or previously reviewed in the past then so be it. Who’s business is that but my own?
I do however have to agree with them when they dig at the fact this secret blogger had kept the packaging ready to sell that item on. For us when we receive an item, the packaging is cast away and rid of so quickly in my excitement of actually reviewing the item. Of course, I do like sometimes to get packaging shot and like to source what information I can off the box before getting rid of it. That did scream to me of someone who does just sell on products the moment they come through the door but like I said SO WHAT? It’s none of our business. If I were a PR, I would be narked to find this out but then that’s where looking at previous reviews that blogger has done in the past comes to play, do those past posts actually look like they would do this product you want reviewed justice? Does that blogger look they went all out with reviewing it or just simply brush it off with a few words and stick it straight on gumtree?
But then, of course, it does ruin a blogger’s integrity, and not all bloggers should be tarnished with the same brush. It’s up to both PRs/Bloggers to do their homework. I for one don’t read reviews where review after review includes stock pictures. I want to see the product in use in a review post; I will go to the website selling it to see a photo of that item or with someone posing by it. I will trust a review where I see it in use and where I can get to know this product in a way I cant from its shop listing. After all, that’s what reviews are all about, and I’m pretty sure that’s what the PR is after when they make the initial contact with the blogger inquiring if they wanted to review and give exposure to the brand’s product.
I had to laugh when I read about the blogger who ‘wouldn’t take no for an answer‘ and who had approached them asking for a product. Apparently, they looked at this blogger’s website, and it wasn’t a fit. Still, they sent the blogger ‘the product she demanded‘. Like really? I don’t do anything for anyone who demands something from me. If my toddler demands cake at a time where it’s not cake time (though it should always be cake time), then they get a firm no. It’s not the right time. If this blogger wasn’t a good fit for that product then why send it? Despite the blogger not taking no for an answer and demanding they have it? There’s a term around these parts for that; it’s called blagging. Though I would call that rudeness and wouldn’t give that person the time of day. The blogger two months later hasn’t written the review they’re expecting. Well I know who I think is the fool right there.
Though hang on, two months? I hope they certainty stated to that blogger what the time limit was on her having this review done and posted. I hope terms and conditions were laid bare when they sent that product to that demanding blogger. That they’ve done there homework and that blogger isn’t experiencing a particularly bad time her life right now? Say for example an ill child or a particularly bad time with a pregnancy. That when they sent out that item to review they knew they were sending it to someone like anyone who could have something unexpected creep up at any time which may delay the reviewing and write about that product. Let’s hope they researched that before taking to a blog post to bad mouth her, despite not naming her. Though only on this occasion, so watch out any future bloggers who strike a relationship with this PR company and something goes wrong with you writing the review. You may get bad-mouthed all over the internet.
I have to admit I’m rubbish when it comes to writing my reviews at the same time as being blooming fantastic at them. I’m rubbish with where I might take time with getting that review up on the blog after putting it to good use. Of course, if it’s stated in the initial contact that this product is time sensitive, then I’m armed with that knowledge and will get to work straight away. The faults at my door where I spend so much time writing a review that they are time-consuming and I’m easily distracted. Though I do like to say I’m quite proud of the reviews I’ve done recently and I guess so are the people who come via Google to seek out an honest review and the PRs who contact me to review a product after reading the work I do with previous reviews. I’m hoping I’ll catch up on my backlog when my blog makeover is finished, and I feel that I have a site which can give these products the justice they deserve.
Though gosh I wonder what that PR company might say when I admit openly and aloud right here that I’m thinking of selling something I was sent for review. GASP! SHOCK! HORROR!
Yes, somethinga PR sent me for review, though fear not I no loner have the original box it came with. You see my Stokke Xplory is one of my most used (probably won’t bode well when it comes to selling) and treasured items in my life. It’s one of my most visited reviews, and I get around 100 views a day from just that post alone. I’m thinking of selling so I can upgrade to the newer version of it which has just been recently released. Meaning that the money from selling that will go straight back to that brand as I put money towards it to treat myself (or should I say children) to this new model. Which I would probably will review again even though I wasn’t prompted or asked to by anyone, I will do so because of this love I have developed for this product which was sent to me for review. No one loses out there and if anything that brand will continue to gain exposure for me.
Or I wonder even what they would say when I have a product review going up for them which isn’t in favour of that product they sent. This actual PR company sent something to me to review; sadly the product didn’t work for me. Didn’t work for the husband and it was obviously faulty. Of course, I went down the road of contacting them to say this had been the issue, of course just like buying and using any product some of these machines just don’t work and need replacing. It’s only a shame that it happened to be a review product, but I like to rectify it before speaking about it publicly. Just like I did with the Mothercare Movix pram we got sent to review last year, the hood I got was faulty and wouldn’t fit onto the pram and like any customer would I got in contact with the PR company where as the customer would have gone down the customer service road I went down this one, and I was sent out a new hood. I’m 100% sure that any customer buying that pram would have got a new hood via customer service straight away. The new hood worked, and I stated the issue I had because that was my honest review and experience of that pram.
So PR company when you’ve finished slating/complimenting/discussing ‘Mummy Bloggers’ please let me know what you would like me to do with this broken product I have from the brand you represent. Could always go ahead and just write the review right now to publish, we could even include a video of it not working. I was asked if I would like a sample and I said yes and how I stated it would be a good fit for my 3 year old to review, who’s now actually 4 and has been for 6 months so that kinda has nothing in those 2 months you mentioned. I received it and it didn’t work, I’ve emailed and awaited communication since. I may be rubbish with my email upkeep (life has got a little busy for me the last 6 months) but have kept a eye out for a reply. The box has been kept, don’t worry not because I plan on selling it but because I was hoping you would want it back and replace it with one that worked so I could continue my promise of reviewing that item for you.