Thursday, August 02, 2007

BlogHer spurs mega-marketing discussions

Wow, the State of the Momosphere panel at BlogHer has generated a lot of great post-panel discussion, really on two topics:

-How much marketers in general suck at blogger outreach

-How they, particularly, marginalize women and mothers of color even more than they patronize women and mothers in general

Lots of pent-up frustration, but lots of healthy constructive criticism if you can listen and absorb.

Some links to start you off:

Kelli at MochaMomma
Liz at Mom101
Stefania at CityMama
David at It's not a lecture

In my days as a blogging consultant I saw first-hand that companies thought they should "get into" the blogogsphere or, perhaps more accurately, into blogs, but they had no notion of how to do it in a productive manner. They grabbed onto something like the Technorati 100 and measured their success by whether they got mentioned on blogs listed there...whether or not those blogs were at all relevant to their product or service. They had no idea what it meant to outreach constructively, and many didn't have the patience to learn.

Oh, and as a blogger I certainly have experienced my share of truly poor pitches.

Worse yet, I have tried to respond to said poor pitches with my constructive advice about how they could do better...and have more often than not been responded to with scorn and defensiveness.

And I'm a pretty nice person too, I really did try to help, not heap my own scorn.

Perhaps (some) companies aren't quite as clueless now, but read those posts above and you'll likely come away thinking that most still are!

It all comes down to respect.

Companies obviously realize that bloggers represent a powerful, influential market.

So why do they simultaneously treat them as though they should be grateful for crumbs?

Companies and agencies can be schizophrenic when it comes to their treatment of bloggers, and bloggers are simply getting wise and getting fed up. Even those bloggers you don't consider to be on some lettered list.

I actually believe, as both someone who holds no inherent disdain for marketers (being one and all) and as a blogger that it can be done right, can be done well.

I've even blogged it once or twice, like here.

How about you? Can it be done right? Has it been done right? Examples please?

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Elisa -- I've been posting about blogger relations quite a bit lately, even before BlogHer. I'm now doing interviews with both the bloggers and the companies involved in successful programs. So far, CBS New Adventures of Old Christine, which I know you are familiar with, and Sci Fi Network's digital media tour. The list is not as long as the bad examples yet, but we'll get there. I also posted my thoughts on the BlogHer momosphere panel and subsequent blogstorm. I have a slightly different perspective, given that I am both a longtime blogger, mom and a marketing professional.

Great job with BlogHer though, and hope the eye is getting better.
Thanks for including me in this. I also am thrilled that we're all talking about this so that the marketers and the bloggers can come to some agreement that works for everyone.

Good examples: David Westcott's outreach for Gloria Steinem's Greenstone Media network.

Also KY spray mist, since it made a hilarious blog post. Like Easy-Off for your Hoo-ha!
It will indeed be interesting what comes out of these discussions.

Congratulations on the success of BlogHer 07! Lots of fun and good networking.
I have to say that of course I have had my share of PR tools contact me, I am very lucky to have made WONDERFUL contacts with marketing people who have made sure they read my blog, are pitching me something I would be interested in and get to know me. I have made (what I consider) good friends from these people. They are never sent to the spam folders. They are shout-outs across a room (David), a squealed hug when we meet (Felicia) and a personal email to catch up (too many to list).

It can be summed up in one word: Respect.

You respect me and my blog. I will respect you and your job/product.

Thankfully, I have had very few experiences with the bad and many, many experiences with marketers and PR people who are thoughtful and respectful.

Maybe that is rare, but it has led to awesome relationships and opportunities.
As a marketer, I chuckle when I see my fellow marketeers heading to the bandwagon. I remember working on Robert Scoble's book (Naked Conversations) and having our sales reps not understand the power of blogs. "What do you mean the authors don't have a mailing list?" They couldn't see that a blog, that people go to and subcribe to RSS feeds for was as powerful a marketing tool as an email list, if not more so. Now, I sit in sales meetings and hear blog this, blog that all the time, so at least they are starting to get it. Good point about respect, and may I add "remember transparancy" - marketing is fine, but don't lie about who you are. If you're with a company and promoting your products, say it. People don't have to listen to you, but at least they know where you are coming from.
I'm a little amazed that people are still talking about this, but so very glad they are. It means we're doing some collective thinking about it. Action comes next. Onward!

Kelly aka Mocha Momma
Elisa - I heard so many wonderful things about BlogHer 07 Congrats!

Most traditional media outlets want relevancy - so do bloggers. The buzz from bloggers, should it come at all, is a result of excellent products/services and concern for the customer. For most media outlets a pitch is a story .. for most bloggers (or many bloggers) it's not only the story it's the Involvement In The Story e.g., the product/service. Two aspects where BR departs from PR.
This conversation going on has been interesting to me even though I haven't responded to any of it until now. The reason I hadn't is because I've only been approached by marketers a handful of times and those were so obviously generic and "spam-like" that I ignored them.

My "mommy blog" was number 3000 in Technorati for a while, but evidently that was only impressive to me. ;)
I'm not sure if can be done right -- but I wan to try. I've been working hard and trying to avoid "spam-like" tactics. But I want my site rankings and traffic to be as high as it can. I'm having trouble "being all things." I have come across a couple of sites that seem to hold promise in getting the best of both worlds. Does anyone have experience with Artemis, Glyphius, Nemeas, or the Freedom Business System? If so, I'd love to hear from you.


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