Dear Mommy Blogger, we know you lead a pathetic life of making 5-tiered centerpieces from Peeps, Easter grass, and tissue paper roses while wiping the snot from your kids’ noses so we would like to brighten your day by giving you this wonderful opportunity to talk to your readers about our fabulous product without any pay or promotion of your work on our end. We will, however, give you these fabulous high resolution pictures of OUR product for you to share. We recognize that your blog is about travel and we are asking you to promote soft drinks and that we do have a billion dollar advertising budget, but that is reserved for REAL advertising in print and television. What do you say? Wanna turn off Oprah and give it a go?
Every single time someone sends me a pitch that starts with “Dear Mommy Blogger,” it makes my blood boil. As a college educated, editor of a travel website who happens to think that work at home mothers are a particularly awesome breed of woman, I find the term derogatory and incredibly inaccurate. The women of MomsLA blog about a varied range of topics including food, travel, entertainment, holistic living, and parenting but we are NOT Mommy Bloggers. We are bloggers who happen to also be parents and I feel that the only people that should be calling us Mommy are our children. Women have worked for decades to break the glass ceiling and when we allow others, especially other women in the PR field, to define us by our private lives and not our professional persona, we may as well take a giant leap back into the 1950’s.
Truth be told, I think most of the people who use the term Mommy Blogger have no idea that they are saying. It makes me want to reach through the computer and smack them. They are using the term over and over again to address dozens of bloggers and not one of them has had the courage to email back and express in a polite manner that the term is derogatory, myself included. None of us want to come off as the know-it-all who called out a company that respected our work and our blog enough to extend an invitation to cover a big movie premier, hotel, or activity. I get that. I have told several public relations professionals and print journalists how the term makes me feel while speaking to them in person, but speaking to a handful of people just isn’t going to result in change. I think we need to go about things a different way. Why not use social media, our bread and butter, to start a #IamNotaMommyBlogger campaign? We can tweet and retweet until our message catches fire and our voices are heard. We aren’t singling out any particular company or public relations firm and we aren’t sitting back and accepting the label they have given us.
I know not every blogger agrees that the term Mommy Blogger is insulting, and I imagine that most of those that embrace the term are women actually do focus their blogs on their children and parenting. But why not address us as “Dear Blogger” if you are going to send out a mass email and not lump the entire diverse group of individuals into one tiny category? Better yet, why not take the time to actually focus your efforts on the bloggers who would actually be a good fit for your product? The bottom line is we all work very hard and expect to be taken seriously. If you would like us to take your pitch seriously, show some respect.
Disclosure: The author thinks that 4-tiered centerpieces made from Peeps, Easter grass, and tissue paper roses are awesome but that adding that fifth tier is just going overboard.
Sharlene Earnshaw is the Editor in Chief of Trekaroo.