PR Blackout, PR Brownout - Finding the Balance

Just recently, there has been a big deal all over the internet, national TV, and even the government about Mommy Bloggers. The Mommy Blogger has become the voice of the average consumer - sharing her views on different products that she has a mommy loves and uses. For the most, the average mommy blogger doesn't share the products she hates, she only shares the products she loves. Companies and PR reps picked up on this and have become contacting the mommy blogger to give her opinion on their product. In exchange, they ship her the product to try and she writes her opinion. Oftentimes, she gets to giveaway an additional one of those items to her readers. This is the way that the mommy blogger gets "her pay". She keeps the product, drives some traffic to her site, and in addition advertises for the company. All over you hear - the mommy blogger is not objective because she is just saying whatever the company wants her to say so that she can get the free product. Now the mommy blogger is getting tired, decided that she and all the other mommy bloggers that are getting burnt out should take a week off from blogging about products - no giveaways, no talking to PR reps, nothing but blogging about she loves! Because of this stand, the press and some PR reps have decided that it is time to show the world that the mommy blogger is just a greedy, money hunger puppet that does whatever they want her to do. So what is my take on this matter? How does this affect my blog? What do I think of being called a money, hunger puppet that says whatever the press wants me to say?

First of all, I started Money Saving Tips for a Keeper at Home as a ministry to my readers. I prayed long and hard before I started this site. This was not something I jumped into so that I could make money. Have I made any money on this site? No, I haven't - I have invested hours of time helping my readers save money and sharing my opinions and thoughts with them.

When this blog no longer shares money saving tips or is encouraging to my readers, I will close it down. I share my family, my thoughts, and the deals I come across to make my site interesting and a place that my readers want to come to.

Why do I write product reviews? I have always loved sharing my thoughts and opinions on products. My husband has often said "Honey, you should have been a salesperson for how opinionated you are on things." Why not share my thoughts with my readers?

Will you ever see a negative opinion on a product? No, if I absolutely hate a product, I will offer to send it back to the company but I am not going to ruin a company's reputation because I hate something. You will sometimes see my opinion of what I like about a product and what I feel is a drawback but you will never see a completely negative review.

Do I get paid for my reviews? No, I don't. I do get to keep the product but that does not affect my opinion of that product. I know that companies say that their product reviewers do not keep the product so mommy bloggers shouldn't. Well, companies' reviewers get paid for their time - mommy bloggers don't. I wouldn't write a review I received payment for. I never want my opinion to come across as not being honest. Normally the products I recieve are anywhere from $5 to $50 in value. Considering that I spend at least 3 1/2 hours on each review so that I can be honest and write my best, I would make more selling popcorn at the circus.

For my readers' sake, I am very selective on what I accept to review. You will never see a review to a store where you have to hide the screen because of the naked or nearly naked pictures on it. If it is a product that I can not agree with, I will also not promote it. When the products and giveaways begin to take away from the money saving tips, I will remove them. I do not want to lose my readers that are here for the other things. Having readers that are only here for what I give away is not what I want.

I will not be taking a week from PR because at this time I do not need it. I work with some great PR reps who respect me and my site and I am happy to support them. I do support those that need the break - we all need vacations. When I feel I need a vacation from writing on this blog, for the sake of my family and myself, I will take it.

Feel free to leave your opinion in the comment section. If it is not objective or rude in nature, I will delete it. An honest, open opinion is fine but if you are going to bash mommy bloggers completely - don't bother leaving it here.


KristinBrianne said...

This is a great article! It's very useful and informative, and really should open the eyes of people who think badly of "mommy bloggers". I'm not a mommy but most of my readers probably are, and this should make everyone realize how valuable your reviews are.

Amy (the Happy Mom!) said...

I agree with most, if not all of what you said. I don't get paid for my reviews, I never would. I have received a handful of things that didn't meet my standards. I don't offer to send them back; I'm not spending our money because a product fails to meet my standards. I don't review the ones I have nothing nice to say on. I think I've had to reject about 4 products since March. Not bad.

I won't be blacking or browning out. I take time for me/us when I need it, so I don't feel the need to schedule this. I also don't feel any need to take a stand here, because it's not an issue for me.