I have a unique perspective on this topic — How a new media influencer (mom blogger) differs from a traditional journalist — because I have been (and still am) both of these. Though I began as a mom blogger back in 2008, I then became a traditional journalist, working as the Editor of OC Register Family magazine and Columnist at the Orange County Register.
It’s my opinion that the shift in thinking about pitching and working with new media for most Pubic Relations Professionals has been difficult. The standard ‘ol press release just doesn’t cut it anymore. It is a rare case that those pitches work, even when I’m wearing my traditional journalist hat, but I still receive upward of 100 of them a day.
In an effort to help PR folks understand the mom blogger and/or new media journalist I have made this list of how they differ from traditional media.
1. Doesn’t always have access to professional equipment and/or assistance.
The more you can supply to the mom blogger as far as photos, videos and graphic design the better.
2. May not hold traditional office hours
Most mom bloggers are, well, moms. They might be running around all day with their kids and get the bulk of their work done at night after the little ones have gone to bed.
3. Is a business owner
Unlike traditional journalists who work for a company, mom bloggers work for themselves and have an entrepreneur approach to their work. That means their time is valuable.
4. Effective coverage hinges on relationship
It’s all about a good PR/mom blogger relationship. They have built their brand around these relationships. Successful PR people know this and maintain strong communication with mom bloggers.
5. Is open to suggestions for storylines and angles
This is probably the hardest thing for a traditional PR person to do. In the past they wouldn’t dream of mapping out the story for a reporter, but a mom blogger appreciates hearing the PR person’s vision of how they would fit with their brand.
6. Immediacy is an important part of her social media currency
Competition is fierce in the mom blogging community. Provide immediate sharing opportunities as much as possible. Mom bloggers want to be the first and/or original. Anything to set them apart from the other bloggers.
7. Usually a one-woman show
They don’t have a staff of photographers or graphic designers. They do it all! This makes them great at guiding their brand. Respect it.
8. Is interested in experience when telling a story on her blog. That is where she uses her power
They want to stay at a hotel or to eat at the restaurant. They want to try the vacuum cleaner at their house or drive the car for a weekend. They are hands-on reporters. That is the value they bring. They are part of the story. (See the pic of me and Bob Iger at a the opening of Disney Aulani Resort.)
9. Is a linear journalist (or storyteller)
They don’t just publish one story and BAM! they’re done. I use the example for this from when I covered the opening of Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii. I started Tweeting about it the moment I was assigned the story. I posted photos on Instagram, Facebook and Flickr and videos on YouTube while I was on the trip. I also blogged while l was there. The print story ran the following January, but I had already provided a full body of coverage by that time.
10. Has developed her own ethics and standard practices for her work
All reputable mom bloggers should have their standards and ethics policy posted on their blog. If they don’t, then ask them for it.