A PR 2.0 Success Story By Mark Schaefer

Originally Published on January 13, 2011 by Mark Schaefer on his business blog:  BusinessGrow.com!  Follow Mark on twitter at @markwschaefer and his original post can be found at at: http://www.businessesgrow.com/2011/01/13/a-pr-2-0-success-story-how-i-became-a-mommy-blogger/

By Mark Schaefer

This is a true story.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent. Wait, no they haven’t.

The Mommy Blogger Genre is generally not a pool I would splash around in, but I was doing research for a class and I was blown away by the facts and figures about this subculture. Check it out:

  • There are 42 million women involved in social media weekly — and about half of them are moms with children at home. Of those, about 11.5 million moms are actively taking part in the blogosphere.
  • According to the Consumer Electronics Association report, U.S. moms are more active on social networks than any adult demographic. Moms spend an average of 111 hours online, and one in three moms regularly post product reviews.
  • Cision noted that “Mom bloggers are extremely vital to the new media landscape,” and that they “use new media like nobody’s business.”
  • Nielsen compiled a list of the 50 most influential mommy bloggers and further dissected the genre into six sub-categories: Queen Bees, Savvy Spenders, Mom-Approved Reviewers, Mamastes, Tech Moms and CEO Moms.

During my research I discovered that General Mills has set up a blog network specifically to serve this group called MyBlogSpark.  Mommy Bloggers in the program have insider access to General Mills product freebies.

Wait a minute. FREEBIES?  You mean I could get my hands on some limited edition Cheerios or something?  Maybe some Chipotle Hamburger Helper?  Baby SIGN ME UP!

And that’s how I officially became a Mommy Blogger. You had me at Häagen-Dazs.

I LOVE the idea behind this blogger outreach program. This is a classic case of PR 2.0 and General Mills seems to be doing it right:

  • They’re not depending on tired product pitches to get their news out. Influencers are right in the middle of the product introductions. They’re involved with the company and the products.
  • They are running an upfront and ethical shop, encouraging bloggers to be transparent about how they receive samples.
  • The company asks to be contacted directly for feedback if bloggers don’t feel they can write a positive review. This seems like enlightened brand management.
  • General Mills is creating loyalty and community by highlighting and rewarding outstanding bloggers.

There’s been just one little problem so far. I’ve been in the program for more than a month and have yet to receive a single product sample. In fact the only thing I have received was a link to a lame Jolly Green Giant Holiday video.

C’mon. I want some crackers. Throw me some beans or something guys.  This Mommy Blogger is ready to rock.

What’s your take on this new blogger outreach program?


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