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mommy bloggerI was surprised to hear that one mommy blogging community (Momdot) has called for a PR blackout for a week in August.

"MomDot is challenging bloggers to participate for one week in August in a PR Blackout challenge where you do not blog ANY giveaways, ANY reviews, and Zero press releases. In fact, we don't want you to talk to PR at ALL that whole week.  We want to see your blog naked, raw, and back to basics."

Not all mom bloggers agree and many are glad to stay out of this social media war. There's a wide array of opinion on this subject.

Check out #PRblackout on Twitter.

It seems that doing reviews and giveaways in response to PR requests has become the bane of some mom bloggers' existence. They say they're feeling stressed by the deadlines and the demands of producing content for someone else's benefit.

Do I hear the journalists laughing in the background?

I'm both a PR person and a blogger and I see two sides to this story:

The Blogger

Since most bloggers are free agents - they have complete editorial control over the content on their blogs and they have no editor or publisher to answer to - I'm more than a bit puzzled by the need for a PR blackout.

If a mom doesn't want to do a product review, she doesn't have to. I get press releases and requests for reviews every day.  I use the ones I feel benefit my content policy and my readers' interests. The rest I ignore.  As one mom said on Twitter, "what happened to your delete button?"

Some Moms are trying to build up their readership and turn their blog into a money-making enterprise. Any start-up business is stressful. You have to put in longer hours and do things you'd not have to if the blog were just for self expression.

But even then it's necessary to know what you will and wont do to build that traffic and/or ad income. I just moved my blog, The Proactive Report, to a new home and I've been up at 5 a.m. every day for more than a month now working on various aspects of the blog to keep the traffic numbers up.  This is by choice.  I did it knowingly and willingly.
At BlogHer last year, in the blogging and PR session, it was suggested that a blogger should post a clear PR policy so that marketers and PR folk could see what she is (and isn't) willing to do.

Perhaps this PR blackout will create the need for those mom bloggers who do feel pressured by PR requests to formulate such a policy, post it front and center on thir blogs and adhere to it.
PR Practitioners

Getting a blogger to write something about your company or client is most likely to occur if you:

  • Read their articles/blog posts
  • Understand their audience
  • Offer an interesting and/or newsworthy piece of content
  • Build a genuine relationship with them
  • Understand their content needs and their deadlines (or time restraints)
  • Become a helpful resource for them

Bloggers don't leap out of bed every day thrilled that they get to do product reviews,  They didn't start a blog so we PR folk could hound them for coverage.

When you become a stress factor in their lives they're likely to push back in one way or another.  Some just hit the delete button. Sometimes, as in this case, it can escalate.

But when you do it right, it can be wonderfully successful and rewarding - for both parties.

Sally Falkow

Published 17 July, 2009 by Sally Falkow

Sally Falkow, APR

The Proactive Report

Anticipating online PR trends

9 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

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Mike Driehorst


I don't really see what Trisha/MomDot did as a "war." It's more of calling a time out for those mom bloggers who may be stressed out and overwhelmed by their influence and power.

Yes, any one of them can say no. However, once you start going down the path of product reviews, even if you do keep some aspects of your blog personal-focused, you do want to keep the momentum.

If a blogger wants to take a time out, great. Keep your blog pure -- as all PR pros want. (My post on this topic is linked.)

It's not an us v them. It's a reminder for mom bloggers -- heck, all bloggers -- that, if you don't enjoy blogging, then it's time to stop. Don't let it get that far, so take a break and go back to why you started.


over 7 years ago


Anthony Perez

I definitely agree with Mike. Blogs are pursued by PR pros because they know readers like their personalities and authenticity. No real blog follower wants to see product reviews all the time, but if the product is relevant to the author and the audience, it's perfectly fine to review as long as it adds value to the lives of both parties. If the company wins, the blogger wins, and the audience wins, it's all good.

over 7 years ago


Carol Decker

I agree, the whole thing seems to have been blown out of context by both the mommy bloggers themselves and the PR pros that are going on the offensive. Neither side should be blaming each other - instead why not take a look in the mirror (the bloggers). Just came from Danny Brown's post on this, great sensible approach:

It's Still Your Blog

If everyone just used a bit of common sense and (maybe) stopped being so greedy, it'd make a difference all round.

over 7 years ago



Our intent was never to start a war...or even a discussion. I feel for PR and for bloggers for both sides of the fence and at the very least, its been a great reminder that bloggers can (and should) say no.

For the community we run (our forums) unfortunately the competition can be high and quite tasking when bloggers are being compared via google page rank, technorati, twitter followers, alexa, stats, etc. and giveaways and reviews is one more way to compare bloggers and rank them against each other.

We noticed a trend of upset bloggers, for a variety of reasons, and simply proposed a week off. We had no idea anyone would care outside of our community, but boy do they care!

Trust me, we are not saying that you should stop the freebie snack cake train, but there may be some points that everyone can make to really start working on policies that benefit the bloggers and the reps to work together in a more unified direction.

I do agree that reps are under an amazing amount of pressure to product results that clients judge and that brings on massive press release push and then on the receiving end, the bloggers want to be helpful, want opps, and have a hard time saying no, even if they are not excited about the brand.

That aside, our intentions were taken out of context and we simply were supporting the mommies that were looking for a week break and a fun way to share posts...it was nothing more than that.

Even if it generated some lively responses..


over 7 years ago

Sally Falkow

Sally Falkow, Strategist at The Proactive Report

I guess 'war' was not the right word.  I too feel for both sides and was attempting to show both sidesof the picture. I can see that blogger might feel  pressure due to the with the comparison of influence.  But if you have no interest in PR/marketing attention then this comprison woudl be meaningless to you. 

If you are interested in working with PR people, put a policy on your blog with your guidelines and both sides win.


over 7 years ago



Oh wah, wah, wah, the poor wittle mommy bwoggers. Sorry, but as a 20+ year PR pro and seasoned journalist, I have no sympathy. You want to work in the journalism business, putting up with PR pitches is part of the job. Professional reporters in traditional media would never announce a "PR blackout" because they know (though they might not admit it) that the hand that sometimes annoys them is also the hand that feeds them.

Sure, when I was writing about travel and tourism for a major syndicate, my email in-box was crammed with emails from PR folks. I kept the good and deleted the irrelevant. But rule number one was to never, ever insult the folks who sent me something I couldn't use or didn't need at the time. More often than not, they WOULD give me very valuable information the following week or month. Professionalism and integrity are everything in this line of work.

over 7 years ago



about 7 years ago

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