Reich Communications, Inc.

  • Reich Communications, Inc. is a boutique public relations agency in New York City offering full service in a variety of areas, with specializations in business-to-business; advertising, marketing and media firms; transportation safety; non-profits, and select consumer products and services. For more info, call us at (212) 573-6000, email to david@reichcommunications or text to 914-325-9997. We are located at 228 East 45th Street, Suite 11-South, New York City 10017

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    May 31, 2010

    Comments

    Mir

    I agree with you, though I wish you'd resisted the temptation to lump all "mommy bloggers" into a single, heterogeneous group. (Suggestion: If you're about to make a sweeping generalization about a group, try inserting "blacks" or "homosexuals" and see if doing so makes your indictment offensive. If the answer is yes, you're overgeneralizing.)

    Not ALL mommy bloggers do this, not even all "big" mommy bloggers, and if you want to have a productive conversation about problems in this space, it may also help to look to those who are getting it right. I suggest you take a look at blogwithintegrity.com (started by a group of -- gasp! -- mommy bloggers) and also do a little more research into what the disagreements in this space are really about.

    For example: I don't have a problem with anyone giving ad space to a company for free, but when people are grubbing for free products (as you've mentioned) in return, it sets a precedent where those of us who do professional work for professional pay are considered "unreasonable" for not wanting to grant ad space in return for free diapers.

    There's a conversation to be had here, but with your sweeping generalization as an opener, I fear you don't want to actually have it.

    David Reich

    Mir, thank you for your excellent comment. I admit I am generalizing here, but it is the greedy ones who seem to be getting attention and felt I needed to respond.

    I will take a look at blogwithintegrity.com, as you suggested.

    mom-101

    Hi David, as one of the so-called big bloggers who was mentioned in the PR Newser story, I think you're not understanding the many sides of the discussion, and the vast grey area here. In fact, it seems like perhaps you're conflating a few different topics in one post.

    From my POV, there are predatory PR agencies who are asking for what amounts to tremendous amounts of free advertising from some bloggers who are too new (or frankly, naive) to know better. I feel like by discussing it out in the open, we can start to educate bloggers so they can make informed decisions about the difference between PR and advertising, and what should be unpaid--for various reasons as you mention--and what shouldn't. After that, they are free to make their own decisions.

    What's hard for many people to understand is that we're not competitors. We're a community. There's lots of bandwidth to go around for all kinds of blogs out there.

    Posts like the ones covered by PR Newser are not about "worrying" about what other bloggers are doing, as much as it is supporting one another and lifting up the collective community. It's kind of a nice thing!

    David Reich

    Hi Mom-101:

    You are right; I did simplify the issue, which does indeed have many sides. I didn't get into the issue of predatory PR agencies pushing for coverage, which can be a series of posts in its own right. I've written over the years about unprofessional tactics of p.r. people, and this may be another example.

    But please understand that some of the bloggers in your space have gone to the extreme in demanding that p.r. agencies or marketers pay them in various ways in order for them to write positively about a product. Perhaps these individuals are in the minority, but they have left a very bad taste in the mouths of those of us in p.r. who have tried to deal with them in an ethical and professional manner.

    And it's not about being told no. I've been in this business long enough to understand and respect a journalist's (or a blogger's) decision not to write about my client's product because it's not of interest. But because I'm not paying them... that's another story.

    There is some education that needs to be done on all sides of this equation. And I respect that some in your community are trying to engage in dialogue and help each other.

    Thanks for weighing in on this.

    mom-101

    Oh I agree completely David! I think that demanding money for positive posts is just awful and brings us all down. That is, all bloggers, not just all mom bloggers.

    If your piece had ended with "Over time, you may lose readers, which will then diminish your ability to extort payments from marketers" then I'd have been agreeing with a lot more of your points. Except for the opening statement which - well, I agree with Mir on the generalizing bit, which tends to diminish otherwise good arguments. From what I understand, the fashion bloggers and tech bloggers have quite the long history of receiving "blogola" for positive posts too.

    FortWorthCajun

    @FortWorthCajun via Twitter

    Great post. If I can be cheeky, would you check out my new Daddy Blog? I'd love your thoughts. http://twt.tl/F5u6x5B

    name withheld

    In my role at a major p.r. agency, I've had dealings with many of these so-called Mommy Bloggers and more than a handful have made it clear they'll blog for pay. Our policy is to say no when they make such a request. We've also seen it happen among beauty and fashion bloggers. It's not the majority, by a long shot, but it's enough to taint the whole community.

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